Florida Bar Makes It Easier For Military Spouses to Practice Law
Florida Bar Makes It Easier for Military Spouses to Practice Law
Last week the Supreme Court of Florida, at the recommendation of the Florida Bar, adopted new rules to allow attorney-spouses of military members based in the state to apply for permission to practice law in Florida. Starting in September, spouses of military members stationed in Florida who are licensed to practice law in any other jurisdiction can obtain a Florida certificate to practice without taking another bar exam. The certificate is good for 5 years, and is designed to “accommodate the unique mobility requirements of members of the U.S. Armed Services and their families.”
According to the Military Spouse JD Network an organization that promotes license portability for attorneys who are married to a member of the military, it’s not unusual for a military spouse attorney to have taken 3 or 4 different bar exams. According to its website, less than one-third of their members have full-time legal employment; half of their members are unemployed and others work part-time or in non-attorney positions as paralegals or secretaries. Their biggest challenge: frequent moves combined with lack of portable employment opportunities.
That has now changed in Florida. Florida is the 31st state to ease licensing burdens for military attorney-spouses, and it is home to many in the armed forces.
The Florida Supreme Court issues a statement which said in part … “the new rules give form to the abiding gratitude we all share for the men and women who voluntarily serve in the U.S. Armed Services and the sacrifices endured by their families.”