Rep. Wittenberg Introduces Bipartisan Plan to Help Military Families

Plan lets military spouses who are attorneys transfer bar privileges to Mich.
Monday, February 1, 2016

LANSING — State Representative Robert Wittenberg (D-Oak Park) and Rep. David Maturen (R-Vicksburg) are introducing legislation that would help spouses of military personnel stationed in Michigan to resume their careers here. The bills would allow spouses of military personnel who are attorneys admitted to a bar in other states or U.S. territories to be admitted to the Michigan Bar without taking the state bar examination.

“Military families make enormous sacrifices to serve our country, and one of those sacrifices is moving frequently, often to other states or territories,” Rep. Wittenberg said. “Military spouses shouldn’t be penalized for this sacrifice. That’s why I’m proud to sponsor legislation that would allow military spouses who are attorneys to resume their careers here in Michigan without taking the state bar examination.”

Under the proposal, a spouse could apply for admission to the bar in Michigan, without examination, if he or she meets all of the following:

  • The attorney’s spouse is a member of the Armed Forces the United States who is active duty and assigned to a duty station in this state.
  • The attorney is licensed to practice law in the court of last resort, and in good standing at the bar, of another state of the United States, the District of Columbia, or a Territory of the United States.
  • The attorney has the qualifications as to moral character, citizenship, age, general education, fitness and ability required for admission to the Michigan Bar.

“The Michigan Bar is only offered twice each year. Without license reciprocity in Michigan, we could potentially be keeping military spouses out of work for more than six months,” Rep. Maturen said. “Members of the military protect our freedom every day, and we can continue to do our part by opening doors like this for their families and loved ones.”