On March 11, 2022, the Kentucky Supreme Court amended Kentucky Supreme Court Rule 3.040 to include waiver of annual bar dues for military spouses. This exciting new rule is the result of a years-long campaign by MSJDN volunteer Erin Ramey and team. Kentucky waived dues for active duty service members, and now the benefit extends to active duty spouses as well!

SCR 3.040 now provides:

2) Any member of the association shall be relieved of the payment of dues for any fiscal year in which the member serves actively in the armed services of the United States of America. The annual waiver of dues shall also apply to members who are spouses of active duty military servicemembers. 

With great appreciation, MSJDN would like to thank the Kentucky Supreme Court and Kentucky Bar Association for recognizing the unique challenges that military spouse attorneys face moving every two-three years while trying to maintain and continue their professional careers.

This new rule is a shift of focus for MSJDN’s state licensing committee, which to date has focused on license accommodations rather than fees. With this success in Kentucky, we hope to see more state bars adopt similar rule changes across the nation. If you are interested in advocating for waiver of bar dues in your state for military spouse attorneys, please contact Nicolle Vasquez del Favero, MSJDN’s State Licensing Director at statelicensing@msjdn.org

In a parallel effort also championed by Erin Ramey, The Kentucky legislature is considering House Bill 91 this week. The proposed legislation would waive fees across the spectrum for active duty military spouses when they obtain or renew a professional license in Kentucky.

The waiver of licensing fees encourages spouses to enter and stay in the workforce and means a huge financial benefit to military families. And spouses will be able to retain their license post-PCS, ready to get back to work if their family returns to Kentucky. As MSJDN President Kristen Jones observed, “these measures make military families look more favorably at Kentucky as a place to live and work—both now and when that all-important retirement decision comes around.”  MSJDN is thrilled to see Kentucky lead the way with this tangible support of military spouses.

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Erin Ramey is from the tri-state area of Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. She is a Marine Corps military spouse, attorney, program manager, educator, and mother of three rowdy boys. She is passionate about advocating for military families and veterans by using her law degree and by building meaningful connections to perpetuate positive change in her community.

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