Updated: May 11, 2023

WSBA Membership Demographic Data and Diversity & Inclusion Plan

WSBA members have the option of sharing their demographic data which the WSBA tracks on an ongoing basis here. In 2012, WSBA engaged in a more comprehensive membership demographic study to learn more about underrepresented members. Informed by the 2012 Study, the WSBA created a Diversity and Inclusion Plan in 2013 which includes a commitment to do a comprehensive demographic study every 10 years.

2023 WSBA Membership Demographic Study

Fulfilling its commitment to do a comprehensive demographic study every 10 years, the WSBA started planning for a new membership demographic study in 2022. WSBA began working with Kno-Why, a consultancy based in Oregon, to help design and conduct the study.

The study comprises of two phases: the first phase is a survey which is sent to all members, and the second phase involves focus groups. Kno-Why sought input about what kind of information should be gathered and analyzed from various groups in the legal community including Minority Bar Associations, Sections, members of the judiciary, and Supreme Court-created commissions.

The Member Demographic 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 also inform a new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan which will replace the 2012 Diversity and Inclusion Plan. Please direct inquiries about this project to diversity@wsba.org.

2012 Membership Demographic Study

The WSBA conducted a Membership Demographic 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.

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. The DEI Council is the process of working towards a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan. For questions about this process, please email diveristy@wsba.org.