Updated: April 28, 2020
APR 1(e)

What is Emeritus Pro Bono Status?

Emeritus pro bono status is for members who are no longer practicing law, don't want to be on active status, and want to provide volunteer legal services through a qualified legal services provider (QLSP). It is a great alternative to inactive status because it lets you provide pro bono legal services in your community for the same license fee. No other practice of law is permitted while on emeritus pro bono status. Emeritus pro bono status is governed be Rule 3(g) of the Washington Supreme Court's Admission and Practice Rules.

To qualify for emeritus pro bono status, you must:

  • Complete the Emeritus Pro Bono Application.
  • Be a WSBA member on active, inactive, or judicial status and in good standing.
  • Have active legal experience as defined in APR 1(e) for at least five of the 10 years immediately preceding the filing of the application.
  • Volunteer to provide legal services with a QLSP.
  • Complete six hours of training; you will receive a form from the WSBA after your application is reviewed.  Return that form to the WSBA when the training is complete.

While on emeritus pro bono status:

  • You are not allowed to practice law outside of providing free legal services through the QLSP.
  • You must pay a $200 annual license fee (the same fee as inactive status).
  • You are not required to report MCLE credits, but you will be required to have completed a certain number of MCLE credits if you later want to return to active status.
  • Note: returning to active status after six years (on any consecutive combination of inactive, emeritus pro bono, suspended) will require that you attend a reinstatement course currently offered only twice a year.
  • Emeritus Pro Bono FAQ.
Any discrepancy or conflict between the information provided here and the rules and regulations set by the Washington 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.