Alabama State Bar Votes on Military Lawyer-Spouse Rule

Alabama State Bar Votes on Military Lawyer-Spouse Rule

Montgomery, Ala., March 18, 2014 – The Alabama State Bar Board of Bar Commissioners on Friday voted to allow a lawyer who is a military spouse to practice law temporarily in the state of Alabama if the lawyer has previously passed the bar in another jurisdiction and has completed a required course on Alabama law. The recommendation for the new admissions rule by the Board of Bar Commissioners will be sent to the Alabama Supreme Court for consideration and possible adoption.

Frequent transfers require lawyer-spouses of military members to move every few years. If approved, the new rule would allow the lawyer to become an active member of the Alabama State Bar subject to the same membership requirements as other active Alabama lawyers. It would also ease the burden on those spouses while creating an environment within the state appealing to any future lawyer-spouses.

State Bar President Anthony A. Joseph of Birmingham (Maynard Cooper & Gale PC) said, “This vote serves as recognition that, although, military spouses are in the state on a temporary basis, they have the skills and experience to contribute to Alabama’s legal community and should be given the opportunity to do so. Alabama’s legal community recognizes the sacrifices of our military families within its own ranks and asks the Alabama Supreme Court to ease the licensing restrictions and burdens on military spouses.”

The American Bar Association, the White House and the Conference of Chief Justices all support the measure. Presently, six states have passed and 18 are considering rules that would make it easier for lawyer-spouses of military members to be admitted to practice in another state where their spouse is transferred