***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.***
Reciprocal Applicants – Idaho Bar Commission Rule 206
Qualifications. In order to be admitted to practice law without taking the Idaho bar examination, a Reciprocal Applicant must show to the satisfaction of the Board that he or she:
- Has met the qualifications for admission under Rule 202;
- Has passed a written bar examination and was admitted as an attorney by the highest court in any state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia that grants reciprocal admission under provisions substantially similar to this rule to attorneys licensed in Idaho;
- Has been substantially engaged in the Active Practice of Law In Idaho or under the authority of another jurisdiction that grants admission to attorneys licensed in Idaho under provisions substantially similar to this rule for no less than three of the five years immediately preceding the Application; however, if the jurisdiction from which the Reciprocal Applicant is seeking admission to the Bar requires at least three years of active practice within the five years immediately preceding the Application, then the Reciprocal Applicant must satisfy the period of time required in that jurisdiction. For purposes of this rule, substantial engagement in the Active Practice of Law includes:
- Attorneys who are licensed in Idaho as house counsel under Rule 225. Practice of law in Idaho as house counsel without an Idaho house counsel license does not satisfy the requirements of this subsection;
- Attorneys who are Judges, administrative judges or the equivalent thereof in another jurisdiction, of a court of general or appellate jurisdiction of any state or territory of the United States, the District of Columbia or federal court in the United States; or
- Attorneys who are employed by and teaching full-time in an Approved Law School;
- Possesses the moral character and fitness required of all other Applicants for admission;
- Has paid all required Application fees and costs; and
- Has not failed the Idaho bar examination in the five years immediately preceding the Application.
The burden of proof is on the applicant to establish by clear and convincing evidence that he or she meets each of the above requirements.
Legal Intern or Pro Hac Vice. The time an attorney practices or practiced in Idaho under Rule 226 or 227 does not independently qualify as time substantially engaged in the Active Practice of Law.
Time and Manner for Admission. Reciprocal Applicants shall be admitted as provided in Rule 220.
The application process could take from 60 to 90 days to complete. The application fee is $1,000.00. If you have questions about the application process or the admission requirements, please contact Maureen Ryan Braley, Associate Director, or Belinda Brown, Admissions Analyst, at (208) 334-4500.
The text of the reciprocal admission rule is in Idaho Bar Commission Rule 206.
Request a Copy of a Previously Filed Application
The Idaho State Bar charges a $25.00 fee for all copies of previously filed applications. To obtain a copy or copies of your application, please submit a written request accompanied by the $25.00 fee for each copy to:
Idaho State Bar
PO Box 895
Boise, ID 83701
Be sure to list the name and mailing address for the receipt of each copy and whether a certified statement should accompany the copy.