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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


The following questions are frequently asked about admission and/or licensing Washington State Bar Association. For complete information, please refer to the Washington Supreme Court Rules Governing Admission and Licensing to the WSBA, as well as corresponding areas of this website.

Any discrepancy or conflict between the information provided here and rules and regulations set by the Washington Supreme Court, or the Bylaws and policies of the Washington State Bar Associations, is unintentional and will be resolved in favor of strict compliance with the rules, regulations, Bylaws and policies.


Your application is not considered submitted for Admission by Motion under APR 3(c)(1) until the below has been received by the WSBA:

  • Complete the Application for Licensure
  • Upload one Authorization and Release form, signed and notarized within six months prior to the date the application is considered submitted with the WSBA
  • Two Good Moral Character Certificates, signed and dated within six months prior to the application is submitted with the WSBA
  • Certificate(s) of Admission to Practice and Good Standing, in all jurisdictions where you are admitted or have ever been admitted, dated within six months prior to the date the application is submitted with the WSBA.
  • Application fee of $620, payable to the Washington State Bar Association.  This fee is separate from the NCBE Investigation fee.

If you are employed as house counsel in Washington State, you can choose between applying for the limited license or for full admission by way of admission by motion. The WSBA encourages lawyers who are licensed in another U.S state or territory and have active legal experience for three of the past five years, to apply for Admission by Motion. Lawyers who are admitted by motion are fully licensed members of the WSBA and are authorized to fully practice law and appear in Washington State courts.

Lawyers admitted under APR 8(f) as house counsel are strictly limited to providing advice to their employer-client and cannot appear in court but still must abide by the same MCLE requirements and license fees as fully licensed lawyers. Additionally, if a lawyer licensed as house counsel under APR 8(f) later applies for full admission by motion, they will have to pay all of the same application fees again. 

All applicants for Admission by Motion must take the Washington Law Component (WLC), a 60-question online test that can be taken at any time after submitting an application. House counsel applicants do not have to take this test, but they do have access to the materials if they want to review them.

If you are employed as House Counsel in Washington State, you can choose between applying for the limited House Counsel license or for full admission and licensing by way of admission by motion. The WSBA encourages lawyers who are licensed in another U.S. state or territory and have active legal experience for three of the past five years, to apply for admission by motion. Lawyers who are admitted by motion are members of the WSBA and are fully licensed to practice law and appear in Washington State Courts. Lawyers licensed under Washington Supreme Court Admission and Practice Rule (APR))8(f) as House Counsel are strictly limited to providing advice to their employer-client and cannot appear in court, but they still must abide by the same MCLE requirements and pay the same license fees as active status lawyers. Additionally, if a lawyer licensed as House Counsel under Washington Supreme Court (APR)8(f) later applies for full admission by motion, they will have to pay all of the same application fees again.

It takes approximately four to six months from the time an application is submitted for the application for admission by motion to be approved.  
Active legal experience means experience in the active practice of law as a lawyer, a teacher at an approved law school, or a judge of a court of general or appellate jurisdiction in the U.S or a common law jurisdiction. Other positions such as policy analyst, judicial clerkships, and document reviewer may qualify if the position requires a license to practice law to perform the job functions. You must also have an active license to practice law. For example, if you started your clerkship in August, but were not licensed until December you may count only that experience starting in December. The preceding months do not count. 
Yes, you must submit a certificate of good standing from each jurisdiction to which you are or have ever been admitted to practice law. You must provide your certificate of goods standing prior to submission.  You can upload this document by logging into your user home page, and on the right navigation panel click the "Upload Required Documents & Forms".  The certificate must be signed and dated within six months of the application date.
Please log on to your online application dashboard and click the [Create Supplemental Request] link in the Supplemental Application Information section in the lower right hand corner of your dashboard. In addition, log on to your NCBE account to amend your application.
You are required to provide details of any violations, even if you are unable to find any documentation. Please be as accurate as possible with the information you provide in your application. Please answer the question to the best of your ability
You may update your address, or other contact information, by logging on to your online account and selecting "Edit Personal Info" in the upper right corner.
Admission by Motion applicants may withdraw their application and receive a partial refund if it is withdrawn less than 12 months after filing it. There is a $300 nonrefundable administrative processing fee. NCBE fees are nonrefundable. 
After you submit your application and pay the application fee, you have access to completing the Washington Law Component by logging into your online application. There is no requirement that you take the WLC at any specific time during the course of your application processing, but it must be completed prior to admission.
The Oath of Attorney must be taken before an elected or appointed judge, excluding judges pro tempore, retired judges and administrative law judges, sitting in open court. See APR 5(f) for more information.
You have one year from the date you submitted your application to complete all requirements for admission, including passing the Washington Law Component. There are no extensions. 
Yes, make your request via your online application with the required out of state information. We will forward your request to the WA Supreme Court. The Court will issue an order conferring jurisdiction on the judge you have chosen. Upon receipt of the order, WSBA Admissions will send your copy of the order to be used at the swearing in ceremony. Return the original Oath of Attorney, signed by you and the judge to the WSBA Admissions Department. 
After an applicant completes all of the new admittee licensing requirements a recommendation for admission is then forwarded to the Washington Supreme Court. It generally takes two to three weeks for the Court to issue an order admitting you to the practice of law in Washington. You will be notified by email when you have been admitted and a bar number is assigned. Your bar card and certificate will be mailed within two weeks. 
No. Completed oaths should be submitted through your online  account or by emailing your completed oath to admissions@wsba.org.
Your agent for service is not required to be a Washington lawyer; you may designate a friend or family member, or your firm’s branch office, as long as the agent is within the state of Washington. If you can’t find an individual you may designate a service organization. Neither the Secretary of State nor the WSBA may be designated as an agent of service. We cannot recommend any businesses or services, but an internet search should provide several options. Please note you must provide your agent’s street address, not a post office box or other private mailbox location.
The Washington State Bar Association does not endorse, approve, recommend, or rate any bar review courses.  Please do not contact us for information or names of course providers.

