INTRODUCTION - WSBA

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INTRODUCTION We know it’s an exciting time for you as you prepare for admission to the Washington State Bar Association. We are here not only to help you further understand the responsibilities that come with joining the legal profession, but to provide you with support and resources throughout your career. When you are admitted to the practice of law in Washington state, you are admitted to a self-regulated profession. Lawyers work with and through the Washington Supreme Court and the Washington State Bar Association to oversee and administer the admission, licensing and discipline of lawyers. The Washington State Bar Association’s mission is to serve the public and the members of the Bar, ensure the integrity of the legal profession, and to champion justice. The Bar offers a variety of valuable programs and services to its members in furtherance of its obligation to protect and serve the public. The WSBA’s governing body is the Board of Governors, made up of active members of the WSBA. Every few years, the Board of Governors establishes strategic goals for the organization to ensure its work continues to support the Bar’s mission-focus areas, which are to ensure competent and qualified legal professionals and to promote the role of lawyers in society. To regulate the profession and to accomplish the goals and mission of the WSBA, we rely on our members to volunteer, contribute, lead, and exhibit professionalism. Professionalism includes acting with integrity and respect, which attorneys promise to do when they take the Oath of Attorney. As a self-regulated profession, we hold ourselves to a higher standard than other occupations and expect each other to act professionally at all times, not just when practicing law. The WSBA welcomes support and input from all its members in many different ways. There are many committees, task forces, boards and panels where your volunteer service is much needed and valued. The volunteer groups not only shape the WSBA and steer the direction of the practice of law in Washington, but also protect the public. For instance, the WSBA Character and Fitness Board protects the public by making sure that only people who demonstrate good moral character and fitness to practice law enter the practice. The Disciplinary Board serves as an appellate body for lawyer discipline cases and can recommend discipline including disbarment of those lawyers who are no longer fit to practice. Protecting the public is an important part of ensuring the integrity of the legal profession. Contributing isn’t limited to volunteering. You can contribute by attending meetings of the Board of Governors, expressing your opinion on current issues with the governor on the Board from your district, becoming a contributing writer for WSBA’s magazine, NWLawyer, or penning a post for WSBA’s blog, NWSidebar. We rely on volunteers for our CLE faculty and our professionalism program. You can also contribute financially by making donations to the Washington State Bar Foundation. The Bar Foundation helps sustain WSBA’s public service and diversity programs. We encourage you to participate in whatever way you are able and most comfortable — even if that simply means keeping yourself apprised of what is happening at the WSBA and with the practice of law. WSBA WLC – Rev. June 2016 ©2016 Washington State Bar Association, all rights reserved.

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INTRODUCTION This first section of the Washington Law Component provides you with information that you should know or that may be helpful for you to know about the WSBA. We look forward to you becoming a member of the Washington State Bar Association.

I. History A. The Washington State Bar Association was first formed as a voluntary organization in 1888, the last year of the Washington Territory. There were 35 members and the annual membership fee was $5. B. In 1933, the Washington Legislature enacted the “State Bar Act.” RCW 2.48. 1.

The State Bar Act created a mandatory Bar that is officially organized, self-governed, and all-inclusive.<