In late September, the state adopted Rule 15.1 which will reduce the licensing barriers for attorneys with military spouses in this specific sort of predicament.
The “Special Authorization for Military Spouse Attorneys” rule gives attorneys the okay to practice law in the state if they meet the following requirements:
- he/she is a member in good standing of the Bar of another state;
- he/she must practice under the direct supervision of a member of the Maryland Bar;
- he/she has not failed the Maryland Bar exam or other attorney examination; and
- he/she has not been denied an admission to the Maryland bar in the past based on character or fitness grounds.
Maryland is now the fifteenth jurisdiction to pass this ruling in the United States. Others states who have likewise followed suit include Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, and Indiana.
However, Maryland is only one of the four states that requires some form of supervision by a local attorney. Under this provisional license, a military spouse attorney may practice law in Maryland for two years during their military assignment in Maryland or a contiguous state, as long as the military spouse is associated with an attorney licensed in Maryland.
The law will become effective on January 1, 2016.