The following hotels have given special rates to applicants takeing the Washington State Bar Examination.  You should make your arrangements as soon as possible, because space is limited.  When making your reservations, you must mention that you are a Washington State Bar Exam applicant, in order to receive the special rate.

 

Best Western Alderwood

19332 36th Ave West

Lynnwood, WA 98036

 

Hampton Inn & Suites - Seattle North

19324 Alderwood Mall Parkway

Lynnwood, WA 98036

 

Hilton Garden Inn Seattle/Lynnwood

3801 Alderwood Mall Blvd

Lynnwood, WA 98036

 

 

There are power outlets available at each table in the testing room for applicants using laptops.
No, spell-check is not permitted for the MEE and MPT, because hand writers do not have spell-check.
If your laptop fails, you will be given the opportunity to continue by handwriting the exam.  No additional time will be given due to laptop malfunctions or software problems
No, only wooden, soft lead no. 2 pencils and pink block erasers are allowed for the MBE.  No other types of erasers or pencils are permitted.
You cannot bring your own earplugs into the exam room.  The following items are provided at the exam site at no cost: Tissue/Kleenex, ear plugs, beverage cups and coffee, tea and water; and feminine hygiene products are available in coin operated vending machines at the exam site.

The WSBA will start accepting applications on the dates listed below for the Bar Exam and the LPO Exam.  You cannot start an application prior to when the WSBA starts accepting applications. To see a sample application, please go "Applications" and select "Browse Documents"

To review the final two LLLT exams deadlines, please click here.

For the lawyer bar exam and limited practice officer exam deadlines and fees see below:

 

Lawyer Bar Exam Applicants:

General Bar Exam Applicants: $585

Attorney Bar Exam Applicants: $620

Late Filing Fee: $300

A separate NCBE investigation fee is required for general applicants applying under APR 3(b)(4)(B) and all Attorney Applicants.

 

LPO Exam Applicants: 

LPO Exam: $200

Late Filing Fee: $100

 

LLLT Exam Applicants:

For the Practice Area and Professional Responsibility Exams: $300

Practice Area Exam Only: $250

Professional Responsibility Exam Only: $80

Late Filing Fee: $150

All eligible Attorney Applicants and General Applicants applying under APR 3(b)(4)(B) are required to pay an investigation fee to the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE).  After review of your application by the WSBA office, the NCBE will contact you and provide you with NCBE payment and authorization and release forms that will need to be executed by you.

Attorney Applicants and General Applicants applying under APR 3(b)(4)(B) may use completed NCBE reports for one calendar year from the date the Bar receives the completed report from the NCBE, after which a new NCBE investigation will be required.
Provide the undisclosed but responsive information as a supplement to your submitted application as soon as possible and explain why you failed to disclose it previously. Failure to fully disclose requested information may be considered a reflection on an applicant’s moral character and may itself result in denial of admission. It is an applicant’s duty to advise the WSBA Admissions Team of any changes in or additions to the information provided in the application.

 

It depends. All eligible Attorney Applicants and Applicants applying under APR 3(b)(4)(B) undergo an additional background investigation conducted by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE). After review of your application by the WSBA office, the NCBE will contact you and provide you with NCBE payment and authorization and release forms that will need to be executed by you.

The NCBE is not limited to contacting only the individuals you name in your application when performing its investigation. The NCBE investigates and verifies the following on all domestic attorney applicants:

  1. Police record checks for domestic residences where the applicant resided for at least six months
  2. U.S. military duty or service
  3. College and university attendance and degree(s) conferred
  4. Law school attendance and degree conferred
  5. Employment history
  6. Professional licenses
  7. Civil actions (including continuing court orders, e.g. child support)
  8. Criminal actions
  9. Indebtedness
  10. Domestic traffic violations
  11. Applications for bar admissions and good standing information where licensed
  12. Disciplinary actions with education institutions, employment, licensing agencies, and bar associations
  13. Professional and personal references, if any
Attorney and Applicants applying under APR 3(b)(4)(B) will not be allowed to sit for the exam if the WSBA does not receive a report back from the NCBE at least 18 days prior to the first day of the exam. There are no exceptions to this rule. If the WSBA has not received an NCBE report for an Attorney or Applicants applying under APR 3(b)(4)(B, the WSBA transfers your application and fee to the next exam.
Log on to your user home page and click the "Supplement"  link underneath your application type., you will receive a notice asking you to confirm you want to supplement your application with additional information. Scroll down to "Application and Forms" and select the "supplement" button next to "Application for Licensure" and select what part of the application you are supplementing.  If you are required a NCBE background investigation, then also logon to your NCBE account to supplement your application in possession of the NCBE with the new information.
Provide all related documentation. Depending on the type of incident being disclosed, this may include but is not limited to police reports, complaints, judgment orders, probation information (requirements and completion information), order of dismissal or other final disposition, court docket, law school documents of incident; bankruptcy petition, schedules and order of discharge; documentation of satisfaction of debt or of steps taken to address outstanding debt. Applicants may also submit a clear and concise statement explaining a particular incident that they believe warrants additional explanation.
All applicants are subject to a character and fitness review prior to being admitted to practice law in Washington State.  You may or may not be required to have a hearing.

