Updated: Aug. 4, 2020

Diploma Privilege Order for Summer Bar Exam


UPDATE June 12, 2020: The Washington Supreme Court issued an order stating “applicants for admission to practice law who are currently registered for either the Washington July or September 2020 bar examination and who have received a Juris Doctorate degree from an ABA accredited law school, and applicants currently registered to take the LLLT examination scheduled for July 2020, are granted the option of receiving a diploma privilege to practice in Washington.”

Lawyer Bar Exam Applicants

Diploma privilege is available in lieu of the UBE for applicants who:

  • are currently registered for the Washington July or September 2020 UBE, and
  • have a J.D. from an ABA accredited law school.

Applicants for the Washington July or September 2020 bar exam must choose to exercise diploma privilege or to take the Uniform Bar Exam. Applicants are NOT permitted to do both.  Applicants must indicate their choice on the Online Admissions Dashboard.  For planning purposes, this must be entered by 12 p.m. (noon) on Wednesday, June 17, 2020. However, applicants who have indicated that they want to take the UBE will be able to change their selection to diploma privilege instead, at any time prior to the date of the exam for which they are registered.

Applicants who take and fail the Washington July or September 2020 bar exam will not have the option to exercise diploma privilege.

Applicants exercising diploma privilege must comply with all licensing requirements prior to a recommendation for admission to the Washington Supreme Court.

The WSBA Admissions team is working with the Court to clarify some questions related to the order.  We will provide more information as soon as possible.

Diploma Privilege Frequently Asked Questions

UPDATE May 20, 2020: Due to COVID-19, the Washington Supreme Court has temporarily reduced the minimum UBE passing score in Washington from 270 to 266. The temporary modified minimum passing score will apply ONLY to applicants who sit for the July 2020 or September 2020 UBE. In addition, applicants applying for admission by UBE score transfer from another jurisdiction, who sit for and achieve a 266 or higher on the July 2020 or September 2020 UBE, may transfer their score to Washington. Because this change is temporary pursuant to the Court's order, the minimum score will revert to 270 beginning of with the February 2021 bar examination.

UPDATE May 13, 2020: The Uniform Bar exam will be administered in Washington on July 28 & 29 and Sept. 9 & 10, for applicants who timely submitted applications for the July Bar exam by the deadlines. The period for submitting applications has closed and the deadlines have passed. If you have applied to take the July bar exam in Washington, you do not need to submit a new application for the September exam. The exams will be administered on both dates in the Seattle/Tacoma/Everett area and the Spokane area, at specific testing sites that will be identified later, and all administrations will comply with then-existing public health guidelines. Please see the May 13, 2020 letter from the Washington Supreme Court. We will be working hard to provide a safe and appropriate testing setting for every applicant. We will post any additional information as soon as it is available.


Next Lawyer Bar Exam

Date of Sept. 2020 Exam

Sept. 9-10, 2020

Exam Site Locations:

Greater Seattle/Tacoma/Everett Area or Spokane Area (specific site locations will be released when available)

Application Filing Deadlines:

March. 5, 2020  (timely filing), April. 6, 2020  (late filing fee $300), May. 5, 2020 (failed the previous Washington summer exam only with no late fee)

Exam Results Posted to Applicant's Online Account for Sept. 2020 Exam:

Oct. 16, 2020, 8 a.m. PT

July 28-29 exam results will be posted to applicant's online account on Sept. 11, 2020 at 8 a.m. PST.

Other Lawyer Bar Exam Dates

Feb. 23-24, 2021 - Tacoma, WA (Tacoma Convention Center)

July 27-28, 2021 - New Location, Yakima, WA (Yakima Convention Center)

Please see Application Instructions for details.

To take the Washington lawyer bar exam, you must meet the qualifications stated in Washington Supreme Court Admission and Practice Rule (APR) 3. In all cases, you must establish that you possess good moral character and the requisite fitness to practice law.

To qualify to take the lawyer bar exam, you must have:

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.