By Megan Kelley • November 05, 2018•Issues, Balancing Private and Professional Life
A lot of vacation days being taken at work to attend my husband’s important military events. Packing bags for both of us over and over again. Making lists at home-more than I ever made at work. Having the chance to explore an exciting new city. Networking with all types of awesome people near and far in various phases of their careers. Colorado Rule of Civil Procedure 204.4…I never thought I would want to even think of a numbered Rule of Civil Procedure after that course in law school that tells us what day you have to respond to a demand by but this number is what is going to determine my career options for the rest of my twenties and probably my professional life. As well as our new married life. Seriously. Colorado Rule of Civil Procedure 204.4 is the Military Spouse Certification Rule which says I can practice as a licensed attorney in Colorado as long as I am 1.) In good standing in all jurisdictions I am licensed to practice law in, 2.) Colorado is my permanent address for purposes of my husband’s military orders, and 3.) I can provide required documentation such as a copy of my husband’s orders and Certificates of Good Standing from every jurisdiction I am licensed in. Why did I get licensed in two states with varying degrees of CLES and paperwork?! Luckily, I just found out from a representative of the Georgia Bar that there is an accommodation for CLE credits for out of state attorneys. I am fortunate Florida’s CLEs were all free and online and I made sure I was good on them until April of 2021 this spring. So that is one less thing to worry about of many I guess. At any rate, I am excited about the opportunity to build a new life in a brand new state with my wonderful husband IN MY CURRENT PROFESSION!
I would not even know of the opportunity to keep my job in Colorado without the amazing work of MSJDN, the Military Spouse JD Network, which is a group of fellow attorneys who are also military spouses navigating the waters of a new port in a new state…with potentially a new license to practice law every few years. I am very fortunate I came across the group and its wonderful helpful leadership to lend a hand and advice to other spouses going through the same moves and career changes as I am. I am also very fortunate my husband got orders to a state that supports military families and will likely allow me to practice there and continue to be what I was meant to be. I am still working on the Colorado resident thing, working here in my home state of Georgia while my husband is away and will not be back until March after which we will find a place to live in Colorado together…hauling our lives and two giant dogs with us. But the opportunity is amazing. Thank you so much to MSJDN and its leadership for not only the friends I have made going through the same things as me, but for paving the way for military spouse licensure for years in various other states as well as my current one, the one I went to law school in (yay Florida! Military Spouse Licensure Rule passed earlier this summer through the Florida Supreme Court’s newly enacted Chapter 21 of the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar effective the 17th of last month), and the one I am heading to in our new life together.
I have met many military spouses throughout my life. I grew up in an Army town and married a man in the military. Many spouses worked outside of their fields. This is something I was heavily considering right before my husband and I got married. What else could I do in states I was not licensed to practice law in? Maybe find something more fun? More exciting? Less pay as a newlywed? The cons outweigh the pros at this time since I love being a prosecutor and we are building a new life in a new home together. I am also only a few years from Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness. But, I have been inspired by my new network. I revamped my LinkedIn which I had not really used in years and reached out to friends in also awesome fields such as grant writing and community outreach just in case the day comes where the Military Spouse Licensure Rule is not available in a state we are sent to together or we get stationed overseas where it may be more difficult to find work as an attorney. These men and women inspired me to work on my other skills, to do other types of resumes, to continue networking with even larger networks, and to prepare myself for even larger stages. In the meantime, I have an interview for my current job in my new state this month…two weeks after our official wedding date and on our anniversary of when my husband and I met. I feel that being a prosecutor is my life’s work so please keep your fingers (and toes!) crossed for me and I will let you all know how it goes.
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