The length of time to complete a character and fitness review of an application varies by application. Washington requires resolution of all character and fitness issues at least 18 days prior to sitting for the exam. Applicants with information to disclose that may raise an issue of character or fitness are strongly encouraged to file their applications early in the registration period.

The Admission and Practice Rules (APR) do not provide for the automatic denial of admission based on conviction or traffic offenses. Each application presents its own unique set of facts. Whether you are permitted to take the exam or not depends on the outcome of the character and fitness review of all of the information in your application. You are encouraged, however, to file your application early in the registration period.

All applicants are subject to a character and fitness review and are not permitted to sit for the exam until a final character and fitness determination has been made. In some cases, an applicant may be referred to a hearing before the Character and Fitness Board. The Character and Fitness Board will then issue a recommendation either to approve or deny the applicant's application for licensure. The recommendation is sent to the Washington Supreme Court, and the Court will make the final determination of whether an applicant has met their burden of proving that they are of good moral character and possess the requisite fitness to practice law and meets the Essential Eligibility Requirements. In accordance with APR 22.1(d), Bar Counsel shall consider the factors set forth in APR 21(a) and review the evidence in the light most favorable to the Bar's obligation to recommend the licensure of only those persons who possess good moral character and fitness to practice law.

No. The Admission and Practice Rules (APR) do not provide for the automatic denial of admission based on conviction or traffic offenses. Each application presents its own unique set of facts. Whether you are permitted to take the exam or not depends on the outcome of the character and fitness review of all of the information in your application. You are encouraged, however, to file your application early in the registration period.

All applicants are subject to a character and fitness review and are not permitted to sit for the exam until a final character and fitness determination has been made. In some cases, an applicant may be referred to a hearing before the Character and Fitness Board. The Character and Fitness Board will then issue a recommendation either to approve or deny the applicant's application for licensure. The recommendation is sent to the Washington Supreme Court, and the Court will make the final determination of whether an applicant has met their burden of proving that they are of good moral character and possess the requisite fitness to practice law and meets the Essential Eligibility Requirements. In accordance with APR 22.1(d), Bar Counsel shall consider the factors set forth in APR 21(a) and review the evidence in the light most favorable to the Bar's obligation to recommend the licensure of only those persons who possess good moral character and fitness to practice law.

You are required to provide details of any legal matters, even if you are unable to find any documentation. Contact the relevant court to request copies of your records. Provide something in writing from the court indicating that your document request is in process or that the documents are no longer available. If you were represented, contact your attorney for that legal matter. Also, talk to your family and inquire if they have any additional information about the legal matter, especially if you were a juvenile at the time. Please describe the legal matter to the best of your ability, providing as much detail as possible, even if you are unable to find any documentation.

You may take the Washington Law Component (WLC) at any time after you submit your application and application fees. You do not need to wait for completion of the character and fitness review.  the WLC is required for the following applicant types:

  • Bar Exam
  • Admission by Motion
  • Military Spouse Admission by Motion
  • UBE Score Transfer

Please review the WLC FAQs for more information.

Yes, the WSBA may at its discretion complete additional checks, including but not limited to court cases, driving history, and criminal background, in any of the states an applicant has resided.

You are required to provide details of any violations, even if you are unable to find any documentation. Please be as accurate as possible with the information you provide in your application. Please answer the question to the best of your ability. 

You are required to provide details of any legal matters, even if you are unable to find any documentation. Contact the relevant court to request copies of your records. Provide something in writing from the court indicating that your document request is in process or that the documents are no longer available. If you were represented, contact your attorney for that legal matter. Also, talk to your family and inquire if they have any additional information about the legal matter, especially if you were a juvenile at the time.

If you have a medical, physical, or cognitive disability, you may request that the lawyer bar examination be administered under reasonable special conditions to accommodate your needs. You must make your request via the online admissions application site no less than 45 days prior to the first day of the examination and you must support your request with medical documentation.

The Bar Exam and the LLLT/LPO Exam Security Policy prohibits taking medication of any kind into the exam room. However, a special request can be made for additional items such as pillows, chairs, religious headgear, or special foods or medication that you need to take into the exam room, or for use of the nursing room. Make your request online at least 18 days in advance of the exam and support it with a doctor’s statement (if applicable). See Lawyer Bar Exam Security Policy and the LLLT and LPO Security Policy. Note: A nursing room is provided onsite for all exams.

The exam results are typically released to applicants on their online accounts at 8:00 a.m. on the second Friday of April for the winter exam, and September for the summer exam.  A press release of the Pass List will be published on Saturday on the WSBA website.

Washington Supreme Court APR 4(b) and Admission Policy IX.E; there is no appeal of final examinations results.

 Yes, you will have to submit a new application, along with a new good moral character certificate signed by two attorneys and a new authorization and release form if your previous release was signed more than six months from submitting your application.

Lawyer Bar Exam:

Unsuccessful applicants will receive copies of their written essay answers with raw scores, MEE questions and analyses, and MPT by logging into their ILG Exam360 account.

 

LLLT Exam:

An applicant who fails the practice area examination may request a copy of their essay and performance sections if graded. Please see APR 4(D).

 

LPO Exam:

No. An applicant cannot receive a copy of their failed exam. Please see APR 4(F)(4).

Successful Lawyer Bar Exam and LLLT Exam Applicants:

You must complete the admission process within 40 months from the date of the administration of the examination in which the passing score was earned.

 

Successful LPO Exam Applicants:

You have one year from the date of the exam to be licensed. After one year, you must retake the exam in order to be eligible for admission. Your notification letter will contain information about final requirements for admission and licensing.

