Oct. 2021 > Need to Know

News & Information of Interest to WSBA Members

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License Renewal

License renewal will begin in November and must be completed by Feb. 1, 2022. License renewal includes paying the annual license fee and any mandatory assessments, certifying MCLE compliance, completing the trust account declaration, and disclosing professional liability insurance or financial responsibility.

Certify MCLE Compliance

If you are in the extended 2018-2021 or 2019-2021 reporting period, then you are due to report CLE credits and certify MCLE compliance. The deadline for completing credits is Dec. 31, 2021. The certification must be completed online or be postmarked or delivered to the WSBA by Feb. 1, 2022. Visit www.wsba.org/MCLE to learn more.

License Fee Payment Plan Option Available

If you are experiencing financial challenges, you may contact us about our payment plan option available to all licensed legal professionals. Payments may be made in up to five installments with the balance required to be paid in full by Feb. 1, 2022. A license fee hardship exemption is available for active licensed legal professionals who qualify. Visit www.wsba.org/licensing to learn more.

Voluntary Demographic Information

Please update your information at http://www.licensing.wsba.org when online licensing opens in November or contact the Service Center to request a paper form. This information assists the WSBA in understanding the demographic makeup of our licensed legal professionals.

Join or Renew Your Section Membership

The Section Membership Year is Jan. 1 – Dec. 31. Learn more at www.wsba.org/legal-community/sections/sections.

Pro Bono Status

If you are considering going inactive, pro bono status (formerly known as emeritus pro bono status) is a great alternative that lets you provide pro bono services through a qualified legal service provider. Starting with the 2021 licensing year, the license fee will be waived for pro bono status members who completed at least 30 hours of pro bono service with a qualified legal service provider in the prior year. Visit www.wsba.org/for-legal-professionals/license-renewal/status-changes/emeritus-pro-bono-membership-and-return-to-active-membership.

Judicial Status

Please note that you are required to inform the Bar within 10 days of your retirement or your ineligibility for judicial status (and you must apply to change to another status or to resign). Visit www.wsba.org/licensing to learn more.

Important Dates

  • Dec. 31, 2021: Licensed legal professionals in the extended 2018-2021 and 2019-2021 reporting period must complete required MCLE credits.
  • Feb. 1, 2022: Deadline for requesting the one-time License Fee Hardship Exemption.
  • Feb. 1, 2022: License renewal, payment(s), and MCLE certification, if applicable, must be completed online or postmarked.


Special Discount on WSBA Career Center Through Year-End

Nonprofit, government, and small-firm employers can post job openings on the WSBA Career Center, https://jobs.wsba.org, at 50 percent of standard rates. This special discount, offered to prevent pricing from becoming a barrier as the legal community continues to navigate the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, has been extended through Dec. 31. Contact Mike Credit at 727-494-6565, ext. 3332, or michael.credit@communitybrands.com for more information.


Fastcase Remains Your Free Legal Research Tool

The two legal research platforms to which WSBA members have had access as a free member benefit—Casemaker and Fastcase—merged in January under the Fastcase umbrella. As of Oct. 15, Fastcase remains as the free legal research tool available to members. If you have questions about the transition, contact Fastcase at 866-773-2782 or support@fastcase.com. If you have questions for the WSBA, contact legalresearch@wsba.org

WSBA Board Feedback

Send your feedback to the newly created email address: board feedback@wsba.orgPlease note that all WSBA emails are subject to public records requests.

Receive Notice of Upcoming Board Meetings

Join the Board meeting notice subscription list to receive WSBA Board of Governors meeting notices straight to your inbox! To join, email barleaders@wsba.org or complete the form at www.wsba.org/about-wsba/who-we-are/board-of-governors.


Interview for Appellate Court Vacancies

On Dec. 2, the WSBA Judicial Recommendation Committee (JRC) will interview attorneys and judges interested in being appointed by the governor to fill potential vacancies on the Washington Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. The JRC’s recommendations are reviewed by the WSBA Board of Governors and forwarded to the governor for consideration when making appointments. To be considered for an interview, complete and submit the questionnaire posted on www.wsba.org/jrc by Nov. 5.

Character and Fitness Board

The Character and Fitness Board seeks board members from Congressional Districts 4, 8, and 9 with more than five years as an active WSBA member. Members on this unique board conduct hearings to determine whether applicants for admission to the practice of law can demonstrate that they have the moral character and fitness required to engage in the practice of law. Terms are three-years. The Board generally convenes one day a month, and most hearings last all day. If interested, please email barleaders@wsba.org or visit www.wsba.org/volunteer.

NJP Board

The WSBA Board of Governors is accepting applications for the Northwest Justice Project (NJP) Board of Directors. The Board of Governors will appoint three attorney members to serve three-year terms, commencing January 2022. Incumbents are eligible to apply. This is an opportunity for accomplished individuals who are passionate about NJP’s mission and who have a commitment to providing high-quality civil legal services to low-income people. For more information, please contact César Torres, cesart@nwjustice.org; or Chiedza Nziramazanga, nzirama2@gmail.com. To apply, email a letter of interest and résumé to barleaders@wsba.org by Nov. 19.

Volunteer with the Lawyer Discipline System

Learn more about volunteering as an adjunct disciplinary counsel (ADC). ADCs assist as needed in carrying out the functions of the lawyer discipline system pursuant to Rule 2.9 of the Rules for Enforcement of Lawyer Conduct. An ADC must have been an active lawyer or judicial member of the WSBA for at least seven years at the time of appointment. Appointment is for a five-year term. Visit www.wsba.org/adc-panel or contact rachela@wsba.org to learn more.

