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Military Spouse JD Waiver Process and Policy




    Part F, Section 5 of the Rules Governing Admission to the Practice of Law (Rules) in Georgia states that both the Board to Determine Fitness of Bar Applicants and the Board of Bar Examiners may “ . . . for good cause shown by clear and convincing evidence” waive any of the Rules (with certain limited exceptions relating to the payment of fees and the regrading of the bar exam).  The decision of either Board not to waive a Rule is appealable to the Supreme Court.


    Recognizing that active duty military personnel are frequently transferred to duty stations in any number of states, making it extremely difficult for their attorney spouses, who, while admitted to practice in one state, may not be admitted in the state of the new duty station, the Board of Bar Examiners seeks to accommodate the bar admission needs of attorney spouses of military personnel while still maintaining the integrity of the bar admission process. To that end, the Board of Bar Examiners has adopted this statement of the process that a military spouse petitioner should follow, and that the Board will utilize, for a petition for waiver of certain requirements of Part C, Admission on Motion, of the Rules. For purposes of this waiver process and policy, a military spouse petitioner is a person who is:


(a)    An attorney at law who has been admitted by examination to membership in the bar of the highest court of another United States jurisdiction; 

(b)    The dependent spouse of an active duty member, including but not limited to members called to active duty under Title 10 of the United States Code, of the United States Uniformed Services as defined by the Department of Defense of the United States (or, for the Coast Guard, when it is not operating in the service of the Navy, by the Department of Homeland Security); and 

(c)    The spouse of a service active duty member who is on military orders stationed or home-ported in the State of Georgia. 


The petitioner for waiver under this policy must submit documentation proving that the applicant meets the above definition of military spouse petitioner. In evaluating a petition for waiver of the requirements of Part C of the Rules, the Board of Bar Examiners, considers the following criteria:


(1)    The duration of the military spouse petitioner’s engagement in the active practice of law, as defined in Part C, Section 3 of the Rules;

(2)    The military spouse petitioner’s employment history in the legal profession; and

(3)    The career goals of the military spouse petitioner.    


    A military spouse who is admitted in another United States jurisdiction and meets the definition of military spouse petitioner above should read Part C, Admission on Motion, of the Rules, the Waiver Process and Policy, and review the Instructions and Checklist for Filing Petition for Waiver of Admissions on Motion Requirements for Admission of a Military Spouse Attorney to the Practice of Law in Georgia.

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