Your agent for service is not required to be a Washington lawyer; you may designate a friend or family member, or your firm’s branch office, as long as the agent is within the state of Washington.  If you can’t find an individual you may designate a service organization.  Neither the Secretary of State nor the WSBA may be designated as an agent of service. 

 

We cannot recommend any businesses or services, but an internet search should provide several options.  Please note that you must provide your agent’s street address, not a post office box or other private mailbox location.

Lawyer Bar Exam:

The Oath of Attorney must be taken before an elected or appointed judge, excluding judges pro tempore, retired judges and administrative law judges, sitting in open court.  See Washington Supreme Court APR 5(f) for more information.

 

LLLT Exam:

The Oath of Limited License Legal Technician must be taken before an elected or appointed judge, excluding judges pro tempore, retired judges and administrative law judges, sitting in open court in Washington.  See Washington Supreme Court APR 5(i) for more information.

 

LPO Exam:

 

The Oath of Limited Practice Officers must be taken before an elected or appointed judge, excluding judges pro tempore, retired judges and administrative law judges, sitting in open court in Washington.  See Washington Supreme Court APR 5(h) for more information.. 

Once all parties have signed the oath form, the applicant is responsible to email a copy of the completed oath to admissions@wsba.org.  Please keep a copy for you records.  Please do not upload your completed oath onto your dashboard.

Once you complete all of the new admittee licensing requirements, a recommendation for your admission is sent to the Washington Supreme Court.  It generally takes two to three weeks for the Court to issue an admission order admitting you to the practice of law in Washington.  You will be notified by email from WSBA when you have been admitted and a license number is assigned. Your bar card and certificate will be mailed within two weeks.

You may purchase a wall certificate suitable for framing, approximately 16 ½” x 13 ½”, by writing to:

 

Supreme Court of Washington

Temple of Justice

PO Box 40929

Olympia, WA 98504

*The cost is $25.  Please enclose a copy of your WSBA bar card.  It may take up to six months for the wall certificate to be completed.

            

The fees are determined by the type of application submitted in addition to when the application is submitted electronically.  Late submission of the application, Authorization and Release form, and Certificates of Good Moral Character, must be submitted online by 11:59 P.M. (PST/PDT) the day of the deadline.

  • Applications, authorization and release forms, or certificates of good moral character filed after the first deadline will incur a late filing fee.
  •  Applications with incomplete or missing payment, authorization and release forms or certificates of good moral character will not be processed and will be disqualified if not received by the final deadline.
  • Application filing fees can be paid by one of the following methods: 
    • Visa
    • MasterCard
    • American Express
    • Electronic Funds Transfer – online only & no transaction fee
    • Check - those who choose to pay by check will need to print the invoice to mail in with the check

  • Make checks payable to “Washington State Bar Association” checks must be postmarked by the filing deadline by which you electronically submitted your application. 

  • Checks and Electronic Funds Transfers payments take six business days to reflect your online account.

  • Retain a copy of your payment form to guard against loss and ensure proof of timely filing. Please mail your check payment to the following address:
    • Washington State Bar Association
    • 1325 4th Avenue, Suite 600
    • Seattle, WA 98101

  • All bank card transactions are subject to separate non-refundable transaction fee of 2.5%.  There is no transaction fee for payments by electronic funds transfer or check.

  • In order to use a debit or credit card to charge your application filing fee, once your application is complete and you click the "Submit Application" button you will be directed to the Payment Options screen where you must select the credit card option. Debit cards are processed as a credit card transaction.

  • Once you submit your card information on the website, the issuer of the card will either approve or reject the transaction. If approved, the transaction is PENDING, awaiting the WSBA’s card processor to either accept or reject it. If the transaction is successful, you will receive an email stating that your transaction was APPROVED.

  • If a transaction is denied by WSBA or the WSBA’s card processor for any reason, that transaction will never process and your application will not be submitted. You will receive an email stating your transaction was DECLINED. However, your card may show that transaction PENDING for a few days, then it should disappear.

  • Credit card and debit card transactions will appear on your account as Washington State Bar Association.

Yes. If using a debit or credit card to pay the application filing fee, a processing fee will be charged. The processing fee will appear when you choose the credit card method of payment.


