Nov. 2023 > Need to Know

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WSBA NEWS

2024 License Renewal and Sections

License Renewal is now paperless (online only). Online licensing opened in November and must be completed by Feb. 1, 2024.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. Pay online via credit card or electronic funds transfer, or print an invoice to mail in with a check.

Certify MCLE Compliance. If you are in the 2022-2023 reporting period, then you are due to report CLE credits and certify MCLE compliance. The deadline for completing credits is Dec. 31, 2023. The certification must be completed online by Feb. 1, 2024. Visit http://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, 2024. 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 licensing.wsba.org when online licensing opens in November. 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. Visit www.wsba.org/legal-community/sections/sections to learn more.

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 services provider. 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 services provider in the prior year. Learn more at 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, 2023: Licensed legal professionals in the 2022-2023 reporting period must complete required MCLE credits.
  • Feb. 1, 2024: Deadline for requesting the one-time license fee hardship exemption.
  • Feb. 1, 2024: License renewal, payment(s) and MCLE certification, if applicable, must be completed online.

Work at the WSBA

The WSBA is hiring! Visit www.wsba.org/career-center/work-at-the-wsba to see what’s available.

Powerful Communities Grant Application 

The WSBA and the Washington State Bar Foundation (WSBF) are excited to announce the opening of the Powerful Communities Grant application. Five years ago, the first Powerful Communities Grants were awarded. Since then, the WSBF has had the honor of awarding 59 grants totaling $184,000. The WSBA created the Powerful Communities program to ensure accessibility to legal services for those historically denied justice due to systemic oppression. The grants can jumpstart new community-based projects, expand existing programs, or provide organizations with general operating expenses. Grantees are selected by a panel of WSBA staff, WSBF trustees, and community members with lived experience. In addition to supporting local community members, many of the grantees provide volunteering opportunities for attorneys, LLLTs, and LPOs. The Powerful Communities Grant application opened on Monday, Nov. 13. For access to the application and to learn more about the process, please visit the Powerful Communities Grant webpage: www.wsba.org/connect-serve/pro-bono-public-service/powerful-communities. If you have any questions about the application, please contact publicservice@wsba.org.  

Help Fill the Moderate Means Legal Need

The statewide Moderate Means Program serves moderate income clients through a network of attorneys and limited license legal technicians who offer assistance in family, housing, consumer, and unemployment law cases at reduced fees scaled to the client’s income. There is an urgent need for legal professionals to serve. Visit www.wsba.org/connect-serve/pro-bono-public-service/mmp for more information and join now through your myWSBA account, www.mywsba.org.

Engage With WSBA Leaders

The Member Engagement Council, which seeks member input and involvement in decision-making processes, wants to hear from you! The first agenda item of each meeting (the first Thursday of each month from 1-3 p.m. via Zoom) is reserved for member comments. All topics are welcome. Visit the events calendar at www.wsba.org for more information.

Follow Board Meetings and Submit Feedback

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 http://www.wsba.org/about-wsba/who-we-are/board-of-governors. Send your feedback to boardfeedback@wsba.org. Please note that all WSBA emails are subject to public records requests.

WSBA Office Space for Sublease

The state Bar is offering space for sublease at its headquarters in the Puget Sound Plaza Building in the heart of downtown Seattle. There is a mix of size and space configurations available with competitive terms. All interested parties should go through broker Adam Chapman at 206-521-2672 or adam.chapman@am.jll.com. The WSBA’s current lease runs through December 2026, and space has become available as many positions have transitioned to remote or hybrid work. The WSBA’s Long-Range Strategic Planning Council is currently investigating the future of the WSBA’s office location beyond 2026.

Free Postings for Positions in Rural Parts of Washington State

Many rural communities in Washington do not have enough lawyers to meet the legal needs of their residents. In an effort to increase awareness among WSBA members about employment opportunities in rural parts of the state, the WSBA and the Career Center are offering free 30-day postings of jobs for legal professionals in “rural” areas, defined as: “any job not in Thurston, Clark, Pierce, King, Snohomish, Spokane, and Whatcom counties, with the proviso that if the job is in a town of 5,000 or less within said county, it may also be posted for free.” To determine eligibility for a free posting, please contact memberbenefits@wsba.org with “RURAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY” in the subject line. 


RESOURCES

Check Out the 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.

Software and Services for Your Practice

As a member of the WSBA, you have access to the Practice Management Discount Network, a collection of discounts on products and services to help you improve your law practice. We offer discounts on conflict-checking, credit-card processing, encryption, cybersecurity, document editing, document management, e-discovery, marketing and website support, office supplies, practice management software, remote receptionists, and retirement planning. Learn more and access your discounts today at www.wsba.org/for-legal-professionals/member-support/practice-management-discount-network.

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.

Free Practice-Management Consultations 

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.


ETHICS

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.


WSBA MEMBER WELLNESS

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 Washington Unbar Alcoholics Anonymous group for legal professionals has been meeting regularly for almost 30 years. The group meets Wednesdays, 12:15–1:30 p.m., and Sundays, 7–8 p.m. Currently, the group meets online via Zoom, and attorneys from all over Washington participate. For more information and Zoom credentials contact unbarwa@gmail.com.

Health Benefits

The WSBA Private Health Insurance Exchange offers members access to the most competitive group health insurance solutions on the market. Enjoy unique cost-saving opportunities, complimentary enrollment technology, valuable HR tools, and voluntary premier-level ancillary benefits with special pricing and concessions. Speak to a benefits counselor and request a free quote today: www.memberbenefits.com/wsba.


WSBA COMMUNITY NETWORKING

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.


QUICK REFERENCE

November 2023 Usury

The usury rate for Nov. 2023 is 12.00%. The auction yield of the October 2, 2023 auction of the six-month Treasury Bill was 5.580%. The interest rate required by RCW 4.56.110(3)(a) and 4.56.115 for Nov. 2023 is 7.580%. The interest rate required by RCW 4.56.110(3)(b) and 4.56.111 for Nov. 2023 is 10.50%.