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Effective Immediately Military Spouse Attorney Waiver Process and Policy


Georgia generally permits admission on motion without examination for applicants who demonstrate they received a J.D. degree from a law school approved by the American Bar Association, are admitted to practice by examination in the bar of the highest court of another United States jurisdiction with which Georgia has reciprocity for bar admissions purposes, and have been primarily engaged in the active practice of law for five of the seven years immediately preceding the date upon which the applicant's petition for admission on motion is submitted. See Rules Governing Admission to the Practice of Law in Georgia (Rules), Part C, Section 2.

The Board of Bar Examiners recognizes that these eligibility requirements may be difficult to satisfy for attorney spouses of active duty military personnel, who frequently are transferred to new duty stations in states where they are not admitted to practice. Many of these attorney spouses of active duty military are not eligible for admission on motion without examination under Part C, Section 2 of the Rules, either because they are licensed in jurisdictions that do not have reciprocity with Georgia or they do not have the requisite years of experience in the practice of law as required under the Rules. See Rules, Part C, Sections 2 (b) and (e). Those facing this situation are encouraged to apply to the Board of Bar Examiners for a waiver of strict compliance with the reciprocity and/or practice requirements. See Part F, Section 5 of the Rules for information about waivers.

For purposes of the waiver process, a "military spouse attorney" is defined as 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 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.

To be considered a "military spouse attorney," an applicant must meet all three of the above-listed criteria.

Documentation establishing that an applicant is a military spouse attorney will be viewed by the Board as some evidence of good cause for waiver of the reciprocity and/or active practice requirement under Part C, Section 2 (e) of the Rules. In deciding whether sufficient evidence of good cause for a waiver has been established, the Board will also consider evidence related to an applicant's competence in the practice of law, including but not limited to, evidence of the applicant's legal education and employment history, as well as evidence prescribed under the Instructions and Checklist for Filing Petition for Waiver of Admission on Motion Requirements for Admission of a Military Spouse Attorney to the Practice of Law in Georgia.

For more information about the waiver process, please contact the Director of the Office of Bar Admissions at (404) 656-3490.


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