MSJDN advocates for licensing accommodations for military spouses, including bar membership without additional examination. Each state supreme court and bar association sets its own rules regarding bar admission in that jurisdiction. Accordingly, we have adopted a state-by-state approach to our advocacy efforts.

We have drafted a Model Rule to assist jurisdictions interested in supporting military families by enacting licensing accommodations for military spouses. If adopted by state licensing authorities, the proposed rule allows military spouse attorneys to practice in the jurisdiction if they are in good standing in another jurisdiction and in the state due to military orders.

Our licensing efforts are supported by the American Bar Association, the Conference of Chief Justices, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Military Officers Association of America, the National Military Family Association, and many other nonprofits and associations that support military families.

Email statelicensing@msjdn.org with any questions about rule changes.

History of MSJDN’s licensing effort

aba_black_logo128In February 2012, with the support of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, the ABA House of Delegates adopted a resolution supporting changes in state licensing rules for military spouses with law degrees.

In April 2012, Idaho became the first state to approve a military spouse licensing accommodation.

ccjlogoThen in July 2012, the Conference of Chief Justices voted to support a resolution for admission of military spouse attorneys without examination. You can read the resolution here, which was accompanied by a detailed report drafted by MSJDN.

December 2012 saw the second state, Arizona, adopt a licensing rule specifically addressed the challenges faced by military spouse attorneys. Since then, other states have joined in the efforts to reduce barriers to employment for military spouses in the legal profession. MSJDN efforts continue across multiple jurisdictions.

Licensing Changes

October 1, 2018: Wyoming
Wyoming Enacts Military Spouse Law Licensing Accommodation

September 5, 2018: Missouri
Show Me State Shows Support for Military Families with Licensing Change

July 19, 2018: Florida
Florida Admissions Rule Supports Military Spouse Attorneys

March 21, 2018: Nevada
Nevada Becomes 30th Jurisdiction to Adopt Military Spouse Attorney Licensing Accommodation

March 14, 2018: Nebraska
Nebraska Amends Licensing Rules in Support of Military Spouse Attorneys

February 9, 2018: Hawai’i
Hawai’i Adopts New Military Spouse Attorney Licensing Rule

June 23, 2017: Connecticut
Connecticut Enacts Rule Reducing Barriers to Practice for Military Spouse Attorneys

June 5, 2017: Ohio
Ohio Becomes Milestone 25th State to Adopt Military Spouse Licensing 

March 20, 2017: Alaska
Alaska Adopts Military Spouse Law Licensure Rule 

January 4, 2017: Michigan
Michigan Enacts Military Spouse Law Licensing Rule Into State Law

October 25, 2016: West Virginia
West Virginia Becomes 23rd Jurisdiction to Adopt Military Spouse Law Licensing Rule

October 12, 2016: Georgia
Georgia Reduces Licensing Barriers for Military Spouse Attorneys

October 1, 2016: North Dakota
North Dakota Supreme Court Adopts Military Spouse Law Licensure Rule

September 2, 2016: Kansas
Kansas Becomes 20th Jurisdiction to Adopt Military Spouse Licensing Rule

April 20, 2016: South Carolina
MSJDN Efforts Succeed in South Carolina

March 1, 2016: Oregon
Military Spouse Attorney Licensing Rule Goes in to Effect in Oregon

December 22, 2015: Tennessee
Tennessee Supreme Court Approves Military Spouse Law Licensing

November 23, 2015: Kentucky
Kentucky Thanks Military Families with New Rule Easing Licensing Burden

September 17, 2015: Maryland
Maryland is 15th Jurisdiction to Adopt Military Spouse Attorney Licensing Accommodation

August 17, 2015: Indiana
New Military Spouse Attorney Licensing Rule Enacted in Indiana

April 29, 2015: U.S. Virgin Islands
U.S. Virgin Islands Adopt Military Spouse Attorney Licensing Rule

December 15, 2014: Oklahoma
Oklahoma Becomes 12th State to Adopt Military Spouse Attorney Licensing Policy

August 4, 2014: New York
11th State Adopts Military Spouse Attorney Licensing Policy

July 25, 2014: New Jersey
New Military Spouse Rule Adopted in New Jersey

June 24, 2014: Colorado
Colorado Becomes Ninth State to Support Military Spouse Attorneys with a Licensing Accommodation

June 12, 2014: Massachusetts
Massachusetts Becomes Second State to Voluntarily Enact Military Spouse Attorney Licensing Policy

May 18, 2014: Virginia
Virginia Adopts Military Spouse Rule, Joins Growing Number of States Supporting Military Spouse Attorneys

Sept. 12, 2013: South Dakota
South Dakota Becomes Sixth State to Adopt a Military Spouse Attorney Rule

June 18, 2013: Illinois
Illinois Becomes Fifth State to Support Military Spouses in the Legal Profession

April 12, 2013: North Carolina
MSJDN Reform Efforts Succeed in Fourth State

February, 2013: Texas
Texas Becomes First State to Initiate Recognition of Attorney Military Spouses and their Service

December 18, 2012: Arizona
Arizona Supreme Court Recognizes Service of Military Spouse Attorneys

April 18, 2012: Idaho
First State Approves Military Spouse Attorney Admission