Mary Reding ’99 is featured in a joint-agency report announced by First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ’60, J.D. ’63 on the employment challenges facing military spouses who work in licensed professions.
In her speech, the First Lady called on professional organizations to follow the lead of the American Bar Association in supporting military spouse licensing initiatives.
The Military Spouse JD Network is featured in the report as the leading national organization, formed by two military spouses Mary Reding and Hon. Erin Wirth, focused on implementing a solution to the licensing problems faced by military spouses in the legal profession. MSJDN is working closely with state bar associations and supreme courts to accommodate the unique challenges faced by military spouse attorneys.
The Department of Defense and the Department of Treasury issued the report, Supporting our Military Families: Best Practices for Streamlining Occupational Licensing Across State Lines.
The report highlights the difficulty of “licensing portability” for military spouses who work as teachers, nurses, social workers, lawyers, and in many other professions requiring state occupational licenses. The report suggests ways that state-licensing bodies can reduce these barriers for military spouses moving across state lines. Eleven states already have enacted legislation to support portability for military spouses with occupational licenses.
The report concludes that spouse employment plays a key role in the financial and personal well being of military families. Spouse satisfaction with the military lifestyle is an important component of retention of service members. The report encourages all states to eliminate the undue burden of occupational licensing requirements in all professions in recognition of the great sacrifices military spouses make for the country.