Updated: March 31, 2023

WSBA Membership Demographic Study

Following the 2012 Membership Demographic Study, WSBA has been in the process of doing a new study in 2022-2023. The study will include a survey which will go to all members and follow-up focus groups to gather more data. The study will be used to inform how to improve our legal profession including how to better support underrepresented and historically marginalized legal professionals. The study will inform a new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan and ultimately promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession. While the WSBA will use the study to inform how to improve the legal profession, the study will be publicly available for anyone including the Minority Bar Associations, law schools, and the judiciary.

In 2022, the project team gathered input from Minority Bar Associations, Bar leaders and volunteers to help design the survey. The survey will be launched in May 2023 to the entire membership. 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. We expect the entire project to be completed by September 2023.

Kno-why, a consultancy based in Oregon, is helping WSBA to design and conduct the study. They are working closely with a WSBA project team that includes Governor Alec Stephens, Governor Nam Nguyen, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council members, WSBA Executive Director, Terra Nevitt, and WSBA staff.

Please direct inquiries 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.