Kansas Supreme Court Press Release
Monday, June 27, 2016
Posted by: Meg Wickham
NEWS RELEASE June 24, 2016
Contact: Lisa Taylor
Public Information Director
Supreme Court accepting comment on proposed rule to allow attorneys married to military personnel stationed in Kansas to temporarily practice law without taking state bar exam
TOPEKA—The Kansas Supreme Court is accepting public comment on a proposed rule that will allow attorneys who are spouses of military service members stationed in Kansas to temporarily practice law without taking the state-administered uniform bar exam.
Comment will be accepted at firstname.lastname@example.org until 5 p.m. Sunday, July 24.
"Spouses of military personnel often make tremendous career sacrifices to support their loved ones in uniform," said Chief Justice Lawton Nuss. "As a Marine Corps veteran myself, I'm especially glad the Kansas Board of Law Examiners made this proposal so our state can further demonstrate its support of the men and women who pledge their lives in service to our country."
As proposed, Rule 712A will allow an attorney who has been admitted to practice law in another state or the District of Columbia, and who is married to a military service member stationed in Kansas, to be admitted to practice law in Kansas without a written examination.
The applicant must have an active law license in at least one state or U.S. territory, must meet all applicable requirements, and must not be subject to a pending disciplinary investigation, or ever been suspended or disbarred from the practice of law.
An applicant who meets all criteria in the proposed rule will be granted a temporary restricted license to practice in Kansas as long as the person remains married to the military service member stationed in Kansas, remains a resident of Kansas, and continues to be employed as an attorney and supervised by an active Kansas attorney in good standing.
If the rule is adopted by the Kansas Supreme Court, Rules 704, 707, 708, 720 and 721 will be amended to accommodate the provisions in proposed Rule 712A. Those amendments are also open for public comment.
Proposed rule 712A and proposed amended rules 704, 707, 708, 720 and 721 are available on the Kansas judicial branch website at www.kscourts.org under What's New.
Rule 712A was proposed by the 10-member Kansas Board of Law Examiners composed of judges and lawyers. The board has been investigating the possible adoption of this proposed rule since 2014.
In addition to managing and grading a twice-yearly bar examination and hearings on applicants' character and fitness to practice law, the board makes recommendations to the Supreme Court on policies and procedures related to bar admission.
As of June 2016, 18 jurisdictions have adopted a similar rule or waiver to allow military spouses to be admitted to practice law in some capacity. Kansas is one of 14 jurisdictions that has either a proposed rule pending or is currently investigating possible admission of military spouses.
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