Updated: Oct. 5, 2021

What is Voluntary Resignation?

Voluntary resignation is a voluntary action taken by licensed legal professionals to give up the license to practice law, whether because they are retiring, changing careers, or otherwise deciding that they no longer want to have a license to practice law in Washington.  After resigning, you are not permitted to practice law.

How do I Voluntarily Resign?

  • You may request to voluntarily resign your license to practice law by completing and filing the Voluntary Resignation Form or in your online license renewal by clicking the Edit button in the License Status box.
  • A request to voluntarily resign may be denied if there is a disciplinary investigation or proceeding then pending against you, or if you have knowledge that the filing of a grievance of substance against you is imminent. These situations are addressed under the provisions of the Washington Supreme Court’s Rules for Enforcement of Lawyer Conduct (ELC), Rules for Enforcement of LLLT Conduct (ELLLTC) or Rules for Enforcement of LPO Conduct (ELPOC).
  • Upon completion of a voluntary resignation you are not permitted to practice law, as defined by Washington Supreme Court General Rule 24.
  • After voluntarily resigning,  you may seek readmission in one of two ways.
    • If it has been less than 4 years since you voluntarily resigned, by filing an application for readmission, including a statement detailing the reasons for voluntarily resigning and the reasons for seeking readmission; or,
    • If it has been more than four years since you voluntarily resigned, by filing an application for admission by examination, or, for former lawyers, by filing an application for Admission by Motion pursuant to APR 3(c) (if you are licensed to practice law as a lawyer in another U.S. jurisdiction and you have the requisite active legal experience).
  • The full requirements for readmission from a voluntary resignation can be found here: Facts to Active from Resigned.

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.