South Carolina’s Supreme Court said spouses of military members can practice law in the state while their significant other is serving in the Palmetto State.
The justices issued an order Wednesday, ruling that spouses of active-duty military members can receive limited certificates of admission to the state’s bar for up to five years. Those certificates must be surrendered back to the South Carolina Bar within six months of the spouse ending active duty or moving to another state.
The court said the spouses must already be attorneys in good standing who are admitted to practice law in any other state. The new policy takes effect May 16.
Wednesday’s order was first reported by The Associated Press. It came after the Military Spouse JD Network requested some regulations be eased on attorneys who would otherwise be required to pass the bar in a new state each time their spouse was moved to a new station.
“In recognition of the hardships faced by Military Spouse Attorneys, who must frequently relocate when their service member spouses are ordered transferred to new locations, and after review of similar rules in numerous other jurisdictions, we grant the request,” the order stated.
The Military Spouse JD Network says 17 other states have already adopted such policies, and more than a dozen others are considering them.