Schedule of Processing Fees
Transaction AmountProcessing Fee
$50$1.25
$80$ 2.00
$200$5.00
250$6.25
$300$7.50
$585$14.63
$620$15.50
$885$22.12
$920$23.00
NOTE: The processing fees added to your transaction are being paid to a third party vendor not to the Washington State Bar Association.
  • Human error caused by pressing the wrong key when using a computer to input data.
  • The name on the credit card does not exactly match the name provided on the billing information screen. The name provided in the billing information screen must match the name on the credit card used, which may not always be the applicant's name.
  • The address provided in the billing information screen does not exactly match the billing address for the credit card used to charge the filing fee. Note that the address provided in the billing information screen must be the same billing address as is on file for the credit card being used, which may not always be the same as the applicant's current address.
  • The credit card must have the capability of communicating with the board’s security protocols. Some very small credit card issuers do not have this capability and the transaction will never go through.
  • Please note that each time an applicant submits credit card information, it appears to the issuer of the credit card that a transaction is taking place. Therefore, the issuer of the credit card processes each attempt as a pending transaction, which could decrease the available line of credit. It can take a number of business days for the unsuccessful transactions to disappear from pending status and the corresponding available credit to reappear.
  • Complete the Online Application for Licensure
  • Certificate(s) of Admission to Practice and Standing:  Upload with this application a certificate from the authority in each foreign jurisdiction having final jurisdiction over professional discipline, certifying as to your admission to practice, and the date thereof, and as to your good standing in that jurisdiction, together with a duly authenticated English translation of such certificate, if it is not in English.
  • Letter of Recommendation from one of the members of the executive body in each foreign jurisdiction having final jurisdiction over professional discipline or from one of the judges of the highest law court or courts of original jurisdiction of such foreign country, together with a duly authenticated English translation of such letter, if it is not in English.
  • Reciprocity Documentation: Upload with this application documentation (such as relevant rules or regulations) establishing that your application complies with the requirement of APR 14(h) that the country or jurisdiction from which you apply does not impose, by any law, rule or regulation, any requirements, limitations, restrictions or conditions upon the admission of members of the Washington State Bar Association as Foreign Law Consultants in that foreign country or jurisdiction which are significantly more limiting or restrictive than the requirements of APR 14.  If that foreign country or jurisdiction imposes any requirements, limitations, restrictions or conditions upon the admission of  members of the Washington State Bar Association as Foreign Law Consultants in that foreign country or jurisdiction which are significantly more limiting or restrictive than the requirements of APR 14, describe them and include a copy of the relevant rule or regulation provisions with this application.
  • Authorization and Release signed and notarized within the last six months.
  • $620 Application Fee payable to the Washington State Bar Association.  This fee is separate from the NCBE fee

    Your application is not considered submitted for House Counsel under APR 8(f) until the below has been received by the WSBA:

    • Complete the Application for Licensure
    • Affidavit of Employer, signed by an officer, director or general counsel of employer at the Washington office dated within six months prior to the date the application is submitted with the WSBA
    • Certification of Applicant
    • Certificate(s) of Admission to Practice and Good Standing, in all jurisdictions where you are admitted or have ever been admitted, dated within six months prior to the date the application is submitted with the WSBA.
    • Two Good Moral Character Certificates, signed and dated within six months prior to the application is submitted with the WSBA
    • Upload one Authorization and Release form, signed and notarized within six months prior to the date the application is considered submitted with the WSBA
    • Application fee of $620, payable to the Washington State Bar Association.  This fee is separate from the NCBE Investigation fee.

    All applicants for Admission by Motion must take the Washington Law Component (WLC), a 60-question online test that can be taken at any time after submitting an application. House counsel applicants do not have to take this test, but they do have access to the materials if they want to review them.

    If you are employed as House Counsel in Washington State, you can choose between applying for the limited House Counsel license or for full admission and licensing by way of admission by motion. The WSBA encourages lawyers who are licensed in another U.S. state or territory and have active legal experience for three of the past five years, to apply for admission by motion. Lawyers who are admitted by motion are members of the WSBA and are fully licensed to practice law and appear in Washington State Courts. Lawyers licensed under Washington Supreme Court Admission and Practice Rule (APR))8(f) as House Counsel are strictly limited to providing advice to their employer-client and cannot appear in court, but they still must abide by the same MCLE requirements and pay the same license fees as active status lawyers. Additionally, if a lawyer licensed as House Counsel under Washington Supreme Court (APR)8(f) later applies for full admission by motion, they will have to pay all of the same application fees again.

    Yes, but only through a Qualified Legal Services Provider. Review Washington Supreme Court (APR)8(f)(8)) for restrictions and guidelines regarding your scope of practice when providing pro bono services.
    No, you can apply anytime for a House Counsel license.
    The NCBE investigation typically takes four to six months for U.S lawyers and up to nine months for foreign lawyer applicants. After review of your application by the WSBA office, the NCBE will contact you and provide you with NCBE payment and authorization and release forms that will need to be executed by you.
    Yes, you will have to submit a new application and application fee through the online admission system, and apply for admission by motion. The only difference will likely be that your NCBE report will be a supplemental report at a lower cost than the full fee for a new report.
    Your license will be automatically terminated when employment by the employer furnishing the affidavit required by Washington Supreme Court (APR) 8 is terminated. You should promptly report to the WSBA a change in employment. You can notify the Admissions department at admissions@wsba.org
    Yes, you can use your practice as House Counsel to satisfy the three year active legal experience requirement.
    For all house counsel applicants there is a $300 non-refundable administrative processing fee. You must ask to withdraw an application less than 12 months after filing the application. Any investigation costs are nonrefundable. No refunds will be issued for withdrawals requested more than 12 months from the date the application was submitted.  You may withdraw from your user homepage.
    The judge must be elected or appointed; sitting in open court; and, in Washington. Pro tempore judges, retired judges and administrative law judges are NOT qualified to administer the Oath of Attorney. If you do not know a judge, contact your local County Superior Court Clerk’s Office to schedule an Oath of Attorney with a judge.
    No, we must receive the original Oath signed by you and the judge. 
    Once we receive the original oath along with the license fee, we send a Recommendation to the Washington Supreme Court. It generally takes two to three weeks for the Washington Supreme Court to review the application and issue an admission order. The WSBA will assign you a license number and mail your bar card and the order from the Court.
    Per APR 8(c), in order for your application to be considered as submitted.  The applicant shall either apply for and take the first available lawyer bar examination after the date the applicant was granted authorization to practice under this rule, or already have filed an application for admission by motion or Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) score transfer. 
    • Complete the Online Application for Licensure
    • Certification of Applicant
    • Affidavit of Employer/Organization/Program
    • Affidavit of Attorney of Record
          (a)  If you are employed by a law firm, accompanying your application must be a letter from your employer stating that              you will be rendering services only to indigents.
          (b)  If you are not a graduate of an ABA-approved law school, satisfactory proof of “active legal experience for at least             3 of the  5 years immediately preceding the filing of the application” is required in order to satisfy APR 8(c) and APR 3(b).
    • Certificate(s) of Admission to Practice and Standing in all jurisdictions where you are admitted or have ever been admitted, dated within six months prior to the date the application is submitted with the WSBA.
    • One Authorization and Release Form signed and notarized within six months prior to the date the application is submitted with the WSBA.

