MilspouseJD

Could MilSpouse Attorneys lead the way on work-life balance, re-entry? You bet.

When ABA President Laurel Bellows speaks about work-life balance, she does so from experience. She has practiced law for over 30 years, has four children and four grandchildren and has been a leader in her local and national bars. When her boss (Joel Bellows, who she would eventually marry and partner with) sent her on her first job, he sent her to “women's court” to represent defendants typically facing shoplifting or prostitution charges. From there, she built a reputation as a fierce advocate for her clients, whether they were working girls or CEOs, and developed a special focus on women and the law. In fact,…

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MilspouseJD

Making the Right Moves: Celebrate and Educate Military Spouse Attorneys

Every MilSpouseJD (attorney married to a member of our uniformed services) has uttered these seven words at least once: “I thought I was the only one!” We have chosen a profession structured in a way that is at odds with the military lifestyle. Our frequently changing geography means that every two or three years we begin again: a new bar, a new legal community, a new fear that we may not find work in our field—on top of the fears faced by every military spouse!  Sometimes, that means leaving behind a job and legal community we love, while other times…

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MilspouseJD

What to Expect When You Have Absolutely No Idea What to Expect

By Tara Gaston, MSJDN Member, Writer in ResidenceOne of the major challenges of life as a military spouse attorney is the number of moves that can be expected in a servicemember’s career. Even better are the number of moves or separations that are totally unexpected! In any given period, a military spouse is ten times more likely to have moved across state lines than non-military spouses. While these moves come with a number of benefits, including travel and exposure to new people and environments, they are very difficult for working spouses, especially those who rely on state-issues licenses in order to engage in their…

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MilspouseJD

The Ultimate Bar Association for Military Spouses

By MSJDN Member and Writer in Residence Tara GastonMoving back to the United States after living overseas with her service member husband, Mary Reding Smith was confronted by the fact that practicing law could mean taking a number of bar exams if she traveled with her spouse as he fulfilled his military commitment. Once in Ohio, Smith wrote a brief, supported by the Ohio Women’s Rule, suggesting an admission rule change to benefit military spouse attorneys. Shortly thereafter, Smith co-founded the Military Spouse JD Network in order to “give isolated people a sense of community.”  As the current president of MSJDN, Smith…

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MilspouseJD

Texas Becomes First State to Initiate Recognition of Attorney Military Spouses and their Service

Texas Offers Military Spouse Attorneys Path to Law LicenseIn an unprecedented move, Texas is now the first state to initiate a licensing accommodation policy for military spouse attorneys without a formal rule change so that it could begin consideration of military spouse applications immediately.Following a Resolution signed by the Conference of Chief Justices, and MSJDN’s tireless work advocating for the portability of legal careers, Texas has instituted its “License Portability for Military Spouses” (“LPMS”) policy to allow for admission for military spouse attorneys stationed in the state.Citing their existing rule allowing admission for attorneys with five out of seven years of…

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MilspouseJD

North Carolina State Bar Moves Toward Bar Admission For Military Spouse Attorneys

On January 25, 2013, the North Carolina State Bar (NCSB) approved a rule providing unencumbered bar admission for military spouse attorneys. NCSB approval puts rule change in North Carolina one step closer to reality, and will now go to the North Carolina State Supreme Court for a vote in April 2013. This process began over a year and a half ago and has been guided by dedicated MSJDN members Rachel Sacks Winkler and Celeste Boyd.The proposed North Carolina rule eliminates the bar exam requirement for military spouses who are licensed, active and in good standing in any U.S. jurisdiction; expands the…

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MilspouseJD

MSJDN launches organization Facebook page

MSJDN has grown in amazing ways over the past eighteen months. We now have over 650 members scattered across the globe, we’ve received the support of numerous organizations, including the ABAand the Conference of Chief Justices. Our private, members-only Facebook group has always been a great forum for spouse-to-spouse conversation about everything from bar exam frustration to interview tips. But it’s time for us present our issues to the world — or at least to Facebook!Our Facebook page, in addition to the blog and Twitter will help us keep both members and our supporters up to date on the most current MSJDN action. It will be a…

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MilspouseJD

Two MSJDN members nominated for Military Spouse of the Year, voting to begin Jan. 22

Lori Volkman, MSJDN Communications Director and Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Washington State, and Marcelina Chambers, MSJDN member and Assistant Attorney General in Arizona, have both been nominated for Military Spouse Magazine’s Military Spouse of the Year. Congratulations to both! The first round of voting lasts for only 24 hours on January 22, please vote for both candidates as they not currently directly competing with each other.Lori is a Navy Reserve spouse, and is competing through Naval Base San Diego. Married to her pilot husband for over 20 years, Lori started a blog in 2010 to document her husband’s deployment — it quickly gained a loyal…

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MilspouseJD

ARIZONA SUPREME COURT RECOGNIZES SERVICE OF MILITARY SPOUSE ATTORNEYS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMILITARY SPOUSE JD NETWORKhttp://www.MilitarySpouseJDNetwork.orgmilspouse.bar@gmail.comARIZONA SUPREME COURT RECOGNIZES SERVICE OF MILITARY SPOUSE ATTORNEYSIn what makes only the second state approval of a nation-wide effort to remove barriers for military spouse attorney employment, Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch issued a rule authorizing admission of qualified spouses of military service members to the practice of law in Arizona without the need to take the state bar exam, so long as they meet and maintain other competency requirements. The admission is limited to the period of time the military service member is stationed in Arizona.On December 10, 2012, Arizona…

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