By Emily Macey

On March 20, 2017, the Alaska Supreme Court approved a new rule allowing for a waiver to practice law for attorney spouses of active duty military personnel stationed within the State. The new rule, Bar Rule 43.4, which goes into effect on October 15, 2017, acknowledges the unique mobility requirements of military families and permits a person not admitted to practice law in the state of Alaska to obtain a waiver if they meet certain conditions. These conditions include being a graduate of an accredited law school, admitted to practice in another jurisdiction (state, territory, or District of Columbia), status as an attorney in good standing, without pending disciplinary matters in any jurisdiction, and presence in the state of Alaska as a spouse of a member of the United States Uniformed Services pursuant to military orders.

There was tremendous support throughout the Alaska Bar for the military spouse rule, especially from the former President of the Board of Governors, Nelson Page. As with all of our state rule change efforts, success in Alaska would not have been possible without the efforts of MSJDN’s Alaska State Rule Change Team.

“This new rule is so important for those who serve our country and their families,” said Karen Scanlan, MSJDN’s State Licensing Director. “Alaska is demonstrating meaningful support for the military community by reducing employment barriers for military spouses.”

With the passage of the Alaska accommodation, there are now 25 jurisdictions which have enacted a licensing accommodation for military spouse attorneys. The new rule can be found on the Court website at

Questions about MSJDN’s licensing advocacy efforts? Email

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