    To apply for the Law Clerk Program, you must meet the qualifications stated in the Washington Supreme Court Admission and Practice Rule (APR) 6(b).

    1. Be of good moral character and fitness;
    2. Bachelor’s degree from a school with approved accreditation;
    3. Be engaged in regular, full-time employment in Washington State in a law office, legal department or court;
    4. Have an established tutor relationship and;
    5. Pay the $100 non-refundable application fee.

    Upon submission of your Law Clerk application, you may provide a petition for advanced standing. With your petition, you must provide proof of courses taken, syllabi and course material.

    *Basic Legal Skills cannot be granted for advanced standing.

    Applications are due 60 days prior to the Board meeting in which you wish to apply for consideration. For example, if a Board meeting is on August 2nd, your application would be due June 1st.

    The annual fee ($2,000) must be paid in full  by January 31st each year. There is no payment plan available.

    No, if enrolled sometime during the year, you can make a pro-rated payment based on the number of months enrolled that year. For example, if enrolled in August you would pay an enrollment fee of $830.00 ($166/month x 5 months). Then, each year thereafter, you would pay the annual fee.

    Once your application is reviewed, you will be assigned a liaison from the Law Clerk Board. The assigned liaison will visit you and your tutor at your office to conduct an interview. The liaison will bring a recommendation to the Board for review at their next meeting. You will be notified within one week after the Board meeting on your enrollment status.

    A tutor must meet the qualifications stated in the Washington Supreme Court Admission and Practice Rule (APR) 7. A primary tutor must meet the following requirements:

    1. Only act as a tutor for one clerk at a time;
    2. Be an active member in good standing;
    3. Active legal experience for at least 10 of the last 12 years (2 of those years must be in WA); and
    4. Certify to the applicant’s employment;

    No. For all Law Clerk applicants, there is a $100 non-refundable administrative processing fee.

    No. You must submit a new application with all updated information during the next application period.
    The Law Clerk Board Regulations outlines course descriptions for each course required in the program.  The tutor must guide the clerk in choosing textbooks, casebooks, and other materials each month.  The WSBA does not assist in the creation of monthly course material.
    Bona fide applicants applying for admission to the practice of law in Washington, who are eligible under Washington Supreme Court Admission and Practice Rule (APR) 3, may sit for the Washington Lawyer Bar examination.
    To take the Washington Bar Exam, you must meet the qualifications stated in Washington Supreme CourtAPR 3(b). You cannot take the bar exam if you qualify for admission by motion or admission by UBE score transfer. In all cases, you must establish that you possess good moral character and the requisite fitness to practice law. To qualify to take the lawyer bar exam, you must have:
    1. Graduated from an ABA-accredited law school; or
    2. Completed the Washington Supreme Court APR 6 Law Clerk Program; or
    3. Graduated from any U.S. law school and earned an LLM degree from an ABA-accredited law school that meets the requirements of Washington Supreme Court APR 3; or
    4. Graduated from a university or law school outside the U.S. with a degree in law that currently qualifies you to practice law in that jurisdiction and earned an LLM degree from an ABA-approved law school that meets the requirements of Washington Supreme Court APR 3; or
    5. Been admitted to the practice of law in any jurisdiction where the common law of England is the basis of its jurisprudence and have active legal experience for at least three of the five years immediately preceding the filing of the application.
    Yes, you must submit a certificate of good standing from each jurisdiction to which you are or have ever been admitted to practice. You may submit your certificate of good standing using the supplemental application information tool on the online admissions system. The certificate must be signed and dated within six months of the application date.
    No, you are not eligible to take the lawyer bar exam in Washington because your foreign law degree does not qualify you to practice law in that jurisdiction.
    If you are currently a Rule 9, and applying to sit for the bar exam, in the registration question when the system asks "I am or have been licensed/admitted to practice law in any jurisdiction" answer no, unless you are  or ever have been licensed as an attorney in another jurisdiction.  If you answer yes, you will be required to pay more fees, require a NCBE report and you will be required to remove your application and start a new application. Please email admissions@wsba.org

    To take the LPO exam, you must be at least 18 years old. In all cases, you must establish that you possess good moral character and the requisite fitness to practice as a LPO.

    Applicants should have a thorough understanding and knowledge of:

    You should be aware that only taking an LPO examination prep course is generally not sufficient to prepare you to pass the LPO examination. Please study multiple sources to prepare for the LPO examination.

    Courses that you may find helpful include:

    • A paralegal course in real property or real estate law at a local community college
    • Rockwell Institute
    • Other real estate education courses or seminars related to escrow and title
    • The WSBA LPO Readmission Course (although not designed as an exam prep course, it does cover a lot of information included in the LPO exam)

    Books that you may find helpful include:

    • "The Complete Guide to Washington Real Estate Practices," Fourth Edition, by Alan Tonnon. Available from amazon.com or from the Law Offices of Alan Tonnon; 425-451-0130, ext. 3020
    • "Washington Real Estate Law" by Alan Tonnon. Available from the Law Offices of Alan Tonnon; 425-451-0130, ext. 3020
    • "Washington Real Estate Law," by Kathryn Haupt and David Rockwell. Available from Rockwell Institute; 800-221-9347

    LPO exam refresher courses are offered by:

    Please note that this information is provided as a courtesy only; books and courses are not endorsed by the Limited Practice Board or the WSBA.

