In today's world, most operational, administrative, and personal decisions require an understanding of applicable laws and regulations, both military and civilian. Legal Department exists to advise both the Commanding Officer, and individual Sailors, and Marines onboard the carrier, on the law. Legal Department personnel review criminal investigations by ship's Security and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, draft charges based on the evidence, advise the Commanding Officer on appropriate disciplinary action, and process offense reports through captain's mast or courts martial, in compliance with the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Legal Department personnel also advise the Commanding Officer on a wide range of administrative law issues, conduct and review Judge Advocate General Manual investigations, process administrative discharges for misconduct, monitor overseas liberty risk program, and respond to congressional inquiries. Of equal importance is advice rendered to individual crewmembers. Legal Department personnel prepare wills and powers of attorney upon request and provide confidential advice when needed on family law matters, landlord-tenant disputes, consumer debt, and civil lawsuits, to name a few.

Working closely with the Legal Department onboard is the Naval Criminal Investigative Service Agent Afloat. Permanently assigned to the carrier, this agent investigates all major criminal offenses involving ship's company, embarked squadrons, and other ships within the battle group. An additional agent is assigned during deployments to handle all foreign counter-intelligence matters for the battle group and assists as needed on criminal investigations.