What is Pro Bono Status?
Pro bono status is for members who are no longer practicing law, don't want to be on active status, and want to provide volunteer legal services through a qualified legal services provider (QLSP). It is a great alternative to inactive status because it lets you provide pro bono legal services in your community for the same license fee. Also, starting with the 2021 licensing year, the license fee will be waived for pro bono status members who completed at least 30 hours of pro bono service with one or more QLSP in the prior year. No other practice of law is permitted while on pro bono status. Pro bono status is governed be Rule 3(g) of the Washington Supreme Court's Admission and Practice Rules.
To qualify for pro bono status, you must:
- Complete the Pro Bono Application.
- Be a WSBA member on active, inactive, or judicial status and in good standing.
- Volunteer to provide legal services with a QLSP.
- Complete six hours of training; you will receive a form from the WSBA after your application is reviewed. Return that form to the WSBA when the training is complete.
While on pro bono status:
- You are not allowed to practice law outside of providing free legal services through the QLSP.
- You must pay a $200 annual license fee (the same fee as inactive status) unless you completed at least 30 hours of pro bono service with a QLSP in the prior year in which case the license fee will be waived.
- You are not required to report MCLE credits, but you will be required to have completed a certain number of MCLE credits if you later want to return to active status.
- Note: returning to active status after six years (on any consecutive combination of inactive, pro bono, suspended) will require that you attend a reinstatement course currently offered only twice a year.
- Pro Bono FAQ