Return to Active or Inactive Membership from Suspension

To Active Membership from Suspension

To reinstate to Active membership, a member must be current on MCLE requirements, annual licensing fees, and all conditions set forth in the WSBA Bylaws and the Admission to Practice Rules (APR). In addition, the member must cure the reason for the suspension and meet any other terms of the suspension order.

Submit a Request for Application to Active Membership form with the required non-refundable $100 investigation fee so that we may determine your eligibility and requirements to return to Active membership. A form is also available from the WSBA by sending an email to membershipchanges@wsba.org or by contacting Membership Changes at 206-239-2131.

Following receipt and processing of the required fee and request form, we will provide you with the necessary forms and individual requirements to return to Active membership. Because the requirements for each particular membership change are based on the facts of the individual member's situation and require investigation of that member's records, the WSBA cannot assess or discuss individual requirements prior to receiving the Request for Application to Active Membership form and the investigation fee.

All membership changes to Active require a review of the information for possible character and fitness issues, and it is possible that a character and fitness investigation and/or hearing could be required if warranted by the available information. 

Processing times for membership changes to Active vary greatly depending on each individual situation and time of year. Membership changes are not effective until confirmed in writing by the WSBA.

General Requirements for Reinstating to Active Membership from Suspension

Reinstatements from suspension are granted in accordance with the provisions of the WSBA Bylaws. Members should review Article III of the WSBA Bylaws as changes in the Bylaws can affect membership change requirements. Some key provisions to consider are:

  • Suspended members are not required to earn or report MCLE credits while suspended, but may choose to do so, and will be required to do so to return to Active membership.
  • Members who have been Inactive and/or Suspended for a combined total of less than six consecutive years will be required to have earned 45 MCLE credits within six years prior to the return to Active date.
  • Members who have been Inactive and/or Suspended for greater than a combined total of six consecutive years must earn 45 MCLE credits within three years prior to the return to Active date and, in addition, complete 15 hours of live reinstatement courses sponsored by the WSBA and specifically approved for this purpose. The reinstatement course’s validity for use to satisfy membership change requirements will expire one year from the date of the completion of the course. The reinstatement course credits will apply to the member’s next reporting period.
  • For purposes of determining whether a member has been Inactive and/or Suspended for more than six consecutive years, the time continues to run until the change to Active membership is completed, regardless of when the application is submitted to the WSBA.
  • If a member has been Inactive and/or Suspended for less than one year, and the member is in an MCLE reporting group that was required to report during the time the member was Inactive and/or Suspended, the member must establish compliance with the MCLE reporting requirements for that reporting period before changing to Active.
  • Suspended members must cure the reason for the suspension. For those suspended for failing to pay the annual license fee, that includes paying double the license and late fees for the year of the suspension.
  • Suspended members must pay a non-refundable $100 fee and submit a Request for Application to Active form. Upon receipt, an application packet with the member’s detailed requirements for returning to Active will be provided to the member.
  • The Bar exam may be required in unusual cases, e.g., an unusually long period of time as a suspended member without any activity in Washington or another state that qualifies as “active legal experience” (as defined in APR 3(b)(iii)) during that time.

 

To Inactive Membership from Suspension

A suspended member may apply for Inactive membership by completing and filing the Application for Change of Membership Status from Suspended to Inactive. To be reinstated to Inactive membership, a member must be current on annual licensing fees and all conditions set forth in the WSBA Bylaws and the APR. In addition, the member must cure the reason for the suspension and meet any other terms of the suspension order.

For the amount of license fees due, contact Membership Changes at (206) 239-2131 or membershipchanges@wsba.org.

Processing times for reinstatements from suspension to Inactive vary greatly depending on each individual situation. Expect 2-4 weeks on average.

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.