Professional Responsibility

As members of a profession and officers of the court, lawyers are obligated to act in a professional manner, obey the law, avoid conflicts of interest, and to put the interests of clients ahead of their own interests. 

The Ethics Line

When you need assistance in navigating the tricky waters of legal ethics, call the Ethics Line (206-727-8284 or 800-945-WSBA, ext. 8284) and consult with the Professional Responsibility Counsel.  We can help you analyze the ethical issues involved to enable you to make a decision consistent with the requirements of the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC).

The Ethics Line provides confidential, informal guidance as to your own prospective ethical conduct.

Common ethical issues are: conflicts of interest, client communication, handling client money, fee arrangements, confidential information, and how to withdraw from a matter in an ethical manner. See our FAQs for answers to frequently asked questions on the Ethics Line.

When to Call

The Ethics Line is open during normal business hours. Be prepared to leave a confidential voice message concerning the subject area of your question/issue, and the RPCs that you believe apply. Calls are returned in the order received and within two business days. Please note: calls regarding another lawyer’s conduct should be directed to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel at (206) 727-8207. 

Rules of Professional Conduct

Unofficial Amended Rules of Professional Conduct  (as of December 9, 2014)

As a service to members, WSBA publishes an unofficial booklet of the Rules of Professional Conduct. Please contact the Service Center for information on purchasing the booklet. 

New Advisory Opinions

In late December 2014, the Committee on Professional Ethics issued Advisory Opinion 201401 concerning lead generation services and Advisory Opinion 201402 regarding social media websites. 

More advisory opinions can found on the Ethics Advisory Opinions Search database.

Ethics Advisory Opinion Search

Rules of Professional Conduct

Link to the official RPCs, published by the Washington Supreme Court.

Succession Planning

Protecting your practice and clients

Checklists for Closing a Practice

Law Office Management Assistance Program

Assistance with practice management and starting your practice


Learn more about the lawyer discipline system in Washington.

Resources for the Public