    No.  Applications may not be deferred or transferred to future exams.  You must withdraw and reapply when the Admissions department starts to accept applications.             

    For all LPO applicants there is a $200 non-refundable administrative processing fee.  You must ask to withdraw an application at least 60 days prior to the date of the examination in order to receive a partial refund.  No refunds will be issued for withdrawals requested less than 60 days prior to the date of the exam.

    A student at an approved law school may submit an application for a legal intern license up to 4 weeks prior to completing the required course of study and the start of their supervision if, at the time of submission, he/she is duly enrolled and in good standing at an approved law school, will have satisfied Washington Supreme Court APR 9(b) by the end of the current school term (quarter or semester), and has the approval of the law school dean or the dean’s designee.  Submitting your application earlier than 4 weeks prior to your eligibility date, will result in your application being rejected and you will need to reapply.
    There is a one-time $50 application fee. The only applicants exempt from the fee are students who are enrolled in full-time clinics through their law school that provides free legal services for low-income clients.
    Review the Scope of Practice for Licensed Legal Interns in Washington Supreme Court APR 9(e) and (f). Generally, if something is not specifically permitted in Washington Supreme Court APR 9, you should assume that it is not allowed.
    A law student working in a law office can do all the things that are not the practice of law that a paralegal or investigator can do. The purpose of the Rule 9 license is to provide a limited ability to practice law under the supervision of a lawyer. APR 9 (e) identifies the scope of practice in which a Licensed Legal Intern may practice law. If you have questions regarding what constitutes the practice of law, please refer to Washington Supreme Court General Rule (GR) 24.
    Your license is valid for 30 months or 18 months after graduation from law school or the Washington Supreme Court APR 6 Law Clerk Program. Whichever occurs first; there are no extensions. Passing or failing the bar exam does not affect your license.
    You may add one additional supervisor (up to two total) or change supervisors while your license is still valid. Please use the Change of Supervisor form. If your internship or supervision ended earlier than what is stated in your application, the supervisor should submit a Termination of Supervision form. You cannot use your license if you do not have a valid supervisor on file with the WSBA or if your supervision end-date has passed.
    You are required to provide details of any violations, even if you are unable to find any documentation. Please be as accurate as possible with the information you provide in your application.
    All applications are subject to character and fitness review. We look at each application on a case by case basis. Please refer to the Washington Supreme Court Admission and Practice Rules (APR) 20-24.2, which list the factors to be considered when determining an applicant’s character and fitness.
    No, discipline history certificates contain confidential disciplinary information. We do not provide these certificates to interns or clerks.
    You should submit your application up to four weeks in advance of the date your supervision begins. Do not submit your application earlier than this date. If you do, your application will not be processed faster. *Please be aware that complex character and fitness matters will take more time, possibly going beyond the four week timeline.*
    No, you may submit your Rule 9 application at any time, but not earlier than four weeks before you would like the license to start.
    Yes, please email rule9@wsba.org with your full name and birthday.
    We mail the original license letter and the Rule 9 license card to the supervising lawyer’s address on record with the WSBA. To confirm the address please review WSBA Legal Directory.

    To take the LLLT exam, you must meet the qualifications stated in  Washington Supreme Court Admission and Practice Rule (APR) 3(e). In all cases, you must establish that you possess good moral character and the requisite fitness to practice as a LLLT.  In order to sit for the LLLT exam you must:

    1. Be at least 18 years old;
    2. Have an associate level degree or higher (unless you have received a waiver from the Washington State Bar Association);
    3. Demonstrate that you have completed 45 credit hours of specific legal studies courses at an ABA-approved paralegal program, LLLT-Board approved program, or ABA-approved law school (unless you have received a waiver from the Washington State Bar Association); see APR 28 Regulation 3 and Regulation 4;
    4. Demonstrate that you have completed the practice area (family law) courses (15 credits at either the University of Washington or Whatcom Community College).

    The LLLT Board offers a limited time waiver for experienced paralegals who can demonstrate they have completed at least 10 years of substantive law-related experience supervised by a licensed lawyer. In addition, to qualify for the waiver, you must pass the Certified Paralegal Exam (NALA), the Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam (NFPA), or the Professional Paralegal Exam (NALS) and have active certification from the association who administered your exam. The waiver waives only the Associate’s Degree and 45 credits of legal studies requirements.  Applications for waiver are due to the WSBA by December 31, 2023.

    The Washington State Bar Association does not endorse, approve, recommend, or rate any review courses.  Please do not contact us for information or names of course providers.  There are Family Law and Professional Responsibility Exam Study Guides available on our website.
    General UBE transfer score applicants (not admitted/never been admitted in any jurisdiction), the fee is $585. For Attorney UBE transfer score applicants (previously or currently admitted in any jurisdiction), the fee is $620 + NCBE Investigation fee. Payments can be made online by credit card or EFT (electronic funds transfer) or by submitting a check. After review of your application by the WSBA office, the NCBE will contact you and provide you with NCBE payment and authorization and release forms that will need to be executed by you.
    You must submit your application by the 40 month deadline (40 months from the date of the UBE that you passed).
    Yes. You must inform us in your application (under question 6) of the state where you are taking the UBE. You have 12 months from the date you submit your Washington application for admission by UBE score transfer to complete the admissions process, which includes ensuring Washington has received your transferred qualifying UBE score. If you are not admitted within that 12 month period, you will be required to submit a new application and fee. NOTE: You are not permitted to apply at the same time for admission in Washington as both an applicant to take the exam in Washington and an applicant seeking to transfer a UBE score to Washington; you must choose one or the other.
    No. If you wish to change your application type (e.g., WA exam application to a UBE score transfer application and vice versa), you must withdraw your current application and reapply with a new application and fee. Refer to the Admissions Policies for information on partial refunds and bar exam dates and deadlines.
    If you have a UBE score of 270 or higher from another state, you can transfer your score to Washington for up to 40 months after the date of the administration of the UBE in which the score was earned. The MPRE score must be acquired 3 years before or after the date you sat for the UBE. You must have sat for the full UBE. Washington only accepts official UBE score transcripts in their entirety from the NCBE. We do not accept score transfers for the individual test components, nor do we allow applicants to register for select parts of the exam. 

