Personnel support

Legal Officer

As an organisation employing over thirty-thousand personnel, operating aircraft and airfields, in the UK and overseas, in peacetime and armed conflict, the RAF generates innumerable and varied legal challenges. Law in the RAF addresses the rules and regulations of the organisation, society at large and the international community. Legal Officers play a central role in ensuring the RAF functions smoothly within these frameworks.

Your responsibilities could include:

• Advising military commanders and staff in national, coalition and Allied environments on domestic and international humanitarian law;

• Advising on military law, air law, employment law, European law, health and safety and environmental law;

• Development and drafting of legislation in relation to the Armed Forces;

• Acting as Legal Adviser to Service Inquiry panels in relation to their investigations;

• Advocacy for the defence or prosecution at Courts Martial, Service Civilian Courts and Summary Appeal Courts;

• Advising both military police and commanders in relation to criminal investigations, evidence gathering, interviewing, and pre- and post-charge custody;

• Advising personnel of all ranks on the Armed Forces Act 2006 and procedures and regulations that apply to the RAF and wider defence;

• Providing legal training across the full breadth of ranks and branches of the RAF.

Like most officers in the RAF, you will move jobs every few years, and each job is known as a tour. You could receive your first overseas move, or ‘posting’, immediately after your Initial Officer Training and specialist training. Overseas postings normally last between two and three years.

Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

RAF Regulars and Reserves work side by side.

Scroll down to explore the opportunities as a Legal Officer in the RAF.

Key Facts

Full Time
Regular

Initial pay after training

£39,236 + Benefits

Pay during training

£39,236 + Benefits

Entry level

Officer

Commitment

6 years and thereafter by competitive selection

To see where you could be based as a Legal Officer (including information about the DLS and DDLS based at High Wycombe) in the RAF please take a look at this map.

Spare Time
Reserve

Initial pay after training

Day rates dependent on rank, role and experience

Entry level

Officer

Commitment

27 days per year for 12 years minimum. Each year includes a 15 day block for general RAF training, which is taken over a two week period, and 12 days for additional/trade training, or training exercises.

The possibility of being deployed to a UK or overseas base for up to 6 months after the first year.

Locations

600 Sqn RAF Northolt (Extremely Limited Vacancies)

 

Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

In the RAF

My Role

On joining the Legal Branch…

Your early tours as a Flt Lt will be varied and can include both UK and overseas postings. On joining the Legal Branch you can expect to work in any of the following roles:

Regional Legal Office – Lossiemouth, Coningsby or Brize Norton

Service Complaints Team or Legal Advisory – High Wycombe

RAF Legal Services – Cyprus

RAF Legal Services – Germany

Service Prosecuting Authority – Northolt

As an RAF Reservist you may also have the opportunity to work in any of the above roles in addition to your annual mandatory training.

…and as your career progresses.

My Day

As your career progresses and you become a Senior Officer, the opportunity to travel increases and the roles become even more challenging and fulfilling. Furthermore, as an RAF Legal Adviser you can expect to deploy on operational tours throughout your RAF Career.

Training

Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

Full Time
Regular

Initial Officer Training

Like all our Specialist Branch officers, you will begin your RAF career on the Specialist Entrant and Re-entrant (SERE) course at the RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire.

You will follow an 13 week course specially designed for professionally qualified entrants to the RAF.

The course includes fitness development, military training and academic study as well as practical outdoor leadership challenges.

Following successful completion of SERE you will attend the 2 week Basic Air Warfare Course at RAF College Cranwell.

Specialist Training

As a fully qualified solicitor or barrister, you will already have the core legal skills to do your job.

However, during your induction training at the Directorate of Legal Services (RAF) you will receive an introduction to those aspects of law in the RAF that may not be familiar to you, with more in depth training in areas relevant to your first Legal Officer posting being provided by the team to which you are assigned.

Thereafter, you will gain hands-on experience on the job and, throughout your career, you will be offered opportunities to develop and experience new areas of legal practice, including international humanitarian law, as well as the same through-life Professional Military Development as all other RAF officers.

Foundation Tour

For your first tour, you could be posted to a Regional Legal Office on a major operational flying station in the UK, to our legal offices in Germany or Cyprus, to the Service Prosecution Authority, or to the RAF Legal Directorate’s headquarters at RAF High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire. You will work under the guidance of senior officers and receive training in order to develop your knowledge of new areas of law and also to develop your potential as a RAF officer.

Your Career Prospects

You will join the RAF as a Flight Lieutenant on an Initial Commission of 6 years. After a period of productive service, and by competitive selection or on promotion to Squadron Leader, you may be selected for your commission to be converted to a pension-earning commission of 20 years’ service or to age 40, whichever is the later. A further extension of your commission of up to 30 years’ Service (or to age 60) is also possible, either by competitive selection or on promotion to Group Captain. Some posts within the branch become available only when appropriate experience and rank has been gained.

Ongoing Development

In accordance with Bar Council or Law Society policy guidance, you will be able to maintain your Continuing Professional Development currency through a combination of accredited external and internal legal training. Each year you will also attend the DLS(RAF) Conference, which will not only provide updates in various areas of Law, but will allow you to take part in leadership- and teamwork-based activities. There will also be opportunities to improve leadership skills through both military training and Force development events, such as Orienteering.

Transferable skills

As a Legal Officer in the RAF, you will have all the developmental opportunities and career prospects of your civilian counterparts, together with the chance to work around the world and gain unique experience of the law. In addition, you will develop leadership and managerial skills which are unrivalled in the civilian legal world.

