Rule 1A:6 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia allows military attorneys licensed in other jurisdictions to obtain a Military Legal Assistance Attorney Certificate in order to represent clients in Virginia courts.
Time spent as a military attorney in Virginia qualifies towards the Virginia Admission on Motion requirements.
Military attorneys must be admitted to the practice of law in a state or territory of the United States, other than Virginia, be employed by the armed services, and be authorized to provide legal assistance pursuant to 10 U.S. Code § 1044. Military attorneys must be employed, stationed, or assigned within Virginia.
Military attorneys may appear before a court or tribunal in Virginia on behalf of a client eligible for legal assistance and for whom hiring an attorney in private practice would entail a substantial financial hardship to themselves or their families. Military attorneys may participate in the following cases:
Military attorneys cannot:
All pleadings filed are required to cite this military rule and include the name, complete address, and telephone number of the military legal office representing the client and the name, rank or grade, and armed service of the attorney registered under the military rules who provides the legal representation.
Practice under the military rules is deemed to be the practice of law. Military attorneys are subject to all rules governing the practice of law in Virginia, including the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct and the Rules of Procedure for Disciplining Lawyers (Rules of Court, Pt. 6, Section IV, Paragraph 13).
Application and Certification
Attorneys must file an Application with the Secretary of the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners.
Military attorneys are required to promptly report to the Virginia Bar any change in employment or military service, any change in bar membership status in any state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia where the attorney has been admitted to the practice of law. Military attorneys must also report the imposition of any disciplinary sanction in a state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia or by any federal court or agency where the attorney has been admitted to the practice of law.
Authority to practice automatically terminates when:
If a military attorney is no longer employed, stationed, or assigned at the military base in Virginia from which the required affidavit was filed, but the attorney, within six months, is re-employed by, or militarily reassigned to, the same military base or by another military base in Virginia filing the required affidavit, the Military Legal Assistance Attorney Certificate will be reinstated upon evidence satisfactory to the Board that the military attorney remains in full compliance with all requirements of this rule.