On March 7, 2019, the Arkansas Supreme Court published and adopted Rule XVII of the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Arkansas, “Military Spouse Temporary Admission,” effective immediately. Rule XVII creates a mechanism for the admission of military spouse attorneys while their spouse is stationed in the state. This important move by the Supreme Court recognizes the unique mobility requirements of military families by granting a pathway to employment for attorney spouses of uniformed service members while on orders to the state.

To be eligible for admission under Rule XVII, a military spouse applicant must reside in Arkansas with their active duty service member on orders. The rule grants military spouse attorneys admission for two years upon motion, and does not prohibit successive applications. In order to apply, military spouse attorneys must demonstrate presence in Arkansas, familiarize themselves with the Arkansas Rules of Professional Conduct, apply by motion, and pay the fee set by the Board of Law Examiners. The full text of the rule can be found here.

MSJDN applauds the progress demonstrated by Arkansas, which becomes the 37th jurisdiction to enact a military spouse attorney licensing accommodation. MSJDN also thanks our State Licensing Director Lorren Patton, and Arkansas Veterans Coalition’s Ret. USAF Col. Don Berry for his unwavering advocacy on behalf of military families, including this rule change effort. “With adoption of Rule XVII, Arkansas sends a clear message of support to our nation’s military and their families,” said MSJDN President Katherine Goyette.

Questions about MSJDN’s licensing advocacy efforts? Email statelicensing@msjdn.org.

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