The Idaho Law Foundation depends on the work of volunteers to help us carry out our work. Each year over 1,000 attorneys, or nearly 20% of Idaho’s Bar, give generously of their time to help with Law Foundation programs. Attorney volunteerism is the cornerstone of the Foundation’s work to help the profession serve the public.
There are so many meaningful ways attorneys assist with all of the Foundation programs from leading CLE presentations for other attorneys and teaching young people about the law and our legal system to taking pro bono cases or participating in legal clinics. Law Foundation staff knows we couldn’t accomplish any of this work without Idaho attorneys.
Here are a few specific examples of what the Law Foundation was able to accomplish in the last year with the support of our volunteers:
- 741 attorneys worked on 548 cases, donating 14,330 hours valued at nearly $3 million dollars.
- Over 100 attorneys coached and judged for Idaho’s mock trial program, allowing over 200 high school students to participate in the Idaho High School Mock Trial Competition.
- 223 legal clinics were held in all parts of the state, providing over 1,300 individuals with free legal advice and counsel.
- Attorneys volunteered over 500 hours to teach Idaho high school students about the 18 in Idaho
The Idaho Law Foundation would like to thank the many Idaho attorneys who stepped up in 2017 to help us make our programs possible. More information about volunteering for Law Foundation programs can be found on the Law Foundation’s website.
By 2025, Law Related Education plans to more than double the size of our mock trial program to include a minimum of 60 teams and host regional mock trial competitions in all seven judicial districts. To meet this ambitious goal, the LRE Committee has spent the last year developing a strategic plan that will serve to guide this growth.
While the plan will not official begin until May of 2018, the program is already off to a good start. Mock trial has steadily grown over the last several seasons and for the 2018 competition, it’s anticipated that participation will increase from 24 to at least 30 teams, including 4 new schools who have never before participated in mock trial.
The Mock Trial Strategic Plan will include three focus areas.
- Education: Provide a hand-on educational experience that ties to Idaho’s Common Core Standards and creates opportunities for students in all parts of Idaho to practice what they have learned.
- Competition: Utilize a competition model that delivers high quality content to maximize learning and provides opportunities for sportsmanship.
- Funding: Create a consistent pipeline of annual funding sufficient to cover staff and competition expenses.
The initial stages of the mock trial strategic plan focus on growing mock trial in more rural school districts in the Sixth and Seventh Judicial Districts. According to Idaho’s Department of Education, two-thirds of Idaho students attend school in rural school districts, many of which do not currently offer programs like mock trial. For many of rural districts, their greatest impediment for participating in extracurricular educational activities relates to access and funding. The Mock Trial Strategic Plan offers practical support that makes participation in mock trial feasible
2018-2019 objectives include:
- Recruiting 10 new mock trial teams from underserved, rural schools in Idaho’s Sixth and Seventh Judicial Districts.
- Identifying and training at least 20 new attorney and teacher coach partners to lead mock trial teams in the Sixth and Seventh Districts.
- Underwriting Sixth and Seventh District costs that make it possible for teams to participate in state mock trial activities.
The Law Related Education Program is excited to begin a concerted, thoughtful effort to grow Idaho’s mock trial program in the years to come. If you are interested in getting involved in mock trial, contact Carey Shoufler. You can also sign up using the Online Volunteer Form.
For over 30 years, the Idaho Law Foundation, through the IOLTA grant program, has been distributing funding to important programs that serve the public interest and fill important community needs. The total in grants distributed since 1985 totals over $6.6 million. For 2018, IOLTA will distribute $113,000 in grants, an increase of $18,000 over 2017 grant awards.
The $113,000 grant pool will be distributed to programs that provide legal services to the poor, law related education for the public, or for scholarships and student loans. For 2018, 70% of grants are targeted to legal services, 26% for law related education, and 4% for law school scholarships.
Funding for legal services was awarded to Idaho Legal Aid and Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program. Legal Aid prioritized IOLTA funding to help provide services to victims of domestic violence through a statewide network of offices in partnership with crisis centers. IVLP is able to coordinate over 15,000 hours of pro bono legal assistance to low-income families and individuals who needed assistance with civil legal matters.
Three law related education programs received grants, including the YMCA, 4-H, and the Idaho High School Mock Trial Program. Funds for the YMCA supported their Youth in Government Program to help high school students from rural communities participate in an experiential program that explores how our state government operates. The 4-H Know Your Government Program allows 8th and 9th grade students to participate in a mock legislative session or trial. Idaho’s Mock Trial Program teaches students in grades 9-12 about the law and the legal system through a simulated trial competition.
Remaining IOLTA funds are earmarked for law school loans and scholarships at the University of Idaho College of Law and Concordia University School of Law. These funds help support law students who take unpaid fellowships that serve the public interest.