Custodians Needed

The WSBA is seeking interested lawyers as potential volunteer custodians of files and records to protect clients’ interests. Visit www.wsba.org/connect-serve/volunteer-opportunities/act-as-custodian, or contact Sandra Schilling: sandras@wsba.org, 206-239-2118, 800-945-9722, ext. 2118; or Darlene Neumann: darlenen@wsba.org, 206-733-5923, 800-945-9722, ext. 5923.

Volunteers Needed as Attorney Advocates

Unique opportunity to assist families or individuals in crisis by serving as a volunteer attorney advocate on the first-ever national advocacy hotline. Work from home or office at times you choose with hotline calls routed there. Resolution is typically achieved in under an hour. The nonprofit Help Now! Advocacy has assisted at no fee over 8,700 clients, mostly in Oregon, over the past 17 years. Contact LMKahn@HelpNowAdvocacy.org for more information.


DEI Resource Library

The DEI Resource Library is where WSBA members can learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts. There are compiled resource lists, books and articles on the criminal legal system, identity and intersectionality, microaggressions/bias, and race. Visit www.wsba.org/about-wsba/equity-and-inclusion/dei-resource-library.

Job Group

The Virtual Job Group began meeting on Zoom on Sept. 30 from 9-10:30 a.m. The group will meet for seven weeks and seeks to provide both strategy and support to job seekers. This is a chance to learn new approaches to networking, clarify what kind of career you are seeking, and review your materials with other group members. If you are interested email wellness@wsba.org.

Practice Guides

Access two practice guides—”The Law Firm Guide to Document Retention” and “The Law Firm Guide to Disaster Planning and Recovery”—as well as other law firm guides and templates at www.wsba.org/guides.

Career Consultation

Get help with your résumé, networking tips, and more—www.wsba.org/for-legal-professionals/member-support/wellness/consultation—or email wellness@wsba.org.

Practice-Management Assistance

The WSBA offers free resources and education on practice management issues. For more information, visit www.wsba.org/pma. You can also schedule a free phone consultation with a WSBA practice-management advisor. Visit www.wsba.org/consult to get started.

Lending Library

The WSBA Lending Library has reopened to members for both in-person and online checkouts. We have made a few changes to be aware of. For more information, visit www.wsba.org/library or email lendinglibrary@wsba.org.


Ethics Line

Members facing ethical dilemmas can talk with WSBA professional responsibility counsel for informal guidance. Learn more at www.wsba.org/for-legal-professionals/ethics/ethics-line or call the Ethics Line at 206-727-8284.

WSBA Advisory Opinions

WSBA advisory opinions are available online at www.wsba.org/for-legal-professionals/ethics/about-advisory-opinions. For assistance, call the Ethics Line at 206-727-8284.


Judges Need Help Too

The Judicial Assistance and Services Program (JASP) provides confidential support for judges, or those who are concerned about a judge. Contact Susanna Kanther, Psy.D., at 415-572-3803. Visit www.wsba.org/for-legal-professionals/member-support/wellness/judicial-assistance-service-program.

The ‘Unbar’ Alcoholics Anonymous Group

The Unbar is an “open” AA group for attorneys that has been meeting weekly for over 25 years. Due to COVID-19, the group is holding virtual meetings via Zoom; contact them at unbarwa@gmail.com. You can also find more details and resources at www.wsba.org/for-legal-professionals/member-support/wellness/addiction-resources.


New Lawyers List Serve

This list serve is a discussion platform for new lawyers of the WSBA. To join, email newmembers@wsba.org.

ALPS Attorney Match

Attorney Match is a free online networking tool made available through the WSBA-endorsed professional liability partner, ALPS. Learn more at www.wsba.org/connect-serve/mentorship/find-your-mentor, or email mentorlink@wsba.org.


Oct. 2021 Usury

The usury rate for October 2021 is 12.00%. The auction yield of the Sept. 7, 2021, auction of the six-month Treasury Bill was 0.051%. The interest rate required by RCW 4.56.110(3)(a) and 4.56.115 for October 2021 is 2.051%.The interest rate required by RCW 4.56.110(3)(b) and 4.56.111 for October 2021 is 5.25%.

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COVID-19 News to Know

WSBA Wins Award for Crisis Communication

The Washington State Bar Association has received one of the highest awards—a Certification of Excellence—in the category of COVID-19 Crisis Communication from the Puget Sound chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). These awards recognize projects and programs that demonstrate the best of the best in public relations. The WSBA’s entry included all of the resources created, posted, and communicated to members—including a comprehensive impact survey—to help keep the wheels of justice turning during the pandemic. Visit the WSBA’s award-winning COVID-19 resource webpage here: www.wsba.org/COVID-19.

Court Emergency Operations & Closures

The Washington Supreme Court has published a COVID-19 response page, which is a compilation of its emergency orders and court modifications: www.courts.wa.gov/newsinfo/index.cfm?fa=newsinfo.COVID19.

Law Office Reopening Guide

The WSBA Coronavirus Response Task Force compiled recommendations for how to safely reopen a law office. Find the guide “Reopening Safely: A Guide for Washington State Law Offices,” at www.wsba.org/docs/reopen.