“The expedited process really helps
integrate you into the Arizona Bar,” says
Schafer. She describes the staff at the
Supreme Court and the State Bar as “very
informative and responsive, and very willing
to work with me to get admitted under this
Similarly flexible was Quarles, she says.
As the law firm recently opened an
Indianapolis office, “I am able to utilize
my Indiana license as well. So I’m able to
be helpful in a number of markets, even
though I’m here in Tucson.”
Schafer had been in Arizona once before,
when her spouse was training. And she’s
pleased to be back.
“I’m finding the legal market to be very
friendly, a lot of camaraderie and profes-
sionalism, which is similar to what I expe-
rienced in Indianapolis. So that was com-
The MSJDN Network is a prime driver
of these rule changes nationwide. Mary
Reding is a co-founder who faced a similar
challenge as her husband shifted posts with
the Arizona Air National Guard.
“MSJDN is thrilled that the Arizona
legal community has recognized the service
of our military families and has welcomed
‘one of our own’ to the Bar,” says Reding,
who has spent many years in Tucson. “We
are honored to know our hard work and the
support of the local and State Bar have
helped Rachel maintain her legal career
while her family moves in service to this
Schafer was the first of what probably
will be many.
“I was happy to be the guinea pig,” she
says. “Another military spouse has reached
out to me with questions about that rule. So
it’s exciting that there are more coming.”
Unlikely? For many attorneys, that is the landscape.
In that imagined world, your career is proceeding well. Your
practice is growing, and you’ve developed a network of respected
connections. But suddenly, through forces outside your control,
you must move … to another state and jurisdiction. Back to zero.
So you may apply anew for admission. Take a bar exam. Wait
for results. Seek work. And all while you cannot
practice or earn a living. And your other option is even
more stark: Leave the legal profession entirely.
In many states—and in Arizona until last year—those
were the options facing “military spouses,” attorneys
whose spouses are transferred around the country or
around the globe. Typically, attorneys who are military
spouses must scramble to decide among their limited
Arizona’s Rule 38(i) changed that landscape. Part of a
trend of rules nationwide, it allows admission for certain
military spouses already admitted elsewhere.
Until recently, the Rule sat unused. But commercial litigator Rachel Schafer picked it up, applied, and became
the state’s first 38(i) admittee.
Schafer was practicing law in Indianapolis when she
learned her husband, a pilot, was being transferred to Tucson’s Davis–
Monthan Air Force Base.
No surprise, her first thoughts circled around the question, “Am I
going to have to take the bar exam?” Fortunately, a fellow Air Force
spouse mentioned that some states have developed military-spouse
exceptions. Schafer looked on the website of the Military Spouse JD
Network ( www.msjdn.org/) and was pleased to see that Arizona had
adopted the rule—the second state in the nation to do so.
“A huge relief” is how the commercial litigator describes her reaction.
But the prospect of an exam had been the lesser concern for her. The
bigger challenge would have been her inability to seek work and get
employed while she studied, took the exam, and awaited results.
“The rule made it easier for me to move and practice in Arizona,” she
says, “and it made me more marketable to other law firms. It was a
The winning benefits extended to Quarles & Brady, the firm that
hired her in Arizona.
“When Rachel’s husband was transferred to Tucson, the benefits of
Rule 38(i) were twofold,” says Craig Kaufman, co-managing partner of
Quarles & Brady’s Tucson office. “It allowed the firm to hold onto a
“Throughout the transition,” Kaufman adds, “Rachel has been able
to seamlessly serve firm clients, as well as expand her practice in a new
region. It’s been a win–win.”
Besides completing her application, Schafer faced a streamlined admis-
sions process, including taking an online course about Arizona law. She
also had to complete 15 CLEs in her first six months.
CHANGE OF VENUE
BY TIM EIGO
Lawyer Is the First Admitted Under Ariz. Military-Spouse Rule
Change of Venue
looks at unique
trends or niche
It takes you off
the legal highways onto the
Send stories or
story ideas to