Rawlings Ragland, 68, a retired Washington lawyer, died Saturday at Georgetown University Hospital after a long illness.

He retired in June, 1975 after 25 years in private practice here. During that time, he was general counsel of the Bureau of National Affairs. He also was general counsel for 10 years of the AVEMCO Corp., an airplane insurance company.

Born in Waco, Tex., Mr. Ragland was a graduate of the University of Kentucky and its law school. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Order of the Coif.

He came to Washington in the early 1930s to serve as a special assistant to the Attorney General. He also was chief of the court of claims section of the (civil) claims division of the Justice Department and served in the Puerto Rico Reconstruction Administration.

During World War II, Mr. Ragland was an officer in the U.S. Navy. During part of that time he was detailed to the State Department for duty in London, England.

After the war, he was deputy chief counsel for war crimes prosecution in the Nuremburg trials and was chief prosecutor of Alfried Krupp.

Mr. Ragland was a member of the Kentucky and District bars, the American Bar Association and the Kenwood County Club.

He is survived by his wife, Joan Ragland, a son, John, and a daughter, Susan Ragland, all of the home in Bethesda; a brother, Ben. of Birmingham, Mich., and another brother, David, and a sister, Elizabeth Ragland, both of Lexington, Ky.

The family suggests that expressionsof sympathy may be in the form of contributions to the National Kidney Foundation.