Unauthorized Practice of Law

A person providing legal services who is not an active member of the Washington State Bar Association, or otherwise authorized to provide law-related services in Washington, may be engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. In Washington, paralegals may only provide law-related services under the supervision of a lawyer. As a general rule, business entities can only appear in court through a lawyer. The Supreme Court has authorized nonlawyers to provide limited legal services in Washington in some areas such as Limited Practice Officers (Escrow). The unauthorized practice of law is a crime in Washington. Anyone can speak generally about a law, sell legal forms and represent him or her self in court.  

Definition of the Practice of Law 

The practice of law is the application of legal principles and judgment to a set of facts, to resolve a problem or decide how to proceed. The Washington State Supreme Court defined the practice of law in General Rule (GR) 24. This rule provides a written definition of the practice of law and a list of exceptions and exclusions.

Complaints Alleging Unauthorized Practice of Law 

The Board investigates allegations of unauthorized practice of law that pose a threat to the general public.  The Board has the authority to perform investigations, request that respondents cease and desist from further unauthorized acts and make referrals to enforcement agencies, including police, prosecutors, Washington State Attorney General, and licensing agencies. You may submit a complaint by mail, fax or email. The form is available here. Fill out the form completely and attach public documents that explain the problem. Do not attach documents that should not become public. The Board will review your complaint and may dismiss, or make a finding of unauthorized practice of law and refer to other enforcement agencies. 

Unauthorized Practice of Law Findings 

Collections

Sundt, Nancy (Alternative Legal Services)

Drafting Legal Documents 

Sorenson, Craig S.

Stanton, Kelly M. (Stanton & Associates) 

Employment Law

Marshall, Bradley

Estate Planning 

Aitkins, James (Jacob Group Trustee Service)

Austin, David

Hamley, Allen C.

Reinthaler, Peter S.

Evictions

Near, Rebekah (Orca Information, Inc.)

Exceeding Limited Authority 

Neville, Brian (Rule 9)

Family Law

Anschell, Grosvenor

Bonner-Nix, Sylvia

Mercer, Ann 

Immigration

Muhindo/Mzee, Ibrahim

Podgorny, Larisa

Mortgage Modification

Rodis, Ronald (Rodis Law Group)

Personal Injury 

Baker, Susan P. (West Seattle Administrative & Paralegal Services)

Guitierrez, David 

Ost, Roger

Unsupervised Paralegals 

Elliott, Dennis (Elliott & Associates)

Ewing, Luis

Garcia, Guillermo

Janda, Steven (Evergreen Paralegal Services)

Robinson, Joel L. (JR's Legal Services)

Veliz, Jose R. 

Practice of Law Definition

Board Rules

Board Procedures

LegalZoom Agreement

AG Action