Updated: July 9, 2020

House Counsel and Multi-Jurisdictional Practice

Lawyers licensed in another U.S. jurisdiction and lawyers licensed in a foreign jurisdiction who want to practice as house counsel must become licensed in Washington. They may seek licensing in Washington by motion under Washington Supreme Court Admission and Practice Rule (APR) 3(c) or as House Counsel under APR 8(f)).

Applications for Admission By Motion are accepted through our online admissions site.

Applications for limited admission as House Counsel are paper forms, submitted via postal mail to the WSBA. House Counsel may continue to practice on a temporary basis under Washington Supreme Court Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) 5.5 pending the application for admission.

House Counsel Application Process

If you are not eligible for Admission by Motion, you can apply for limited admission as house counsel under APR 8(f). Submit the paper application to the WSBA, and include the following items:

  • One authorization and release form signed and notarized within the last six months;
  • Certificate(s) of admission to practice and good standing in all jurisdictions where admitted;
  • $620 application fee (checks payable to the Washington State Bar Association). You may withdraw your application at any time prior to admission subject to a $300 non-refundable administrative fee.

All eligible Attorney Applicants and Foreign Applicants are required to pay an investigation fee to the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE).  After review of your application by the WSBA office, the NCBE will contact you and provide you with NCBE payment and authorization and release forms that will need to be executed by you. 

If you have any questions about the House Counsel License, or if you prefer to have an application mailed to you, please contact the Admissions Department at admissions@wsba.org or 206-727-8209.

Multi-jurisdictional Practice of Law

RPC 5.5 also describes several situations in which it may be permissible to practice law in Washington on a temporary basis. Generally, the situations are limited to out-of-court practice. Under most situations, an out-of-state lawyer wanting to appear in court is going to be required to file a motion for admission Pro Hac Vice pursuant to APR 8(b).

Out-of-state lawyers with questions about practicing in Washington under RPC 5.5 should contact Sandra Schilling in the Office of General Counsel at sandras@wsba.org or 206-239-2118. Please read the complete rule and comments before making contact.


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.