Attorneys and law firms can have a significant impact on the IOLTA program’s ability to fund these important and necessary services for Idaho communities by banking at financial institutions that optimize their IOLTA funds. For questions about the IOLTA grant program, contact Diane Minnich.
Since 2013, the Idaho Military Legal Alliance has worked to increase access to pro bono legal services for Idaho’s military population. IMLA objectives include: coordinating services of IMLA partners, providing continuing legal education on military legal issues, supporting military legal clinics in all parts of Idaho, and recruiting pro bono attorneys to help Idaho’s military population.
Over the last four years, IMLA has created a leadership structure that includes partners from military, legal, and other community organizations as well as individual attorneys. This comprehensive leadership team has established a strategic vision, sets policy, procedure, and practice for IMLA’s programs, and assists community partners around the state with their local initiatives and CLE programs.
Since 2015, IMLA has sponsored 19 CLE programs across the state. IMLA has worked diligently to provide top-level educational programs to Idaho’s legal community on military specific legal issue of importance to Idaho’s military community such as family law, estate planning, and landlord/tenant matters, among other issues. By attending IMLA training events, attorneys have developed both legal and cultural competencies to provide top-notch legal advice and services to IMLA clients.
IMLA’s flagship program is its state-wide military legal clinics. IMLA offer two types of pro bono clinics. The first type is a general legal advice clinic where a client can meet with a volunteer attorney to discuss a pressing legal need. Most of these clinics occur monthly at various locations around the state. The second type of clinic is a military wills clinics. During these events, volunteer attorneys and law students meet with military clients to prepare simple estate plans. IMLA conducts wills clinics on a quarterly basis at the Boise Veterans Administration and in other locations on an ad hoc basis.
In 2016, IMLA received a grant to create and implement a “clinic in a box” program. IMLA purchased three military grade “tough boxes” large enough to accommodate printers and all other supplies necessary to support wills clinics. As part of the grant, IMLA also hosted and recorded an estate planning CLE. IMLA then sent the clinic boxes and the recorded CLE to Pocatello and Lewiston, and retains one box in Boise. Local legal communities can use these “clinics in a box” to conduct their own military wills clinics.
In addition to IMLA’s clinical programs, Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program works closely with IMLA to refer attorneys when services needed exceed the scope of IMLA’s clinics. If you are an attorney who is interested in accepting pro bono referrals of military clients, please go to www.idahoprobono.org, activate your account, and select “Veterans.”
IMLA would like to thank the Idaho State Bar and Idaho Law Foundation, all of IMLA’s member partners, and all of the outstanding volunteer attorneys and law students for their continued support over the last four years. Without the sustained efforts of all involved, military clients would not have had their legal needs met.
One of the five core focus areas for the Idaho Law Foundation’s Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Program is programming led by Idaho’s judiciary. Over the last three years, 30 Idaho judges have presented on topics of interest and importance to Idaho’s legal community including the New Attorney Program, Lessons from the Masters, Headline News, and the Mobile Monday CLE series, with many of the judges presenting multiple times.
Participation from the judiciary in Law Foundation sponsored CLEs will continue in 2018. In February, Judges Mayli Walsh (Kootenai County), Greg Kalbfleisch (Nez Perce County) and Thomas Sullivan (Canyon County) will present in Coeur d’Alene, Lewiston and Caldwell, alongside two practitioners, discussing ethical scenarios in an informal lunch setting. Similar sessions will be held in Boise, Twin Falls, Pocatello and Idaho Falls in May. Judges will also play an integral role in Idaho’s New Attorney Program providing new admittees insight of the Court’s jurisdiction and the role of the judiciary at the state and federal levels.
The Idaho Law Foundation’s Deputy Executive Director, Mahmood Sheikh states: “We are fortunate in Idaho to have such an approachable judiciary who make themselves available when called upon. Judges provide a deep level of insight and experience and we often hear from attorneys who attend these CLEs that presentations from the judiciary provide immediate benefits for their legal practices.”
Judge Candy Dale has taught four Law Foundation sponsored classes in the last three years. She believes judges are in a unique position to contribute to the improvement of the legal profession and the administration of justice. She says: “Just as lawyers are encouraged by Professional Conduct Rule 6.1(b)(3) to participate in activities for improving the legal profession, judges are encouraged by our ethical canons to do the same, as long as our impartiality is not compromised.” Judge Dale indicates she has a professional responsibility to share the knowledge and perspectives she has gained as a judge with members of the Bar and with law students, while continuing to educate herself by listening to lawyers and other judges.
