Law Clerk Program

The Admission to Practice Rule (APR) 6 Law Clerk Program is an alternative to law school, which could qualify you to take the Washington state bar examination pursuant to the requirements of APR 3 (b) Qualifications for Bar Examination. It is a four-year program designed to provide theoretical, scholastic, and clinical experience through a combination of work and study with an experienced lawyer or judge.

Qualifications

To qualify to apply for the program applicants must have good moral character, a bachelor's degree, and regular paid employment in Washington state with a lawyer or judge who has at least 10 years of active experience and will serve as the applicant's primary tutor. 

Applicants must find their own employment; neither the WSBA nor the Law Clerk Board can assist in finding an employer/tutor. Employment is a requirement to apply for the program and an important component of program participation. Applicants must hold qualifying employment with the tutor when applying. Employment offered contingent upon enrollment in the program is not acceptable.

To Apply

  1. Read the APR 6 Rules and Regulations Pamphlet to assure the law clerk and tutor applicants are eligible. 
  2. Access the Application Packet, complete and send with the $100 application fee by the appropriate deadline.
  3. WSBA may contact you for additional information and/or assign an individual Board member to meet with you before the Board's review.
  4. You will be notified of the Board's decision within one week after the Board's meeting.

Application Due

Board Review

Program Start Date

Postmarked on or before Jan. 6

March meeting
March 3, 2017

April 1

Postmarked on or before July 7

September meeting
Sept. 8, 2017

Oct. 1



APR 6 Law Clerk Program Application materials

Advanced standing, foreign credentials

When you apply, you may petition for Advanced Standing in the program based on law school courses completed. The courses may be from either an approved or unapproved law school, but only law school courses may be considered. Neither undergraduate or paralegal courses, nor employment experience may be considered. If you have completed undergraduate studies and/or law school in a foreign country, you should provide an education credential evaluation report. 

Enrollment

The Law Clerk Board makes determinations on enrollment and Advanced Standing in the program. If you are enrolled, you must pay a $1,500 fee each calendar year. The Law Clerk Board and WSBA staff monitor participation in the program but the law clerk and tutor study independently as they complete the course of study required by the regulations. The law clerk must spend a minimum of 32 hours each week performing the duties of a law clerk, which includes work and study. The tutor is required to give at least three hours each week of personal supervision to the law clerk, which includes exposition and discussion of the law, the recitation of cases, and the critical analysis of the law clerk's written assignments.

Limitations

You do not earn a J.D. degree by completing the Law Clerk Program, and the program is not accredited by the American Bar Association. It meets requirements for admission for the practice of law in Washington State only and may not satisfy requirements for admission in other states; admission requirements are established on a state by state basis. For more information about other state’s requirements, contact the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

Questions about the Law Clerk Program?

Email lawclerks@wsba.org, or call 206-239-2112; toll-free 800-945-WSBA (9722), ext. 2112


Any discrepancy or conflict between the information provided here and the rules and regulations set by the Washington State 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.

Law Clerk Program Rules and Regulations

Additional Resources

Assistant Tutor Application
See regulations for information about assistant tutors

Tutor's Monthly Certificate
To be completed by the tutor and submitted by the 10th business day after each month of study

Jurisprudence Reading List 
Three reports due for each year of study. To request additions to the list, submit a written request to the Law Clerk Board.