TEXAS SUPREME COURT advisory
Contact: Osler McCarthy
512.463.1441 or email
COURT APPROVES TEMPORARY BAR ADMISSION FOR ATTORNEY
SPOUSES OF MILITARY PERSONNEL STATIONED IN TEXAS
An exception to Texas attorney-licensing rules will allow lawyers admitted in other jurisdictions to get temporary licenses to practice law in Texas while their military spouses are stationed in the state. In an order posted Monday the Texas Supreme Court approved an exception to Texas Bar admissions procedure to allow attorney-spouses of military personnel to apply for temporary three-year Texas bar licenses.
“Lawyers make significant sacrifices in their professional lives when required to move as their military spouses sacrifice for the nation,” Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht said. “We’re allowing a law license for a set period to help the lawyer spouse contribute here as they would in their home jurisdictions.”
The rule takes effect December 1.
By designating a new rule governing bar admissions and a complementary article to State Bar Rules, the Court brings Texas in line with 33 other states that have similar provisions for spouses of military personnel. In Texas such attorney-spouses will not be required to undergo normal character-and-fitness exams but will have to complete the new Texas law component developed as part of the state’s Uniform Bar Examination adoption.
The temporary law license also requires the military spouse to complete the Texas Center for Legal Ethics course for new lawyers, meet Texas continuing legal-education standards and pay bar membership costs all Texas lawyers must pay.
Other than for disciplinary matters, the license also may be terminated for among other factors the military spouse is transferred from the Texas duty station; upon the marriage’s end; the military spouse’s service ends; or the attorney spouse moves permanently from Texas.
Public comments should be submitted by October 31. Comments may be submitted to this address.