Attorneys who have attended judge led sessions indicate that the involvement of the Judiciary enhances the spirit of collegiality and professionalism within Idaho’s Bar. It is no surprise presentations by members of the judiciary continue to be highly rated and strongly supported in post CLE evaluations. The Idaho Law Foundation is grateful to our Judiciary for their involvement in our legal education programs and look forward to continuing this partnership for the benefit of Idaho attorneys in the year to come.
Continuing Legal Education from Idaho’s Judiciary
The Idaho Law Foundation would like to thank the many Idaho judges who have presented Continuing Legal Education for Idaho attorneys over the last three years.
Scott Axline, Bannock County
Calvin Campbell, Twin Falls County
James Cawthon, Ada County
Russell Comstock, Ada County
Michelle Evans, Nez Perce County
Theresa Gardunia, Ada County
David Manweiler, Ada County
Mike Oths, Ada County
Clark Peterson, Kootenai County
Jayme Sullivan, Canyon County
Steven Thomsen, Bannock County
Roger Burdick, Idaho Supreme Court
Robyn Brody, Idaho Supreme Court
Molly Huskey, Idaho Court of Appeals
John Melanson, Idaho Court of Appeals
Deborah Bail, Fourth Judicial District
Jeff Brudie, Second Judicial District
Jay Gaskill, Second Judicial District
Richard Greenwood, Fourth Judicial District
Timothy Hansen, Fourth Judicial District
Juneal Kerrick, Third Judicial District
Melissa Moody, Fourth Judicial District
Jason Scott, Fourth Judicial District
Jon Shindurling, Seventh Judicial District
Darren Simpson, Seventh Judicial District
Susan Wiebe, Third Judicial District
Ronald Bush, U.S District Court of Idaho
Candy Dale, U.S. District Court of Idaho
Randy Smith, U.S. Court of Appeals
Mikel Williams, U.S District Court of Idaho
When we lose someone close to us, we want to find ways to recognize and honor them. Donations in memory of family members, friends, or colleagues allow donors to express sympathy and respect for a loved one, while providing support for important causes.
For the Law Foundation, memorial gifts are earmarked to the Law Foundation’s Endowment Fund, so while memorializing a special person; you are also making an investment in the long term future of the Foundation’s programs to serve the public and our communities.
The goal of the Endowment Fund is to create an ongoing and reliable source of income. This income provides the organization with funding that can be counted on for annual distributions towards the Foundation’s work in the community. For instance, funds that generate income to operate the mock trial program for students today can be designed to produce income to run the same program 20 years from now and beyond.
When you make a memorial gift to the Law Foundation, the family of the person being memorialized is informed of your thoughtfulness. We also include a monthly list of memorial donations in The Advocate to thank donors for their generosity and invite the legal community to join you in remembering the person you are memorializing.
Through memorial contributions donors are expressing their sympathy in a way that will help preserve a memory while building a foundation that will help ensure the potential to serve the public on behalf of the legal profession well into the future. No matter the occasion, such gifts remind those closest to us that they are remembered in a unique and thoughtful way.
For questions about memorial giving, contact Carey Shoufler.
Last month the Idaho Law Foundation sent out our annual postcard to our members. On the front is a quote from Tim Cook that says, “Let your joy be in the journey.” At the Law Foundation, we have indeed had a good journey in 2017 and are excited about the year to come.
In the last year, over 500 of you have donated to the Law Foundation and our programs. Our Access to Justice Fund raised $193,000, the most money we have ever raised for this fund. Thanks to your kindness, Idaho Volunteer Lawyers and the other legal service organizations supported through this initiative are positioned to start 2018 in a stronger financial position.
Additionally, Law Related Education was able to double their 2017 fundraising goal, we are getting closer to the meeting our initial Endowment fundraising goal, and the Foundation launched a fundraiser at our Annual Meeting in July that brought in some new donors. And of course, we are nearing our Licensing Campaign goal for the year (if you haven’t had an opportunity to donate, there’s still time before the end of the year; contact Carey Shoufler for more information). The Law Foundation relies on the generosity of Idaho attorneys to keep us moving forward and I am grateful for the continued support.
As the President of the Law Foundation, I get to see first-hand the care that the staff takes to utilize the funds Idaho attorneys entrust to us. As we move into 2018, there’s so much more we plan to undertake. Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program expects to increase the number of clients served through recruiting attorneys to provide more limited representation and help more attorneys utilize the Pro Bono Opportunities Website to more easily access pro bono cases.
Law Related Education will focus on growing mock trial in more rural, underserved parts of the state and will distribute the new Kids & the Law publication to parents of Idaho teens. We are so excited about what these projects can do for Idaho’s citizens, and we remain mindful that it’s your support that allows us to have these opportunities to serve the public.
Thank you to the legal profession for being part of our journey. May 2018 be filled with joy for you and your loved ones.