Updated: July 7, 2022

WSBA Membership Demographic Study

WSBA is launching a Membership Demographic Study.  The last study was done in 2012 which informed the creation of the 2013 WSBA Diversity and Inclusion Plan.  In that plan, the WSBA committed to conducting a Membership Demographic Study every 10 years.  The study will be used to inform how WSBA can better support underrepresented and historically marginalized legal professionals, promote diversity, equity and inclusion, and inform a new Diversity and Inclusion Plan. The primary audiences for the study are WSBA leadership and members, and various stakeholders, including Minority Bar Associations, law schools, and the judiciary.

Kno-why, a consultancy based in Oregon, will help design and conduct the study. They will work closely with a WSBA project team that includes Governor Alec Stephens, Diversity Committee Co-Chair Nam Nguyen, Diversity Committee members, WSBA's Executive Director, Terra Nevitt, and WSBA staff. 

In August, the project team will begin gathering input from stakeholders to help design the survey.  This will take approximately 4 to 6 weeks. The survey will be released in September.  Once the survey data has been collected, focus groups will be convened.  At the end of the project, the consultants will produce a report that will include a summary and analysis of the demographic data collected and recommendations for how WSBA can better support the success of its members in the legal profession. We expect the entire project to be completed by the end of this year. 

Additional information about how to get involved will be provided soon. 

Please direct inquires about this project to barbaran@wsba.org.

Membership Data

The WSBA conducted a Membership Study in 2012. The WSBA Membership Study Executive Summary shares highlights from the study. A second study was conducted in 2014, which examined diversity within certain underrepresented groups as well as between those groups. The Diversity, Intersectionality & WSBA Membership Study can be found here.

Demographic highlights about various underrepresented groups can be found for the following groups:

The 2012 Membership Study and the 2014 Diversity, Intersectionality & WSBA Membership Study found that members who identified with one or more underrepresented groups reported experiencing social, opportunity, and advancement barriers in their professional careers. These barriers included being excluded, misunderstood, offered fewer opportunities, not receiving a raise or promotion and being treated differently.

View the most up to date WSBA membership counts and demographics.

Diversity and Inclusion Plan

Informed by the 2012 study results, the Board of Governors, adopted our  Diversity and Inclusion Plan. The plan reflects the unique roles for which the Bar is positioned as a unified bar: to create and help nurture the conditions that will encourage diverse lawyers to enter, remain, thrive and ultimately to lead the profession and inspire others to follow in their footsteps. The plan includes a directive to conduct a membership study every 10 years.