First military spouse sworn in as attorney under new rule in Connecticut
Norwich — When Aleyshia Flood Young met her husband, a Navy chief, about five years ago, she didn't realize how his being in the military, a job in which frequent moves is the norm, would impact her career.
On Friday, Young, 32, was sworn in as an attorney at Norwich Superior Court, where she's been working as a clerk, becoming the first person to take advantage of a new rule in Connecticut that seeks to make it easier for military spouses to practice law here.
If not for the rule like the one adopted in Connecticut and more than 20 other states, military spouses like Young, who became a licensed attorney in Guam, would have to go through the licensing process in each state they move to, a "stressful and time-consuming process that we don't want to repeat just because we have to keep moving," Young said.
Licensing can cost thousands of dollars and take up to a year among the application, bar examination and processing.
While Young still had to fill out a lot of paperwork to get her law license in Connecticut, it was not nearly the extensive process it would have been otherwise.
The new rule, which went into effect on Jan.1, allows spouses of active-duty service members to apply for a temporary law license valid for up to three years without having to take the Connecticut bar exam, which prospective attorneys have to pass before practicing law in the state. Applicants must be licensed to practice law in another U.S. state or territory, be in good standing, meet the educational requirements to take the bar exam in Connecticut and can't have failed the Connecticut bar exam within the past five years. Connecticut was the 26th state to adopt such a rule.
Superior Court Judge John L. "Jay" Carbonneau said during the brief swearing-in ceremony that it was a "great honor" to administer the attorney's oath to Young. After rattling off a host of responsibilities taken on by attorneys, Carbonneau quipped, "And that's just the preamble. Do you still want to do this?"
"Yes, of course," Young said.
Her husband, Reshard, who is stationed at the Naval Submarine Base, looked on — beaming — and several of her colleagues also gathered in the courtroom to witness the moment.
Since Aleyshia and Reshard met in Virginia about five years ago, they have moved to Georgia, Guam and, most recently, Connecticut. Young's husband said that he is "impressed by her courage and tenacity to continue her career" despite all the relocations.
"It's a big win for our family," he said.