Updated: Dec. 8, 2017

APR 6 Law Clerk Program

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


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 help in finding an employer/tutor. Employment is a requirement to apply for the program and an important piece of the program. Applicants must have qualifying employment with the tutor when applying. Employment offered contingent upon enrollment in the program is not acceptable.

To Apply

  • Read the APR 6 Rules and Regulations Pamphlet to be sure the law clerk and tutor applicants are eligible.
  • Complete the Application Packet, complete and send it with the $100 application fee by the appropriate deadline.
  • Applications are due 60 days prior to each law clerk board meeting.
  • WSBA may ask you for more information and/or assign an individual Board member to meet with you before the Board's review.
  • You will be notified of the Board's decision within one week after the Board's meeting.
Law Clerk Board Meeting Program Start Date
 Sept. 8, 2017 Oct. 1, 2017
 Nov. 3, 2017 Dec. 1, 2017
 Feb. 2, 2018 March 1, 2018
 May 4, 2018 June 1, 2018
 Aug. 3, 2018 Sept.1, 2018

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. Undergraduate and paralegal courses, and employment experience will not be considered for advance standing credit. If you have completed undergraduate studies and/or law school in another country, you should provide an education credential evaluation report. 


The Law Clerk Board makes determinations on enrollment and advanced standing in the program. If you are enrolled, you must pay a fee each calendar year (currently $1,500/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 should include discussion of the law, and cases, and the critical analysis of the law clerk's written assignments.


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.

Please Note : All applicants are subject to a character and fitness review prior to being admitted to practice law in Washington.  Factors considered by Admissions staff and Bar Counsel when determining whether an applicant should be referred to the Character and Fitness Board are set forth in Washington Supreme Court Admission and Practice Rules (APR)  20-24.2(a). 

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.