On Friday, May 16, 2014, the Supreme Court of Virginia issued an order adopting a new attorney licensing rule aimed at easing the burden on military spouse attorneys seeking to practice law while on orders to military installations in Virginia and the National Capital Region.

Rule 1A:8, the “Military Spouse Provisional Admission Rule” grants admission on motion to military spouse attorney who meet certain enumerated criteria as a practicing attorney. Under the provisional license, the military spouse attorney may practice law in Virginia for the duration of their military assignment in Virginia or the National Capital Region, so long as he or she is associated with an attorney licensed in Virginia.

The passage of Rule 1A:8 makes Virginia the seventh state to adopt a licensing rule that recognizes the unique challenges faced by military spouses in the practice of law. Other states to pass similar rules include Idaho, Arizona, Texas, North Carolina, Illinois and South Dakota.

“The impact of this rule will be profound,” said Military Spouse JD Network President Rachel Winkler, who oversees the organization’s State Rule Change teams. “Now, continuing in the legal profession while following a servicemember will be a viable career option for military spouses facing moves to the 27 military installations in Virginia, as well as the many in the National Capital Region.”

MSJDN has an incredible group of military spouses to thank for this victory in Virginia. State Lead Samantha Musso and her team worked tirelessly on the effort, garnering support in the local legal community, ushering the proposed rule through the approval process, and collecting testimonials from members who will benefit from the new rule. MSJDN is so thankful for Samantha and her team, and for all of the State Rule Change Teams who are blazing the trail for a more continuous military spouse attorney career path.

If you are interested in helping with the rule change efforts in your state, contact MSJDN’s State Licensing Director at statelicensing@msjdn.org for more information.

Virginia’s new Rule 1A:8 becomes effective July 1, 2014. Congratulations, and well done Virginia Team!