Former Alexandria prosecutor William L. Cowhig, who was disbarred in 1980 as the result of allegations that he received sexual favors from the wife of a drug defendant, says he wants to get back into the legal business.

Cowhig, who applied last week to the Virginia State Bar for reinstatement of his license to practice law, said in a telephone interview from Daytona Beach, Fla.: "I miss Virginia and the law very much."

In his second career Cowhig has been operating a bakery -- Tiffany's -- that specializes in cinnamon bread in the Florida city.

Cowhig, 59, resigned as Alexandria commonwealth's attorney in February 1979.

At the time, the allegations of sexual misconduct had just surfaced and Cowhig, who had been acquitted the year before of charges that he asked for and received $32,000 in bribes to permit illegal bingo games to operate, was facing another bingo-related charge, which was dropped on condition he leave office.

A special prosecutor appointed to investigate the incident involving the wife of the drug defendant found no cause for criminal prosecution, but he referred the case to the state bar.

Cowhig consistently denied the allegations, but he was disbarred following a finding of professional misconduct.

He is scheduled to appear at a hearing Jan. 24 before the Virginia Supreme Court, a bar official in Richmond said.

Under Virginia's judiciary rules, Cowhig's readmission application will be reviewed by a six-member disciplinary board of the state bar.

In addition, notices of the hearing are being sent to judicial officials in the Alexandria area, where Cowhig practiced law, as well as to witnesses who testified in his disbarment case, according the bar.

Cowhig said last week that if he is reinstated to the Virginia Bar he would like to return and set up a private general practice. "I don't even want to think about public office," he said. "I'm just asking for a chance to get back into law."