APR Task Force

WA Supreme Court Adopts Amendments to APR Effective Jan. 1, 2014

The Court adopted the amendments to the APR (now Admission and  Practice Rules) as recommended and approved by the Board of Governors, with the exception of the Oath of Attorney. The oath was not published for comment and did not change. Significantly, the amendments:

  • Permit admission by exam for foreign lawyers or those with a J.D. from a non-ABA approved law school (foreign or domestic) who obtain an LL.M. degree from an ABA approved law school (APR 3(b));
  • Permit admission by motion for those who have three years of active practice out of the last five years with all U.S. jurisdictions, instead of a reciprocity rule that mirrored rules of 38 different jurisdictions (APR 3(c));
  • Require a Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection assessment to be paid by lawyers applying for pro hac vice admission (APR 8(b));
  • Require in-house counsel to be licensed as house counsel or to be admitted by motion and foreign house counsel no longer need to be admitted by exam to qualify (APR 8(f));
  • Require all members of the Bar to provide a public email address (APR 13(c)); and
  • Provide for the administrative suspension of members for failing to comply with annual licensing requirements including failure to file trust account information (APR 17).

APR Task Force Charter and Purpose

The area of Bar admissions is constantly developing and changing. Because of this, Washington’s Admission to Practice Rules (APRs) need periodic reviews to determine whether they accurately reflect Washington’s current situation and approach to admission to the practice of law and to the issuance of limited licenses to practice law in Washington.   

The APR Review Task Force:

  • Reviewed the existing Admission to Practice Rules (APRs) to determine whether changes to those rules were needed;
  • Suggested revisions to the APRs that seemed appropriate in light of changes occurring in the areas of admissions, limited or special licensing and other topics addressed in the APRs; and
  • Ensured consistency between the WSBA Bylaws and the APRs.
The Task Force sought input from affected persons, Boards, and other entities while developing any suggestions for revisions.  

Report and Recommendations of the APR Task Force - September 2012

The APR Task Force completed its work in July 2012. The APR Task Force reviewed and considered all member comments and reported back to the Board of Governors in September 2012. The Board of Governors unanimously approved the recommendations of the APR Task Force at its September 20, 2012 meeting. The WSBA forwarded the recommendations to the Washington Supreme Court for consideration. It submits the following report and recommended amendments to the Admission to Practice Rules:

APR Task Force Report to the Board of Governors, September 2012   

Recommended Amendments to the Admission to Practice Rules, September 2012 

Recommended Amendments to RPC 5.5 re House Counsel, July 2012  (no changes in September)

Recommended Amendments to LPORPC 1.12A, July 2012  (no changes in September)

Proposed Admissions Flow Chart, July 2012; illustrates various paths to admission in Washington under the proposed amendments.  No changes in September.

WSBA Contact for Questions

Please direct questions to Robert Henry, Associate Director for Regulatory Services, by email to roberth@wsba.org or in writing to:

Robert Henry
Washington State Bar Association
1325 4th Ave., Ste. 600
Seattle, WA  98101

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