Admission to Practice Rule (APR) 9 grants a limited license to law students and recent law school graduates to practice law under the supervision of a lawyer. APR 9 legal interns gain valuable supervised practice experience in law school legal clinics, public and nonprofit programs, and in private firms.
To qualify, you must have good moral character and be enrolled and in good academic standing at an ABA-approved law school or in the Law Clerk Program and have completed at least 2/3rds of a 3-year program or five-eighths of a 4-year program. Law school graduates may apply within 9 months of graduation from an approved law school. A supervising lawyer must have at least 3 years of active legal experience to qualify.
Complete and submit the APR 9 Legal Intern License Application with the $50 processing fee. The fee is waived if you will be practicing only during your enrollment in a law school clinical education program that provides free legal services for low-income clients. There are no other fee waivers or reductions. Do not fax or email your application; original signatures are required. You may submit an application up to 4 weeks in advance of the date that you will complete the qualifying amount of legal studies and your supervision by a lawyer will begin.
The WSBA reviews the applications and, when appropriate, will recommend approval of your license to the Washington State Supreme Court. The Supreme Court will notify the WSBA if the license is approved and we will inform you of the Supreme Court's decision. You will not be licensed until you meet all of the qualifications. You cannot act as a Rule 9 Legal Intern until approved by the Court. When approval is granted, a confirming letter and ID card will be sent to you in care of your supervising lawyer at the supervisor's mailing address on file with the WSBA. Assuming these previous conditions are met, it takes approximately 2-4 weeks to process your application from the date our office receives it.
Carefully review the scope of practice described in APR 9(c) and (d). Note that the supervising lawyer must direct, supervise, and review all of the work of the legal intern and both shall assume personal professional responsibility for any work done by the legal intern while under the lawyer's supervision. Providing adequate supervision is the ethical duty of a supervising lawyer and failure to do so may be grounds for discipline. Generally, if something is not specifically permitted in APR 9, you should assume that it is not allowed. Questions about scope of practice can also be referred to the court having jurisdiction over the matter.
The license is valid for 24 months, or 12 months after graduation from law school, whichever comes first. There are no extensions. You may add a supervisor or change supervisors within that period of time. If you end your internship earlier than stated in your application, the lawyer should submit a termination of supervision form. Passing (or failing) the bar exam does not affect a Rule 9 limited license. Only completion of one's full admission to the bar would supersede the Rule 9 limited license.
Download the application form
Rules of Professional Conduct
Change, Extend, or Add Supervisor
Notify WSBA of Supervision End Date
Questions? Contact Doug at email@example.com-WSBA, ext. 8228
© 2013 Washington State Bar Association, all rights reserved.