Heidi Faenza, director of the state Office of Bar Admissions, said the board is reviewing the court’s decision and will consider its directions.
O’Neal, 29, said she hopes the board will grant her the waiver or the Supreme Court will ultimately rule in her favor. “I’m proud to stand up for military spouses as we play an important role in our nation’s defense,” she said Monday.
O’Neal’s husband, Capt. Nolan O’Neal, received orders to move to Fort Benning for training that began in January. He is now in the U.S. Army Ranger School.
Because she and her husband will likely stay in Columbus through February 2019, Harriet O'Neal said she's eager to be allowed to practice law in Georgia. After being denied the waiver, O'Neal said she felt desperate to bring in some income. She has been doing some contract work for a firm that specializes in trademark and copyright law.
Atlanta lawyer Linda Klein, former president of the American Bar Association. (EMILY JENKINS/ EJENKINS@AJC.COM)
Atlanta lawyer Linda Klein, who supported O'Neal's application, said military spouses don't move across state lines voluntarily. They do so to support their active duty spouses who are following orders.
The unemployment rate for military spouses is four times greater than that for civilians, noted Klein, former president of both the State Bar of Georgia and the American Bar Association.
“Easing the process for attorneys who are military spouses allows them to continue their careers in the legal profession and shows support for members of our military and their families,” Klein said. “We are very proud of Harriet and her courage to assure that the rules will be clear for all the military spouses who will come to Georgia in the future.”