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Michelle Obama, Defense Officials Join ABA in Urging More ‘License Portability’ for Military Spouses

Posted Feb 17, 2012 7:07 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Taking up a cause promoted by the American Bar Association, the nation's first lady and defense officials are pushing for increased "license portability" for military spouses who must often move from one jurisdiction to another in support of service members' careers.

Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, the wife of vice president Joe Biden spoke at a Pentagon event earlier this week to draw attention to a Department of Defense and Treasury Department report the two spearheaded about the issue, according to the American Forces Press Service.

“We’re not asking any state to change their standards,” said Obama. “These state rules are important, and states have every right to set benchmarks. ... But it’s also clear that this system poses very unique challenges for our military families.”

As described in an earlier ABAJournal.com post, the ABA is urging state bar associations to consider admitting military spouses from other jurisdictions without requiring them to take an examination and reducing their licensing fees so that they can more easily pay for law licenses in multiple states.

An ABA Now article provides additional details about the measures recommended by the ABA House of Delegates in a resolution adopted Feb. 6 at the ABA's Midyear Meeting.

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