This lays out WSBA policy for the collection, use, and sale of WSBA licensed legal professional information. It has been reconciled to the provisions of the privacy act passed by the Legislature in 2000.
Collection of Identifying Information
As the licensing agent for Washington lawyers, limited license legal technicians, and limited practice officers, and as required by Admission and Practice Rules (APR) 5, 12, 13 and 28, General Rule (GR) 12.4, and the WSBA Bylaws, the WSBA collects licensed legal professional contact information, membership information, and other licensed legal professional demographic information that is considered public information. The WSBA also collects information that is confidential, not public, and unaffected by this policy.
Notice of how the information will be treated and disseminated is included on licensing forms used to collect the information.
Public Disclosure of Membership Information
The WSBA will provide the data to the Washington Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), as required by Washington Supreme Court Admission and Practice Rule 13 (b) and (c).
The following licensed legal professional data is public record: name, WSBA number, mailing address, telephone, email address (unless the licensed legal professional has requested it not be made public), fax number, membership status (both current and historical), date(s) of admission, and WSBA committee membership. If provided by the licensed legal professional, practice area, and languages spoken are also public. This information, except date(s) of admission and historical information about status, is published on the WSBA website. In addition, this information can be obtained by calling the WSBA office. All other licensed legal professional demographic information maintained by the WSBA is confidential.
A licensed legal professional may request an exemption to this public record requirement, as per WSBA Bylaws, Article XIII, Section B.5.l.(1). Such an exemption will be granted only for compelling circumstances, such as threats or harassment. To request an exemption, a licensed legal professional must send a written request to WSBA's executive director specifically stating the compelling reasons for the request. The executive director may grant or deny the request at his/her discretion. When a request for exemption has been approved, the licensed legal professional's contact information is confidential. Once each year, licensed legal professionals with this exemption must re-apply for the exemption in order for their contact information to remain confidential. The WSBA will notify each licensed legal professional who has an approved exemption of the procedures and deadline to reapply; if no response is received, the licensed legal professional's exemption will expire.
The licensed legal professional name, WSBA bar number, and current status for licensed legal professionals with approved exemptions will appear in the Resources directory and on the WSBA website. On the website and in Resources, the message "confidential per WSBA Bylaw Article XIII, Section B.5.l.(1)" will appear in the address field. In addition, name, WSBA number, current status, and the date(s) of admission for licensed legal professionals with approved exemptions will be available by calling the WSBA office. Someone needing to contact a licensed legal professional with an exemption may send materials to the WSBA office, and the materials will be forwarded to the licensed legal professional.
The WSBA will report to the Court those licensed legal professionals who have approved exemptions.
The Use of Age as a Membership Criterion
Age may be used as a criterion for determining membership status in groups within the WSBA only when used in conjunction with a "years in practice" criterion (as of June 2010, these groups are the Washington Young Lawyers Division and the Senior Lawyers Section).
Dissemination of Licensed Legal Professional Contact Information
It is the general policy of the WSBA to be restrictive in the distribution or sale of contact information of its licensed legal professionals. This policy is intended to balance the licensed legal professional-service aspect of receiving information with the inconvenience of receiving too much information.
Mailing labels or lists of licensed legal professionals' names and addresses (whether in electronic or hard-copy format) are covered by this policy. Lists of licensed legal professionals' fax numbers, phone numbers, and/or email addresses will not be provided, with three exceptions: (1) public email addresses may be provided to CLE vendors (email addresses of licensed legal professionals who have indicated they do not want their email addresses sold will not be provided); (2) public email addresses may be provided to candidates for the Board of Governors or WYLD Board of Trustees; and (3) fax numbers, phone numbers, and/or public email addresses may be provided to WSBA sections.
The following demographic information that is supplied voluntarily by licensed legal professionals: gender, ethnicity, disability, and sexual orientation is kept strictly confidential and is used only in the aggregate for demographic analysis — labels or lists will not be provided sorted by these categories. Labels and lists based on practice area or language spoken will be provided, and the WSBA will include a disclaimer that information has been provided voluntarily by licensed legal professionals and is not necessarily up-to-date or complete.
The WSBA reserves the right to inspect the actual contents of any proposed mailing prior to providing mailing labels or lists for the purpose of determining the category of user and to apply the terms and prohibitions of this policy.
All sales are on a one-time only basis for the requested purpose. Purchasers are not authorized to duplicate, reuse, or re-market WSBA labels or lists, whether in hard copy or electronic format. If provided in electronic format, data must be destroyed or returned to the WSBA after the one-time use.
The request to purchase mailing labels or lists must be in writing, along with a copy of the material to be mailed. A sales agreement must be executed by each purchaser, and by the mailing house, if one is used by the purchaser, prior to delivery of the requested labels or lists.
Payment shall be required prior to delivery of requested labels or lists.
The WSBA reserves the right to review e-mail address protections of CLE providers to assure adequate safeguards against unauthorized e-mail address "harvesting."
