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On January 4, 1972, Secretary of the Navy John H. Chaffee approved the recommendation for establishment of the Legalman rating. A memorandum from the Chairman of the Rating Review Board announced the approval, stating in part, “…the scope of the new rating will provide judge advocates with the personnel trained in court reporting, claims matters, investigations, legal administration, and legal research. This scope is in consonance with the new concept in the civilian legal community where many areas of legal services can be provided by competent trained personnel under the supervision of a lawyer…” On October 4, 1972, 275 petty officers were selected for conversion to the new Legalman rating.

In 2007, the Legalman education and training pipeline was adapted in order to fully train Legalmen as paralegals. The Naval Justice School’s (NJS’s) curriculum was adapted to include four American Bar Association- (ABA-) approved paralegal college courses. Legalmen now leave NJS with 10 semester hours of college in paralegal studies.

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