Washington Admission Laws

Under the Rules of General Application on admission to practice law, the Supreme Court of Washington has the power to admit persons to practice law in this state.  Pursuant to Rule 3 of Washington Admission to Practice Rules (APR), an applicant to be admitted to the Washington Bar, should have graduated from a law school approved by the Board of Governors, or s/he must have completed a law clerk program prescribed by there rules, or should have active legal experience of at least three (3) years in any jurisdiction of the United States prior to filing of the application.  Bar examination includes essay questions which require grading.

Under Rule 18 of the APR, lawyers licensed to practice law in other states or territories of the United States or the District of Columbia may be admitted to practice law in Washington under procedures and conditions that are substantially similar to the procedures and conditions under which that licensing state or territory allows the admission Washington attorneys to their states.

Pursuant to Rule 11.2, an active member of the Washington Bar Association must complete a minimum of 45 credit hours of accredited legal education, in three years, assigned by the Bar Association.  A lawyer should earn a minimum of six out of the required 45 credit hours in the area of professional ethics.

Wash. APR 1

Rule 1. In General; Supreme Court; Prerequisites to the Practice of Law; Immunity
(a) Supreme Court The Supreme Court of Washington has the exclusive responsibility and the inherent power to establish the qualifications for admission to practice law, and to admit persons to practice law in this state. Any person carrying out the functions set forth in these rules is acting under the authority and at the direction of the Supreme Court.

Wash. APR 3

Rule 3. Applicants to Take the Bar Examination
(a) Prerequisite for admission Every person desiring to be admitted to the Bar of the State of Washington must be of good moral character and must qualify for and pass a bar examination.
(b) Qualification for bar examination To qualify to sit for the bar examination, a person must present satisfactory proof of either (i)graduation from a law school approved by the Board of Governors, or (ii) completion of the law clerk program prescribed by these rules, or (iii) admission to the practice of law by examination, together with current good standing, in any state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia or any jurisdiction where the common law of England is the basis of its jurisprudence, and active legal experience for at least 3 of the 5 years immediately preceding the filing of the application. “Active legal experience” shall mean experience either in the active practice of law, or as a teacher at an approved law school, or as a judge of a court of general or appellate jurisdiction, or any combination thereof, in a state or territory of the United States or in the District of Columbia or in any jurisdiction where the common law of England is the basis of its jurisprudence.
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Wash. APR 18

Rule 18. Admission of lawyers licensed in other states or Territories of the United States or the District of Columbia to Practice Law in Washington
(a) Purpose This rule prescribes the procedure, conditions, and limitations for admission of lawyers from other states or territories of the United States or the District of Columbia, except as provided in rule 3. Lawyers from other states or territories or the District of Columbia will be admitted in Washington pursuant to this rule under procedures and conditions that, in the judgment of the Washington State Supreme Court, are substantially similar to the procedures and conditions under which the other licensing state or territory or the District of Columbia allows the admission of licensed Washington lawyers to their states.
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Wash. APR 11.2

Rule 11.2. Educational Requirement
(a) Minimum requirement Each active member of the Bar Association, and other lawyers who are required by the APRs to complete continuing legal education credits, must complete a minimum of 45 credit hours of accredited legal education (as provided in APR 11.4) by December 31 of the last year of the lawyer’s three-year reporting period as assigned by the Bar Association. Specific requirements are the following, and are described in Appendix APR 11 – Regulations of the Washington State Board of Mandatory Continuing Legal Education.

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Inside Washington Admission Laws