House Counsel and Multi-Jurisdictional Practice

Washington's RPC 5.5 permits the practice of law in Washington by lawyers who are licensed in another U.S. jurisdiction and lawyers licensed in a foreign jurisdiction under certain circumstances as set forth in the rule. 

Lawyers licensed in another U.S. jurisdiction and lawyers licensed in a foreign jurisdiction who want to practice as house counsel are required to seek admission to the bar by either Admission by Motion (APR 3(c)) or limited admission as house counsel under APR 8(f). Foreign house counsel will no longer be required to be admitted by exam in their original jurisdiction.

Applications for Admission By Motion are accepted through our online admissions site. Applications for limited admission as house counsel are paper forms, submitted via postal mail to the WSBA. House counsel may continue to practice on a temporary basis under RPC 5.5 pending the application for admission.

Questions about practice as House Counsel in Washington should be directed to admissions@wsba.org or 206-727-8209.


House Counsel Application Process

If you are not eligible for Admission by Motion, you can apply for limited admission as house counsel under APR 8(f). Submit the paper application to the WSBA, and include the following items:

  • Three authorization and release forms signed and notarized within the last five months
  • Certificate(s) of admission to practice and standing in all jurisdictions where admitted
  • $620 application fee (checks payable to the Washington State Bar Association). You may withdraw your application at any time prior to admission subject to a $300 non-refundable fee.

In addition, you will need to submit an investigation fee to the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE). 

Multi-Jurisdictional Practice of Law

RPC 5.5 also describes several situations in which it may be permissible to practice law in Washington on a temporary basis. Generally, the situations are limited to practice out of court. Under most situations, an out-of-state lawyer wanting to appear in court is going to be required to file a motion for admission pro hac vice.

Out-of-state lawyers with questions about practicing in Washington under RPC 5.5 should contact Sandra Schilling in the Office of General Counsel at sandras@wsba.org or 206-239-2118. Please read the complete rule and comments before making contact.

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.


House Counsel Application

Download the House Counsel Application.

Frequently Asked Questions