Updated: Aug. 19, 2021

Washington Supreme Court APR 9 for Licensed Legal Interns 

Washington Supreme Court Admission and Practice Rule (APR) 9 grants a limited license to law students, Washington Supreme Court APR 6 law clerks, and recent law school graduates to practice law under the supervision of a lawyer who has at least three years of active legal experience. Washington Supreme Court APR 9 Licensed Legal Interns gain valuable supervised practice and courtroom experience through law school legal clinics, public and nonprofit programs, and private firms.

Interested in applying? Please read the following:

IMPORTANT NOTICE

May 15, 2020: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Washington Supreme Court entered an order temporarily modifying APR 9. These modifications include extending the term of a license, expanding the number of interns a supervisor is allowed and a clarification of the term "graduate of an approved law school". These temporary modifications will remain in effect until Dec. 31, 2021, or until further order of the Court.

Jan. 25, 2021: To apply for a Licensed Legal Intern (Rule 9) license, please use the online admissions portal.

Qualifications

To be eligible to apply for a Washington Supreme Court Rule 9 Legal Intern License:

You may apply up to nine months after graduation from an ABA-approved law school.

How to Apply

To apply for a Washington Supreme Court Rule 9 Legal Intern License, please review the information below.

  • Read the application instructions and all questions carefully. You most likely will need to attach additional explanations and addenda. Failure to provide a complete application will result in delays.
  • Complete the APR 9 Legal Intern Application online and include the $50 application fee.
  • The only applicants exempt from the $50 fee are students enrolled in full-time clinics through their law school that provide free legal services for low-income clients. Externships and other legal aid organizations do not qualify. Applicants who are exempt from the fee will have to pay later if they change their supervision to a non-clinical setting.
  • Due to COVID-19, we no longer require original signatures and will accept copies and/or electronic signatures.
  • If you are already licensed, you do not need to re-apply on the new online admissions system. Please use the Change of Supervisor form.

Receiving Your License

The review process for Washington Supreme Court APR 9 Licensed Legal Intern applications proceeds as follows. 

  1. WSBA receives application and payment. Payment is processed.
  2. WSBA staff reviews application. WSBA contacts applicant regarding any missing items or discrepancies via the online admissions portal..
  3. If appropriate under factors outlined in Washington Supreme Court Rule APRs 20-24.2(a) regarding good moral character and fitness to practice law, the application is referred to Regulatory Services Counsel for review. More applicant information may be requested.
  4. After an application is submitted and approved, the application is forwarded to the Washington Supreme Court with recommendation for order admitting you to limited practice in Washington.
  5. The Washington Supreme Court returns an order granting admission for the applicant to practice as authorized by Washington Supreme Court APR 9. WSBA staff issues an ID card to the applicant by mail at the address on file for the supervising lawyer. Applicants may not act as a Washington Supreme Court Rule 9 Licensed Legal Intern until they receive an ID card and supervision officially begins.

From start to finish, this can take up to four weeks, unless a character and fitness issue requires additional investigation or a hearing. NOTE: Failure to provide complete answers with requisite supplementary documentation will result in delays beyond this timeline.

 

Change of Supervision

  • Use the Change of Supervision form to add or change a supervising lawyer, or to extend the supervision date of a current supervising lawyer.
  • If the Licensed Legal Intern is leaving a clinical program and the new supervisor is not part of a clinical program and the intern has not previous paid the application fee, the fee is $50.
  • There is no fee to make changes to supervision if an application fee of $50 has already been paid.
  • If you completed your Rule 9 application on our online admissions system, you must submit the change of supervision form found there to your Rule 9 user home page under "change of supervision".
  • If you submitted your Rule 9 application by paper or email, please email this Change of Supervision form to rule9@wsba.org or by mailing it in to the address below:

                  Washington State Bar Association

                  Attn: Admissions

                  1325 4th Ave, Suite 600

                  Seattle, WA 98101

 

Please direct questions about Rule 9 Licensed Legal Interns to rule9@wsba.org or 206-727-8209.

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.