Information about admission on motion
About Reciprocal Admission
Character and Fitness
Rules and Regulations
Under Rule 18 of the Admission to Practice Rules (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 the other licensing state or territory allows the admission of licensed Washington lawyers to their state or territory.
Effective January 1, 2014, APR 3 (c) (admission on motion) will supersede APR 18. Lawyers admitted to the practice of law in other states or territories of the United States or the District of Columbia are not required to sit for the bar examination if they:
Applications for admission on motion under APR 3(c) may be started and filed on or after January 1, 2014.
All applicants should read APR 18 for all the admission requirements under that rule. In summary, to apply for admission under APR 18, an applicant must meet the following requirements:
Applicants may determine the requirements of their "home" state by referring to the "home" state's admission rules. Additional information can be found on the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) website.
The admissions process is governed by the Admission to Practice Rules, the WSBA Admission Policies, and the Application Instructions.
Bar Exam Applications and Admissions are governed by APR 1–5.
Reciprocity Applications and Admissions are governed by APR 18 and 1–5.
Character and Fitness requirements and proceedings are governed by APR 20–24.
Washington ethical or professional responsibility duties are set forth in the Rules of Professional Conduct.
Membership in the WSBA is governed by the WSBA Bylaws.
The application for reciprocal admission must be completed online through the WSBA Online Admissions System.
In addition to filing the application and paying the application fee online, you must deliver, to the WSBA Admissions Office:
All documents filed with the WSBA must include your Applicant ID number. It is preferable that documents and files attached to the application be in PDF format. Please format files so that they are as small as possible.
Reciprocity applicants may apply at anytime, but must submit a completed application and payment by the bar exam late filing deadline (no late fees will be assessed). It takes approximately 4-6 months from the time an application is submitted for the application to be approved. Once the application is approved, applicants will receive an email notification. Additional information is provided in our Application Instructions for Admission.
All applicants are subject to a character and fitness review prior to being admitted to practice law in Washington State. The practice of law is a privilege, not a right. Admission may be withheld pending a hearing before the Character and Fitness Board and final determination regarding whether the applicants have met their burden of proving that they are of good moral character and fit to practice law. Factors considered by Admissions staff and Bar Counsel when determining whether an applicant should be referred to the Character and Fitness Board are set forth in APR 24.2(a).
After submitting the application and being approved for admission, there are additional requirements that must be met prior to admission. These requirements will be displayed on your online application page.
Applicants who apply on or after March 1, 2013 are required to take and pass the Washington Law Component test (WLC), which includes 15 outlines on various subjects of law. You will be able to access the test from your online admissions account after you submit your application and pay the application fee. There are 60 multiple choice questions to be answered in no more than four hours. You will have access to the WLC research materials while taking the test. You must answer 80% of the questions correctly to pass.
Note: 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.
Questions about reciprocal admission should be directed to Eric Winder at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-727-8255.
Find out everything you need to know about submitting an application.
Create an account and apply online.
Oregon, Idaho and Utah rules require reciprocity applicants to complete 15 hours of CLE. One option is the WSBA Readmission Program. Information and registration is available online at the CLE Store.
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