By Alyn Beauregard

On September 23, 2019, Delaware became the 39th jurisdiction to enact a licensing accommodation for military spouse attorneys when the Delaware Supreme Court adopted Supreme Court Rule 55.4 (http://courts.delaware.gov/rules/), which is effective November 1, 2019.  The Rule permits military spouses (1) who are licensed to practice law in another jurisdiction, (2) whose spouse is assigned to military duty in Delaware, and (3) who meet the requirements set forth in the Rule to apply for a Certificate of Limited Practice in Delaware.  Once admitted, military spouses may engage in the limited practice of law in Delaware under the terms set forth in the Rule for up to three years.

In adopting Rule 55.4, the Delaware Supreme Court issued a statement that it “recognizes and respects the contributions of military spouses to our national security and implements this rule to help ease the burdens that military spouses encounter when their spouses are repeatedly deployed to different states.”

Licensing issues can be a significant barrier to a military spouse attorney maintaining a meaningful legal career and continuing in the profession.  Rule 55.4 eases this burden by allowing military spouses a pathway to engage in the limited practice of law in Delaware without having to sit for the Delaware Bar—which is only offered once per year—or complete the five-month clerkship requirement.  “Because military families are only at a duty station for two to three years on average, these two requirements often made it difficult for military spouses to justify the time and expense of obtaining a Delaware law license for such a limited time in the state,” said Military Spouse J.D. Network (MSJDN) President Karen Scanlan.  “Rule 55.4 will allow military spouses an opportunity to continue their legal careers while serving alongside their service member and family.”

MSJDN thanks the Delaware Supreme Court for its generous support of career-minded military spouses.  MSJDN is also grateful for the widespread support of the Delaware legal community and judiciary in propelling the adoption of Rule 55.4.  MSJDN recognizes military spouse attorneys Alyn B. Beauregard, Rachel Winkler, and Katie McDonough for their contributions to these efforts, which have been ongoing since 2012.

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

One Comment, RSS

  • Alyn B Beauregard

    says on:
    November 1, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    I would like to tell President Karen Scanlan thank you for supporting Service members and the career-mind military spouses,

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