APEC economy: United States of America; Jurisdiction: Washington State

Temporary practice ('fly-in, fly-out' practice)

There is an express rule allowing temporary practice by foreign lawyers.

Conditions/restrictions are placed on the scope of temporary practice as follows: the lawyer must associate with local counsel (Admission to Practise Rule No 8).

Limited licensing of foreign lawyers (foreign legal consultant rules)

A foreign lawyer can obtain a limited licence entitling them to offer advisory services in foreign and international law (ie become a foreign legal consultant).

The following requirements must be met:

  1. proof of admission to practise in other jurisdiction;
  2. good moral character and fitness to practise;
  3. execute oath;
  4. file certificate from licensing jurisdiction;
  5. proof of other matters such as professional/educational requirements, good moral character and other requirements;
  6. pay fee.

The limited licence entitles a foreign legal consultant to advise on foreign law. However, a foreign legal consultant may not appear in any other capacity, may not prepare documents affecting title to real estate in the United States, may not prepare a will or other trust instrument affecting property in the United States or owned by US citizen, may not prepare documents affecting marital relations or custody, may not render legal advice on the law of Washington or any other State, may not hold themselves out to be a member of the Washington Bar Association, may not use any title other than foreign legal consultant.

In order to offer advisory services in foreign and international law, a foreign legal consultant is not required to enter a commercial association with local lawyers.

As at June 2009, approximately 12 limited licences had been granted to foreign lawyers in this jurisdiction.

Full licensing

A foreign lawyer cannot obtain a full licence to practise law in this jurisdiction. The relevant impediment is that a foreign lawyer can only gain a full licence to practise law if he or she were to meet the admission requirements or were admitted under special admission.

Commercial association between lawyers and law firms

In this jurisdiction:

Other regulatory issues

In this jurisdiction:

Foreign lawyers and firms are treated differently from local lawyers in the application of these rules in that foreign law firms and lawyers are not licensed in WA and therefore do not fall under the RPCs.


Category Name Website or other contact details
Organisation(s) that controls licensing of lawyers Washington State Bar Association www.wsba.org
Peak professional association representing the legal profession Washington State Bar Association www.wsba.org