advice, must be clearly entered on the attorneys notes.
The best time to do this is immediately after the action.
If the case is resolved in one visit (or perhaps one
consultation and a follow-up visit to execute a
document), a client case file would not normally be
opened. The clients case can be opened, disposed of,
and the Legal Assistance Case Record and any
supplementary attorneys notes filed immediately.
LEGAL ASSISTANCE OFFICE READING
A copy of each outgoing piece of correspondence
should be placed in chronological order, most recent on
top, in the monthly legal assistance office reading file.
This file should be maintained separately from the
regular office reading file. These files maybe destroyed
after 2 years. Material contained in the legal assistance
reading files, as well as the individual client case files,
REFERENCE MATERIAL FILE
A separate index and series of files should be kept
for reference material other than that which normally
would be placed in the library. Included in this category
are notes, releases, pamphlets, and bulletins not subject
to being serialized or kept by category in loose-leaf or
bound form. It is important that this system be kept up
to date since these items are often highly relevant to
A good, well-indexed form file can be of
immeasurable importance to a legal assistance office,
especially where it relates to matters of local practice.
Considerable savings in time and effort can be made by
reference to a previously drafted form. However, do not
let the form file get too large; discard or change any
forms in the file that are obsolete or no longer used.
All papers filed, other than original documents not
susceptible to being punched, should be secured in the
file. Letters and replies should be in chronological
order, with the most recent on top.
Every effort should be made to see that files are not
retained on the lawyers desk unless they are actually
being used. In larger offices, a chargeout slip or card
should be used to indicate where the file is located.
Responsibility for the maintenance of the client files
should be assigned to one person. It is a mistake to
assign the newest person in the office to the important
job of filing. Proper files management is vital to the
smooth operation of an office and it requires an
experienced clerical assistant be assigned this duty.
Clear, written instructions must be given to the person
responsible for the files.
When a matter has been concluded, the case file
should be closed quickly to conserve valuable filing
space. Only two items should be kept: (1) the Legal
Assistance Case Record and (2) the attorneys notes
containing the file history. All documents, including
those drafted by the legal assistance attorney, should be
returned to the client together with whatever
correspondence and memorandums the legal assistance
attorney determines that the client should have. The
remainder of the file can then be destroyed.
January of each year should be scheduled for the
destruction of all 2-year-old closed files. For example,
in January 1994, all files closed during 1991 may be
LEGAL ASSISTANCE OFFICE REPORTS
Only one regular report is required for the legal
This is an annual report of the
number of legal assistance cases handled during the
calendar year. This is broken down by types of cases
and includes time figures. The information required for
the annual report is obtained from the individual Legal
Assistance Case Record, NAVJAG 58 10/9. This should
be tabulated and transferred onto a Legal Assistance
Report, NAVJAG Form 5801/3, on a monthly basis. At
the end of the year, the figures for the month of
December can be added to the already prepared totals
for the previous 11 months and the annual report quickly
and conveniently prepared. This job should normally
be done by an LN or secretary assigned to the legal
Any legal assistance provided by Reserve lawyers
must also be reported. If the Reserve lawyer provides
the legal assistance at a base legal assistance office, then
each of the matters handled by him or her should be
included in the reports made by the active duty legal
assistance officer, as these matters are part of that office.
In some areas, legal assistance is rendered by the