***On December 28, 2023, the Idaho Supreme Court entered an Order amending the Idaho Bar Commission Rules governing admission to practice law in Idaho. The amendments are effective March 1, 2024. The amendments eliminate the reciprocity requirement under current Idaho Bar Commission Rule 206 and provide that any attorney from any state who has been substantially engaged in the Active Practice of Law for at least three of the previous five years may be admitted to the practice of law in Idaho without having to take the Idaho bar examination. The amendments further provide that work as a judicial law clerk qualifies as the Active Practice of Law for the purposes of qualifying for admission without examination, provided such work was performed after admission to practice and as a licensed, active member of the jurisdiction in which the work was performed. You can find the Court’s Order HERE.
If you do not currently qualify for reciprocal admission but will qualify for admission without examination under the amended rule effective March 1, 2024, please wait until after March 1 to apply for admission in Idaho. Contact Maureen Ryan Braley, Associate Director of the Idaho State Bar, with any questions about the rule change.***
On June 1, 2023, the Idaho Supreme Court entered an Order amending Idaho Bar Commission Rule 217 and the Bar Examination Grading Standards and Procedures to lower the Idaho Bar Examination Passing Score to 67.5% of the highest possible scaled score, or 270. These amendments are effective for the July 2023 bar exam and all exams thereafter. A link to the Court’s press release announcing these changes can be found here.
The Bar Exam is given twice a year, the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July. Deadlines for timely filing are October 1 for the February exam and March 1 for the July exam. Late deadlines are November 15 for the February exam and April 15 for the July exam.
Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) Scores
Score Transfers: The Idaho State Bar will accept transferred MBE scores earned in another jurisdiction or from a previous unsuccessful attempt at the Idaho Bar Exam. The MBE must have been taken within 37 months prior to the date of the Idaho bar examination for which an applicant is applying. It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact the other jurisdiction and request the score be transferred to the Idaho State Bar office. Idaho recommends that only MBE scaled scores of 136 or higher be transferred. (Idaho Bar Commission Rule 217(c)).
MBE Exemption for Attorneys: An attorney applicant for the Idaho Bar Exam is exempt from having to take the MBE if the attorney applicant has been actively practicing law for at least three of the last five years.
Please note that if you transfer an MBE score or elect to use the MBE exemption and sit only for the essay portion of the Idaho Bar Exam, you will not earn a UBE score.
Score Requests: Applicants taking the MBE in Idaho may obtain MBE scores by mailing or emailing a written request to Maureen Ryan Braley, Associate Director. Requests must include the date of the exam and a current address. Idaho does not release individual essay scores to successful applicants.
Transfer of MBE Scores to Other Jurisdictions: The Idaho State Bar will transfer your MBE score to admitting authorities in other jurisdictions. To request your score to be transferred, please submit a written request including the following information:
- Name and address of the admitting agency;
- The date you took the MBE in Idaho (i.e. February 2017 exam);
- Your name and current address;
- And indicate whether you would like a copy of the transfer notice sent to you.
The essay examination consists of the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE) and the Multistate Performance Test (MPT). The MEE is six questions administered in a three-hour session on Tuesday morning. The MPT is administered on Tuesday afternoon and consists of two questions in a three-hour session. Past MEE and MPT questions are available from the National Conference of Bar Examiners at https://www.ncbex.org.
Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE)
Prior to taking the bar exam or within the next two Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination administrations after successfully completing the bar exam, an applicant must take the MPRE and receive a minimum scaled score of 85. Idaho Bar Commission Rule 202(b). For MPRE application packets and further information, contact the National Conference of Bar Examiners and register online at www.ncbex.org.
Bar Examination Scoring and Grading Standards
- Bar Examination Scoring information available in PDF format.
- Grading Standards available in PDF format.
Qualifications for Admission – Idaho Bar Commission Rule 202
Qualifications. Before receiving permission to take the bar examination and for admission to practice law in Idaho, the Applicant must:
- Be at least eighteen years of age;
- Be lawfully admitted to this country;
- Have, or will have received, a juris doctorate or bachelor of laws degree or an equivalent basic law degree from an Approved Law School. Submission of a law school transcript in a form satisfactory to the Board shall be considered compliance with this Rule;
- Have demonstrated the essential eligibility requirements to practice law pursuant to Rule 201 and have met all requirements in the Admission Rules; and
- Be a person of good moral character.