The Kansas Supreme Court last week adopted a rule allowing attorneys living in Kansas with their spouses who are members of the military to temporarily practice law without taking the state-administered uniform bar exam.
The change is intended to ease the hardship on military spouses moving to Kansas who have been admitted to practice law in another state or the District of Columbia.
“Kansas has a long tradition of support for the armed forces. This change in Supreme Court practice reflects the state’s strong commitment to supporting military families, and it will be important for those military families it affects,” said Attorney General Derek Schmidt, according to a news release from the Kansas Adjutant General’s Department.
Eighteen states have already passed similar rules, and 13 more have proposed or are considering admission of military spouses, according to the Kansas Office of Judicial Administration.
The court studied the issue for more than a year. “It was not an easy thing to say, ‘Yes that makes sense,’ because we want to be fair to our Kansas lawyers who did have to take the bar exam and pass it,” Chief Justice Lawton Nuss told the Hays Daily News.
“We looked at how other states were handling this and looked at other rules, and tried to then develop a rule that brought together what we saw as good parts of all of them,” said Justice Marla Luckert.