Kansas high court to rule on military spouses’ law licenses

(KSNT Photo/Brian Dulle)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court is expected to consider a measure that would reduce law licensing barriers for military spouses who’ve passed the bar in other states.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt sent a letter to the Kansas Board of Law Examiners in February urging the group of 10 lawyers and judges to license military spouses who are eligible to practice in other states.

“Reducing existing licensing barriers will improve the well-being of military families upon whose service our country’s defenses depend,” Schmidt wrote.

Sarah Ikena, a spouse of a U.S. Army solider stationed at Fort Riley, is licensed to practice law in Virginia and Georgia, but her career has yet to take off in Kansas.

“By the time I get somewhere, take the bar exam and determine if I have passed, we move again,” she said.

Four military leaders in the state support the proposed rule.

The Board of Law Examiners, which oversees law licenses in the state, will make a recommendation to the Kansas Supreme Court. Four board members declined to say whether they support the rule change, citing confidentiality. The Kansas Bar Association also didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Lisa Taylor, a spokeswoman for the high court, says this rule change has been a priority for several months and that a decision is expected soon.

Eighteen other areas across the country have adopted rules similar to the one Schmidt proposes, according to the Military Spouse JD Network.

The group’s spokeswoman, Elizabeth Jamison, says such rules reduce employment barriers for military spouses while binding them by the same professional and ethical standards and other Kansas lawyers.



Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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