How to Become A Lawyer in Washington

Lawyers are highly skilled individuals who have earned a doctoral degree in law from a law school that has been accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). Their typical duties include giving consultations to clients, advising them about legal matters, and representing them in a court of law.

Should I Become a Lawyer in Washington?

The Washington State Bar Association was established in 1888 and is supervised by the Washington Supreme Court. The Washington State Bar Association is responsible for the regulation of the legal profession in this state. All those individuals who are interested in working as lawyers in the state of Washington must clear the State Bar Exam and get licensed. Further details on this career are given below.

Education Required

Doctoral or professional degree (J.D.)

Major Requirement



Clear the Washington State Bar Exam to obtain a license


Volunteer work or an internship is advantageous

Key Skills

Critical-thinking, Communication, Attention-to-detail, Analytical, Analytical, Research, Interpersonal, and Problem-solving Skills, etc.

Annual Mean Salary (2019) -



Annual Mean Salary (2019) -



Job Outlook (2018-2028)

6% (As fast as average)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019)

Career Outlook

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Lawyers employed in the US are anticipated to see a 6% employment growth between 2018-2028. Moreover, a total of 657,170 Lawyers were employed in the US in 2019, and 11,910 of them belonged to the state of Washington. The employment level of lawyers in the US is expected to rise by up to 874,000 by 2028.

Steps to Becoming a Lawyer in Washington

Becoming a lawyer requires patience, grit, compassion, and most of all, determination. If practicing law is your passion and you possess these qualities then, these steps can guide you to your goal.

  1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

The first step towards becoming a lawyer is graduating from a bachelor’s degree. A typical bachelor’s degree may take approximately 4 years to complete. It is important to choose a degree that has been accredited by the relevant authorities.   

  1. Take and Pass the LSAT Exam

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree, you must take and clear the LSAT exam. The Law School Admission Test is mandatory for all candidates who want to enroll in a doctoral degree at a law school.

  1. Graduate from a Juris Doctorate (J.D.)

All lawyers must graduate from a Juris Doctorate from a law school that has been accredited by the ABA. Usually, a J.D. can be completed in about 3 years. Several ABA-accredited law schools in Washington offer a J.D., such as the University of Washington, the American University, the George Washington University, the Washington University at St. Louis, the Washington and Lee University, and so on.

  1. Take and Clear the Washington State Bar Exam to Get Licensed

Once graduated from law school with a J.D., all lawyers must get permission from the Washington State Bar Association to sit for and take the State Bar Exam. It is a series of 3 exams that must be cleared to become eligible for a law license.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Lawyer in Washington?

Overall, it takes about 7 to 8 years for anyone to become a lawyer. This duration includes a 4-years bachelor’s degree, 3 years of law school (J.D.), and approximately another year for the preparation and clearance of the LSAT and the Washington State Bar Exam.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Lawyer in Washington?

To become a licensed Lawyer in the state of Washington, all aspiring candidates must:

  • Be of a good moral character
  • Take and clear the LSAT
  • Graduate with an ABA-accredited Juris Doctorate from a law school
  • Pass the Washington State Bar Exam
  • Not be suspended, or disbarred in another state from practicing the law
  • Not have any disciplinary action against them in another state
  • Earned a license to practice law in the state of Washington

How Much Can I Make as a Lawyer in Washington?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in 2019 that Lawyers employed in the state of Washington had an annual mean salary of $129,550.

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