Categorization of User Types
- Official WSBA business: Official mailings generated by the WSBA office or with the approval of the Board of Governors shall be provided mailing labels or lists at no charge, based on the premise that a portion of attorney license fees is attributable to maintaining licensed legal professionals records and mailing costs. This category includes mailings from the Washington State Supreme Court.
- County bar associations within Washington: Mailing labels or lists will be provided to county bar associations of WSBA licensed legal professionals in their respective counties at no charge, to further the WSBA's goal of providing support to county bar associations.
- Minority and specialty bar associations within Washington: Mailing labels or lists of WSBA licensed legal professionals will be provided to minority and specialty bar associations at no charge, to further the WSBA's goal of providing support to minority and specialty bar associations.
- Candidates for the Board of Governors or WYLD Board of Trustees: One set of mailing labels or lists for WSBA licensed legal professionals in a governor-candidate's congressional district or a WYLD trustee-candidate's district will be provided to each governor or trustee candidate at no charge upon request (additional sets may be purchased).
- WSBA licensed legal professionals: Mailing labels or lists for WSBA licensed legal professionals may be provided at no charge upon request if for a purpose related to the practice of law. Example 1: If a WSBA licensed legal professional wants to send a letter to all other lawyers in his/her city for the purposes of forming a legal-issues discussion group, the WSBA would provide mailing labels or a list. Example 2: If a licensed legal professional is changing firms, mailing labels or a list would not be provided (although the licensed legal professional may purchase labels or a list). If mailing labels are ordered, the WSBA may ask the licensed legal professional to pay for the actual cost of the labels.
- Noncommercial mailings by WSBA committees, WSBA sections, and the Washington Young Lawyers Division: Mailing labels or lists will be provided to WSBA committees, WSBA sections, and the Washington Young Lawyers Division at no charge.
- Endorsed or sponsored vendors, approved CLE providers, commercial users: Mailing labels or lists will be provided at commercial prices to vendors of products or services endorsed or sponsored by the WSBA, to providers of CLE offerings accredited by the Washington Board of Continuing Legal Education (MCLE Board), and other vendors of law-related products and services approved by the Executive Director. The purpose of selling or providing mailing labels and lists to entities in this category is to inform the licensed legal professionals of products and services related to the practice of law.
The sale of mailing labels and lists for commercial purposes is a discretionary act. All sales of mailing labels or lists in this category must be approved by the Executive Director or his or her designee. The Executive Director is authorized to reject requests for mailing labels or lists related to the sale of products and services that are not directly related to the practice of law or that conflict with the goals and purposes of the WSBA. The Executive Director is also authorized to provide mailing labels or lists to others not specified above.
Mailing labels or lists shall not be provided for:
- Partisan or nonpartisan political mailings at any level except for candidates for judicial office or for the WSBA Board of Governors or for the WYLD Board of Trustees.
- Solicitations for contributions by any organization not specifically approved by the Executive Director or the Board of Governors.
The Executive Director shall publish a fee schedule from time to time. The price for contact information for newly admitted licensed legal professionals, which is priced higher than that of all licensed legal professionals in general, may be waived or reduced for boa fide employers looking for prospective employees or for certain law-related organizations. New admittees are generally licensed legal professionals admitted to the WSBA within the last two years.
Licensed Legal Professional Requests to Limit Mailings or Contact
Unless otherwise arranged, members receive all WSBA mailings, and their contact information is sold or provided in accordance with the policy above.
If a licensed legal professional requests and obtains an exemption to the public records disclosure, the licensed legal professional's contact information is confidential. These licensed legal professionals will receive only official WSBA mailings: annual license fee forms, annual sections dues invoices, ballots for elections of the Board of Governors, Bar News, and referendum mailings.
Mail Restrictions: Licensed legal professionals whose contact information is not confidential but want to limit the information they receive by mail may select all options that apply:
- I do not want any CLE information, including CLEs that are section-sponsored.
- I do not want any CLE information, except for CLEs that are section-sponsored.
- I do not want my mailing address sold or provided to non-WSBA-sponsored entities.
Email Restrictions: Licensed legal professionals whose contact information is not confidential but want to limit the information they receive by e-mail may select all options that apply:
- I do not want my e-mail address sold.
Note: The WSBA sells e-mail addresses to CLE providers only.
Note: If you select option 1, you will not receive information about any CLEs, including WSBA and section-sponsored CLEs.
- I do not want any CLE information except for CLEs that are sponsored by sections to which I belong.
- I do not want any non-official WSBA or legal-community notices.
- I do not want my e-mail address published in Resources or the online Licensed legal professional Directory.
Exceptions to this policy may be authorized by the Executive Director.
Adopted by the Board of Governors on Aug. 4, 2000; revised and approved Dec. 6, 2002; April 11, 2003; Dec. 5, 2003; Feb. 27, 2004; July 21, 2006; June 4, 2010; July 23, 2010.