Official Government Website

About Us

History of the Bar

To browse the archive of transcripts of the proceedings of the Idaho State Bar from 1921 to 1974, visit the US Courts website archive.

The Idaho State Bar (ISB) is a self-governing state agency of Idaho.  Portions of the Idaho Code pertaining to the practice of law in Idaho date back to 1881, however, the present “integrated” Bar was established by the Legislature in 1923 and 1925.  As an integrated Bar, all attorneys practicing law in Idaho must be licensed by the Idaho State Bar.

The ISB operates under power and authority delegated by the Idaho Supreme Court through its rule-making power and under the statutory authority of the Legislature.  The Bar is governed by five commissioners, elected from Idaho’s seven judicial districts.  Two commissioners are elected from the Fourth District, one represents the First and Second Districts, one the Third and Fifth Districts, and one the Sixth and Seventh Districts.  Commissioners serve staggered three-year terms.

The ISB is financed by license fees paid by each Idaho attorney together with miscellaneous fees and revenues.  It is totally self-sufficient and requires no tax dollars.  Most of the activities carried out by the ISB are accomplished by the volunteer efforts of individual attorneys working with staff support.

Pursuant to the Idaho Bar Commission Rules, the ISB is responsible for administering the following functions:  Admissions, Right to Practice after Admission, Mandatory Continuing Legal Education, Professional Conduct, Client Assistance Fund, Fee Arbitration, Unauthorized Practice of Law, Governance, Specialization, and Practice Sections.  The ISB also publishes The Advocate, a monthly magazine for attorneys and judges across the state, holds an annual meeting, and offers a statewide Lawyer Referral Service for regular-priced attorneys.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Idaho State Bar is to administer granting the privilege to practice law in Idaho; to control and regulate the legal profession; to protect the public from the unauthorized practice of law and from unprofessional conduct by members of the bar; to promote high standards of professional conduct, and to aid in the advancement of the administration of justice.


  1. Promote high standards of professional conduct by members of the bar.
  2. Furnish programs and services which improve opportunities for professional growth and enhance the competency of members of the bar.
  3. Promote the public’s access to legal services.
  4. Enhance public understanding of and respect for the law and the legal system.
  5. Aid in the advancement of the administration of justice.
  6. Maintain effective state bar governance and management.
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