 

Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

Spare Time
Reserve

Initial Officer Training

Following successful completion of OASC potential Recruits take part on 4 Pre-Basic Reserve Training(BRT) weekends with 600 Sqn at RAF Northolt, before undertaking 15 days of Basic Recruit Training at RAF Halton. Following successful completion of this phase, you will attend Reserve Officer Initial Training at RAF Cranwell, which runs for 27 days over a 3 ½ -month period. During this time you will gain the skills and knowledge to command and lead in military roles and beyond. The course includes fitness development, military training and academic study as well as practical outdoor leadership challenges.

Specialist Training

As a fully qualified solicitor or barrister, you will already have the core legal skills to do your job. However, during your induction training at the Directorate of Legal Services (RAF) you will be introduced to aspects of law in the RAF that may not be familiar to you. Further training will be provided by the team to which you are assigned. Thereafter, you will gain hands-on experience of the job and, throughout your Reserve career, you will be offered opportunities to develop and experience new areas of legal practice.

Assignment

Upon completion of ROIT and following the Branch induction, you could be posted to a Regional Legal Office on a major operational flying station in the UK, to our legal offices in Germany or Cyprus, or to the RAF Service Complaints Team at RAF High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire. You will work under the guidance of senior officers and receive training in order to develop your knowledge of new areas of law and also to develop your potential as a RAF officer.

Your Career Prospects

You will join the RAF as a Flight Lieutenant on successful completion of ROIT. After a period of productive service and by competitive selection, you may be promoted to the rank of Squadron Leader.

Ongoing Development

Reserve officers are expected to comply with SRA or BAR Council policy in regards to CPD points to ensure they are competent to represent the RAF as a Legal Practitioner. All Reserve officers are to attend the DLS(RAF) Induction Course, and are invited to attend the Branch Annual Conference. Both of these carry CPD points, though the CPD relates to RAF core business, and are not necessarily relevant to the officer’s civilian practise.

Transferable skills

As a Reserve Legal Officer in the RAF, you will develop both leadership and management skills; these will allow you to effectively lead personnel through peace time and through times of conflict. You will also be given the opportunity to practice unique areas of law not available to Civilian legal practitioners.

Requirements

Full Time
Regular

Job requirements

Qualifications:

You must be either a member of the Bar of England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland and have completed a pupillage, or be a solicitor admitted to the Roll of England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. Applications from persons who hold CILEX qualifications cannot be accepted. You must also have GCSEs at a minimum of Grade C or equivalent, Scottish Certificate of Education (SCE) at a minimum of Grade 2 or Scottish National Equivalent (SNE) at Grade 5 in English Language and Mathematics.

Once you have successfully been commissioned into the Directorate of Legal Services(RAF) you will have to undertake and pass Developed Vetting periodically throughout your career, this will enable you to complete all duties of an RAF Legal Officer.

Nationality

Citizen of the UK or the Republic of Ireland, or a Commonwealth citizen since birth. You may also join if you have dual UK/other nationality

Residency

Whether or not you were born in the United Kingdom, you should have resided there for the five years immediately preceding your application.

Age:

24 - 40

Applications from older candidates, especially those with previous commissioned service and/or relevant experience, may be considered on their merits as follows:

• Older candidates with more than 4 years post qualification experience (PQE) will be referred to the Directorate of Legal Services (RAF) for consideration.

• Older candidates with less than 4 years PQE, but who have more than 2 years PQE, have a strong academic record (e.g. A levels at grade A or B plus a 2:1 bachelors degree or better) will also be referred to DLS (RAF) for consideration.

• A full UK driving license will be required

RAF Requirements

‘Due to the Royal Air Force transitioning to a new IT system we are currently only able to take registrations for each role. As soon as the new system becomes available you will be contacted with the link to allow you to begin your online application. The move to the new system should not affect those who have already applied and these applicants will continue through the recruiting process. Any issues or concerns should be directed to your local Armed Forces Careers Office (RAF) or Reserve Squadrons.’

To join the RAF you will also need to meet fitness, health, nationality, residency, and other criteria detailed below.

Spare Time
Reserve

Job requirements

Qualifications:

You must be either a member of the Bar of England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland and have completed a pupillage, or be a solicitor admitted to the Roll of England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. Applications from persons who hold CILEX qualifications cannot be accepted. You must also have GCSEs at a minimum of Grade C or equivalent, Scottish Certificate of Education (SCE) at a minimum of Grade 2 or Scottish National Equivalent (SNE) at Grade 5 in English Language and Mathematics.
Applicants must also have a full UK driving license.

Nationality

Citizen of the UK or the Republic of Ireland, or a Commonwealth citizen since birth. You may also join if you have dual UK/other nationality

Residency

Whether or not you were born in the United Kingdom, you should have resided there for the five years immediately preceding your application.

Age:

24 – 54 (Must attest before 55th birthday – Ex Regulars over the age of 55 may be considered on a case by case basis)

* - Applications from older candidates, especially those with previous commissioned service and/or relevant experience, may be considered on their merits. 

RAF Requirements

‘Due to the Royal Air Force transitioning to a new IT system we are currently only able to take registrations for each role. As soon as the new system becomes available you will be contacted with the link to allow you to begin your online application. The move to the new system should not affect those who have already applied and these applicants will continue through the recruiting process. Any issues or concerns should be directed to your local Armed Forces Careers Office (RAF) or Reserve Squadrons.’

To join the RAF Reserves you will also need to meet fitness, health, nationality, residency, and other criteria detailed below.

Apply


Full Time
Regular

Spare Time
Reserve