Updated: July 13, 2022

APR 6 Law Clerk Program

The Law Clerk Program is an alternative to law school authorized under rule 6 of the Washington Supreme Courts Admission and Practice Rule (APR) 6. It is a four-year program designed to provide educational and practical experience through a combination of work and study with an experienced lawyer or judge. Completion of the program would qualify you to take the Washington lawyer bar examination pursuant to the requirements under APR 3(b) Qualifications for Bar Examination.

News and Updates

On June 9, 2022, the Supreme Court approved amendments to Admission and Practice Rule (APR) 6. The Regulations were approved by the Board of Governors pending adoption of the APR 6 amendments by the Court. These amendments will go into effect on Sept. 1, 2022.

The changes to APR 6 and the program regulations clarify and expand the program requirements, provide for increased accessibility to the program, and make the program more efficient to administer by the Law Clerk Board and WSBA staff.

Supreme Court Order

APR 6 and Regulations – Effective Sept. 1, 2022

 

On June 28, 2020, the Washington State Bar Association approved a Resolution affirming the value of the APR 6 Law Clerk Program.

Qualifications

To qualify for the program applicants must have good moral character, a bachelor's degree, and regular paid full-time employment in Washington state with a lawyer or judge who has at least 10 years of active experience and will serve as the applicant's primary tutor. Applicants find their own employment; neither the WSBA nor the Law Clerk Board can assist with finding an employer/tutor. Employment is a requirement to apply for the program. Applicants must have qualifying employment with the tutor when applying. Employment offered contingent upon enrollment in the program is not acceptable.

How To Apply

To apply for the Law Clerk Program, please use the online admissions portal.

Application Deadlines

Applications are due 60 days prior to each Law Clerk Board meeting. Board meeting dates and application deadlines can be found in the online admissions portal. WSBA may ask you for more information. WSBA will assign an individual Law Clerk Board member to meet with the applicant and proposed tutor before the board's review. You will be notified of the board's decision within one week after the board's meeting.

APR 6 Law Clerk Program Resources

View Law Clerk Program Resources.

Currently enrolled Law Clerks and Tutors may use this page to access program resources including, but not limited to, monthly certificate and proposal templates, tutor applications and the jurisprudence reading list. 

Advanced Standing, Foreign Credentials

When you apply, you may petition for advanced standing in the program based on law school courses completed. The courses may be from either an approved or unapproved law school, but only law school courses may be considered. Undergraduate and paralegal courses, and employment experience will not be considered for advance standing credit. If you have completed undergraduate studies and/or law school in another country, you should provide an education credential evaluation report.

Enrollment

The Law Clerk Board makes determinations on enrollment and advanced standing in the program. Once you are enrolled, a fee payment is required each calendar year (currently $2,000/year). The Law Clerk Board and WSBA staff monitor participation in the program, but the law clerk and tutor study independently as they complete the course of study required by the regulations. A minimum of 32 hours per week performing the duties of a law clerk, including work and study, is required. The tutor is required to give at least three hours each week of personal supervision to the law clerk, which should include discussion of the law and cases and the critical analysis of the law clerk's written assignments.

Limitations

You do not earn a J.D. degree by completing the Law Clerk Program. The program is not accredited by the American Bar Association. It meets the requirements for admission to the practice of law in Washington state only and may not satisfy requirements for admission in other states; admission requirements are established on a state-by-state basis. For more information about other state’s requirements, contact the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

Please Note : All applicants are subject to a character and fitness review prior to being admitted to practice law in Washington.  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 Washington Supreme Court Admission and Practice Rules (APR)  20-24.2(a). 

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.