Updated: May 15, 2024

Petitions for Reinstatement after Disbarment in Washington

When am I eligible to petition for reinstatement after disbarment?

The complete eligibility factors are provided in Rule 25.1 of the Admission and Practice Rules (APR) and include the following:

  • It must be at least five (5) years after disbarment or two (2) years after the last adverse decision on a former petition; and
  • All disciplinary costs and expenses and restitution, including any funds disbursed by the Client Protection Fund (CPF) because of your actions, must be paid in full or a repayment agreement entered into.

What should I do before submitting a petition and application online?

Prior to submitting an application and a petition for reinstatement after disbarment, please email admissions@wsba.org for more information and confirmation of the status of your payment obligations, if any.

Is an investigation and hearing required?

Yes, all petitions for reinstatement after disbarment are investigated and referred for hearing before the Character and Fitness Board. The provisions of APR 20-24.3 apply to petitions for reinstatement unless otherwise provided for in APR 25-25.6. Please read APR 20-25.6.

Is it a confidential matter?

No, a petition for reinstatement after disbarment is a public proceeding from the time the petition is filed.

When is a decision on the petition final?

If the Character and Fitness Board recommends reinstatement, that recommendation will be submitted to the Supreme Court.

If the Board does not recommend reinstatement, a petitioner can request Disciplinary Board review and then Supreme Court review.

The decision on the petition is final upon entry of the Court’s order.

Will I need to take the bar exam?

Yes, if the Supreme Court approves the petition then you must take and pass the bar examination for your license type. You will be assigned to the next available exam.

Are there additional costs in addition to the application fee?

Yes, regardless of the outcome of a petition for reinstatement, you will be responsible for payment of the costs incidental to the reinstatement proceeding as provided by APR 25.5 and 25.6

What happens to any grievances that were still open at the time of my disbarment?

Any open grievances still pending at the time of disbarment or received after disbarment may be reopened and investigated upon reinstatement.