House Counsel and MJP
House Counsel and Multi-Jurisdictional Practice
Washington's RPC 5.5 permits the practice of law in Washington by lawyers who are licensed in another United States jurisdiction under certain circumstances as set forth in the rule.
Until December 31, 2013, lawyers licensed in another U.S. jurisdiction are able to practice as House Counsel in Washington state without any registration or licensing with the Washington State Bar Association. Out-of-state lawyers practicing as House Counsel under RPC 5.5 may provide legal services exclusively to the lawyer's employer and are not permitted to appear in state courts. In addition, they must maintain the other jurisdiction's license in a status that authorizes them to practice law, e.g., active status. Please read the complete rule and comments for all the limitations and responsibilities.
Lawyers licensed in a foreign jurisdiction outside of the United States are required to apply for a Foreign House Counsel license under APR 8(f) to practice as House Counsel in Washington state.
Beginning January 1, 2014, lawyers licensed in another U.S. jurisdiction who want to practice as house counsel will be required to seek admission to the Bar, either general admission via admission by motion (amended APR 3(c)) or limited admission as house counsel under amended APR 8(f). Please review the House Counsel Memo for additional information and links to the amended rules. Foreign house counsel will no longer be required to be admitted by exam in their original jurisdiction.
Applications for admission by motion will be accepted beginning January 1, 2014 through our online admissions site. Applications for limited admission as house counsel will be posted here on January 2, 2014. House counsel may continue to practice on a temporary basis under amended RPC 5.5 pending the application for admission.
Questions about practice as House Counsel in Washington should be directed to email@example.com or 206-727-8209.
RPC 5.5 also describes several situations in which it may be permissible to practice law in Washington on a temporary basis. Generally, the situations are limited to practice out of court. Under most situations, an out-of-state lawyer wanting to appear in court is going to be required to file a motion for admission pro hac vice.
Out-of-state lawyers with questions about practicing in Washington under RPC 5.5 should contact Sandra Schilling in the Office of General Counsel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-239-2118. Please read the complete rule and comments before making contact.
Any discrepancy or conflict between the information provided here and the rules and regulations set by the Washington State Supreme Court, or the bylaws and policies of the Washington State Bar Association, is unintentional and will be resolved in favor of strict compliance with the rules, regulations, bylaws and policies.
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