MSJDN’s strong working relationship with the Federal Bar Association (“FBA”) has been evident this year. First, the FBA’s Government Relations Committee officially included Military Spouse Attorney Mobility as an Active Legislative Issue in 2015, following an Issue Nomination application from MSJDN. Then, earlier this month, the FBA presented a webinar – Invisible Warriors: Military Spouses and Families – featuring speakers from MSJDN and highlighting the unique challenges faced by attorneys in military families.
The FBA’s issues agenda for a given year is described as a “blueprint” for the FBA’s government relations and advocacy efforts – “a prioritized list of legal and public policy issues that are of significant interest and concern to the FBA because of their impact on the federal legal system and their relationship to federal jurisprudence.” The issues agenda is drafted by the Government Relations Committee with input from members, chapters, sections, and divisions. Issues may be designated as either active or monitored by the Government Relations Committee, and those issues designated as active are subject to active and ongoing attention by the FBA.
Recently, both the Dayton (Ohio) Chapter of the FBA and the FBA Veterans and Military Law Section supported MSJDN’s Issue Nomination application with the Government Relations Committee. Thanks to the support of these FBA entities, the Government Relations Committee officially included Military Spouse Attorney Mobility as an Active Legislative Issue in its 2015 issues agenda, which was approved by the FBA Board of Directors at its June 27, 2014 meeting. The agenda states that the FBA: “supports state-level legal licensing accommodations, including bar admission without additional examination, for attorneys who are spouses of service members, i.e., members of the uniformed services of the United States as defined in 10 USC §101(a)(5), when: (1) those ‘military spouse attorneys’ are present in a particular state, commonwealth, or territory of the United States or District of Columbia due to their service members’ military assignment; (2) they are graduates of accredited law schools; and (3) they are licensed attorneys in good standing in the bar of another state, commonwealth, or territory of the United States or District of Columbia.”
More recently, on Wednesday, December 10, the FBA presented a webinar entitled “Invisible Warriors: Military Spouses and Families” that focused on “the unique aspects of every day legal practice complicated by the fact that at least one family member is serving in the military.” MSJDN Board members Josie Beets and Mary Reding joined Colonel Linda Murnane, USAF (Ret.) – a keynote speaker at this year’s Making the Right Moves event in San Diego – as speakers during the webinar. The speakers discussed the unique legal and professional issues faced by military spouses and families, as well as MSJDN’s groundbreaking work providing pro bono legal services to surviving military family members. Josie Beets stated that the webinar was a great success, and the speakers received a lot of questions from attendees about the military spouse attorney experience. The webinar will be available to view until January 11, 2015, via the FBA’s website: http://www.fedbar.org/Education/Archived-Webinars.aspx.
Summing up our great year working with the FBA, Josie observed that: “We were honored to be included in the FBA’s legislative agenda, and even more excited to have the opportunity to educate the FBA community about the issues faced by military families and military spouse attorneys in particular.”