Legal Services/Authority to Provide Legal Assistance

Section 10 of the United States Code provides authority for the Armed Forces to provide legal assistance and delineates those persons eligible for legal assistance. Legal assistance is intended primarily for active duty personnel and may be provided to members of the Armed Forces of the United States on active duty, including reservists (and members of the National Guard) on active duty for 30 days or more. Legal assistance services can also be utilized by retired service members, family members and under special circumstances, some civil service employees. The Legal Assistance Office at Marine Corps Base Hawaii offers free legal advice at the Legal Services Center. A full time bar certified military attorney is available to give advice on most areas of civil law. The subjects that are outlined in this guide are subjects that service and family members frequently experience.


Legal Assistance is available for the following:

Consumer Law
Contract Disputes / Review
Divorce Mediation
Divorce / Separation
Fraud Schemes
Hawaii State Agencies, Laws & Courts
Immigration / Naturalization / Passports
Landlord / Tenant
MCBH Agencies & Regulations
Motor Vehicles
Powers of Attorney
Taxation / Tax Center
Pre-Deployment Briefs
Other Family Law Issues

Legal Assistance is NOT available for the following:

Private Commercial Business Activities
Civilian or Military Criminal Matters
Lawsuits or Claims Against the U.S. Government
Military Administrative Actions or Request Mast

For civilian court appearances, claims against the United States, and private commercial activities, you may want to obtain a civilian lawyer. You may reach the Lawyer Referral Service in Honolulu County, Hawaii, at (808) 537-9140. Service members must utilize their chain of command for administrative actions or request mast requests. If you are accused of a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, a military defense attorney will represent you at your request.



Your attorney must know all the facts, whether favorable or unfavorable. Do not hesitate to talk freely to him/her. An attorney must keep all information confidential unless the client gives the attorney permission to disclose information to a third party.

Confidential communications are matters told by you to your lawyer when you are seeking legal advice about your personal situation. The privilege may extend to conversations, letters, photographs, charts, and other documents and records. You may lose the privilege if you make the information public either by telling a friend or family members or otherwise communicating the information to unauthorized persons.



Before talking to the attorney, it is very important that you:

  • Do not expect a quick fix for your legal problems;

  • Talk freely with your attorney and relate all the facts, both good and bad. Give your attorney all the details, no matter how important or unimportant they seem;

  • Seek legal advice prior to taking actions with legal consequences; remember, avoiding a legal problem is easier than addressing an existing problem;

  • Bring all papers and documents that may pertain to your problem.

Marine Corps Base Hawaii