Thursday, July 19, 2018
The Florida Supreme Court has adopted new rules to facilitate practice by military spouses
we adopt these proposed amendments to the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar and the Rules of the Supreme Court Relating to Admissions to the Bar. The new rules accommodate the unique mobility requirements of members of the U.S. Armed Services and their families. Service members are frequently required to relocate to duty locations around the globe based on the needs of the particular service to which they belong, with little regard to how the relocation may affect the service member’s family. As a result, the assignment of a service member to a duty location in Florida may place the service member’s spouse in the untenable position of having to choose between giving up the practice of law to relocate with the service member and continuing to practice law in the jurisdiction where he or she is already licensed. New chapter 21 and new rule 2-23.7 establish a process whereby the spouse of a service member who is licensed to practice law in another jurisdiction may obtain authorization to practice law in Florida for up to five years without taking the Florida Bar Examination while the service member is assigned to a duty location in the state.
It is our hope that the adoption of these new rules will assuage some of the hardships associated with service in the U.S. Armed Services. At a minimum, our adoption of these new rules gives form to the abiding gratitude we all share for the men and women who voluntarily serve in the U.S. Armed Services and the sacrifices endured by their families.