Updated: Nov. 6, 2018

Qualifications for Admission by Motion

Lawyers admitted to the practice of law in other states or territories of the United States or the District of Columbia are not required to sit for the lawyer bar examination if they present satisfactory proof of admission and current good standing in that jurisdiction, together with proof of active legal experience for at least three of the past five years immediately preceding the filing of the application.

Applications for admission by motion under Washington Supreme Court Admission and Practice Rule (APR) 3(c) may be filed online at anytime. Note that Washington Supreme Court APR 5(b) requires that Admission by Motion applicants must complete the preadmission requirements within one year from the date of filing the application. After one year, applicants must submit a new application and fee. Applicants may withdraw the application at any time subject to a $300 non-refundable administrative fee. Fees paid to the National Conference of Bar Examiners are also non-refundable.

Filing an Application for Admission by Motion

The application for Admission by Motion must be completed online through the WSBA Online Admissions System. In addition to filing the application online, applicants must upload to the online application the following documents when complete, prior to submitting the application. These forms must be dated within six months prior to the date the application is submitted:

  • One signed and notarized authorization and release form. Do not alter this form.
  • One signed Good Moral Character Certificate; and
  • One Certificate of Good Standing from each jurisdiction in which you are or have ever been admitted to practice.

Application Fees

  • U.S. attorneys: $620 + additional NCBE Investigation fee. (NCBE will contact you)
  • All eligible Attorney Applicants and Foreign Applicants are required to pay an investigation fee to the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE).  After review of your application by the WSBA office,  the NCBE will contact you and provide you with NCBE payment and authorization and release forms that will need to be executed by you. 

Admission Requirements

After an application is submitted and approved, there are additional requirements that must be met prior to recommending to the Washington Supreme Court that it issue an order admitting you to practice in Washington. These requirements will be displayed on your online application page. Please review the New Lawyer Admittee Process Instructions.

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.