    General Applicants takes approximately two to three months from the time an application is submitted for the application to be approved, assuming Washington has received the qualifying transferred UBE score

    Attorney Applicants, it takes approximately four to six months from the time an application is submitted for the application to be approved. 

    All eligible Attorney Applicants and Foreign Applicants are required to pay an investigation fee to the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE). After review of your application by the WSBA office, the NCBE will contact you and provide you with NCBE payment and authorization and release forms that will need to be executed by you.
    Your applicant type is determined at the time you submit an application. Applicants are required to update their application prior to admission. Changes are made by logging into your online account. A certificate of good standing is required if you obtain admission in another jurisdiction after submitting your application.
    Yes, you must submit a certificate of good standing from each jurisdiction to which you are or have ever been admitted to practice law. You must provide your certificate of goods standing prior to submission.  You can upload this document by logging into your user home page, and on the right navigation panel click the "Upload Required Documents & Forms".  The certificate must be signed and dated within six months of the application date.
    After you submit your online application please request the NCBE to forward your score transcripts to the Washington State Bar Association. You can request a score transfer by going to the NCBE Score Services webpage. We will not accept a score transfer directly from an applicant.
    Please log on to your online application dashboard and click the “Create Supplemental Request” link in the Supplemental Application Information section in the lower right hand corner of your dashboard. A text box will appear and you will be able to enter a message and upload documents. You may use this tool at any time to make amendments to your application or to provide any additional information or documentation.
    You are required to provide details of any violations, even if you are unable to find any documentation. Please be as accurate as possible with the information you provide in your application. Please answer the question to the best of your ability. 
    You may update your address, or other contact information, by logging on to your online account.
    UBE score transfer applicants may withdraw their application and receive partial refund if it is withdrawn less than 12 months after filing it. There is a $300 nonrefundable administrative processing fee. NCBE fees are nonrefundable. 
    No. We do not accept score transfers for the individual test components. Washington is a UBE jurisdiction, to which only official UBE scores are transferrable.
    After you submit your application and application fee, you can take the Washington Law Component by logging into your online application account.
    The Oath of Attorney must be taken before an elected or appointed judge, excluding judges pro tempore, retired judges and administrative law judges, sitting in open court. See APR 5(f) for more information.
    You have one year from the date you submitted your application to complete all requirements for admission, including passing the Washington Law Component. There are no extensions.
    Yes, make your request via your online application with the required out of state information. We will forward your request to the Supreme Court. The Court will issue an order conferring jurisdiction on the judge you have chosen. Upon receipt of the order, the WSBA Admissions Department will send your copy of the order to be used at the swearing in ceremony. Return the original Oath of Attorney, signed by you and the judge to the WSBA Admissions Department. 
    After an applicant completes all of the new admittee licensing requirements, a recommendation for admission is then forwarded to the Washington Supreme Court. It generally takes two to three weeks for the Court to issue an order admitting you to the practice of law in Washington. You will be notified by email when you have been admitted and a bar number is assigned. Your bar card and certificate will be mailed within two weeks. 
    No. Completed oaths should be submitted through your online  account or by emailing your completed oath to admissions@wsba.org.
    Your agent for service is not required to be a Washington lawyer; you may designate a friend or family member, or your firm’s branch office, as long as the agent is within the state of Washington. If you can’t find an individual you may designate a service organization. Neither the Secretary of State nor the WSBA may be designated as an agent of service. We cannot recommend any businesses or services, but an internet search should provide several options. Please note you must provide your agent’s street address, not a post office box or other private mailbox location.
    You can access the WLC educational materials at any time on the WSBA website. You’ll have access to the WLC test once you submit your online application.

    If you fail the test, you must wait 24 hours before retaking the test. If you failed more than once, you must wait 72 hours before retaking the test. There is no limit on how many times you can take the WLC.

     

    Passing the WLC is required for admission and licensing. Bar exam applicants must pass the WLC within 40 months from the date of the administration of the UBE in which the applicant achieves a passing score.
    You will have to retake the Component if you apply for the next UBE administration. WLC scores do not transfer to subsequent applications.

    Admission by Motion and UBE transfer score applicants must pass the WLC within one year from the date of filing the application. Please reference the Admissions Policies for more information.

    You have four hours to complete 60 multiple choice questions. You will receive your score at the end of the test.
    You must answer 80% of the questions correctly in order to pass
    No. “Attorney” and “Applicants applying under APR 3(b)(4)(B)” may take the WLC at any time after they submit an application.
    Please click on the hyperlink on the bottom of your user home page to take the Washington Law Component (WLC).
    There are no previous tests available and no review course - the WLC is an open book test. The materials and test for the WLC will be available after you submit your online application.