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Jennifer Olegario
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Supreme Court Invites Public Participation in Bar Structure Work Group │ Nov. 16, 2018

Updated: March 17, 2021

Apply by Dec. 7 to help determine the future of legal regulation in Washington state

SEATTLE [Nov. 16, 2018] — The Washington Supreme Court seeks applications for a public member to serve on its work group to conduct a comprehensive review of the structure of the Washington State Bar Association.

WSBA operates under the delegated authority of the Supreme Court to license the state’s nearly 40,000 lawyers and other legal professionals. In furtherance of its obligation to protect and serve the public, the WSBA both regulates lawyers and other legal professionals and serves its members as a professional association.

Pending lawsuits regarding the legal status of bar associations across the nation as well as recent case law prompted the Washington Supreme Court to form the Bar Structure Work Group. It will ultimately make a recommendation to the full Court as to WSBA’s future structure, which might be remaining status quo, dividing into a mandatory and a voluntary bar association, or forming some sort of hybrid.

Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst will chair the 10-person work group, which has one seat reserved for a public (non-WSBA member) representative. The work group will review and assess WSBA’s structure in light of recent case law with First Amendment and antitrust implications; recent reorganizations by other state bar associations and their reasoning; and the additional responsibilities of WSBA due to its administration of Supreme Court-appointed boards.

Meetings will be held at the WSBA offices in Seattle, beginning in January 2019 and will be held every three to four weeks for six to eight months. All meetings will be open to the public; a schedule will be posted on when available.

Interested applicants should apply to:

The Washington Supreme Court
Attention: C.J. Mary Fairhurst
P.O. Box 40929, Olympia, WA 98504

Applicants should indicate they are applying for the public-member position and include the reason for their interest and pertinent background information. The deadline for applications is Dec. 7, 2018. In making its selections, the court will be looking for diversity in all its aspects.

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About the Washington State Bar Association

The WSBA operates under the delegated authority of the Washington Supreme Court and exercises a governmental function authorized by the Court to license and regulate the state’s nearly 40,000 legal professionals, including lawyers, limited practice officers, and limited license legal technicians. The WSBA both regulates legal professionals under the authority of the Court and serves its members as a professional association — all without public funding. The WSBA administers the Bar admission process, including the bar exam; provides record-keeping and licensing functions; administers the lawyer discipline system; and provides continuing legal education for legal professionals, in addition to numerous other educational and member-service activities. The Bar’s mission is to serve the public and its members, to ensure the integrity of the legal profession, and to champion justice.