Updated: Dec. 11, 2017

What is Judicial Status?

Judicial status is a voluntary status for lawyers who hold a qualified judicial or adjudicative position.  You are not permitted to practice law while on judicial status and you are not eligible to vote in Bar matters.

How do I change to Judicial Status?

  • Active status lawyers may request judicial status by submitting to the Bar (to the attention of Status Changes) an Application for Change of Status to Judicial.
  • You qualify for judicial status if you are one of the types of judicial officers listed in the WSBA Bylaws Art. III.A.3.:
    • A current judge, commissioner, or magistrate judge of the courts of record in the State of Washington, or the courts of the United States, including Bankruptcy courts.
    • A current judge, commissioner, or magistrate in the district or municipal courts in the State of Washington, provided that such position requires the person to be a lawyer.
    • A current senior status or recall judge in the Courts of the United States.
    • An administrative law judge, which shall be defined as either:
      • Current federal judges created under Article I of the U.S. Constitution, excluding bankruptcy court judges or judicial positions created by the Code of Federal Regulations, who by virtue of their position are prohibited by the United States Code and/or the Code of Federal Regulations from practicing law, or
      • Full-time Washington state administrative law judges in positions created by either the Revised Code of Washington or the Washington Administrative Code.
    • A current tribal court judge in the State of Washington.
  • While on Judicial status:
    • You must pay a $50 annual license fee to preserve your eligibility to transfer to another status upon leaving service as a judicial officer. Judicial officers who do not pay the annual license fee or annually report registry information and later need or want to change to another status will be required to pay the active license fee for each year not in compliance before changing to another status.
    • You are not permitted to practice law, as defined by Washington Supreme Court General Rule 24.
  • Judicial officers who are no longer eligible for judicial status and take no action to change to another status will be transferred to inactive status. They will then need to comply with inactive status requirements. Failure to do so will result in a recommendation to the Washington Supreme Court for an order of suspension.

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.