Follow the step by step process or choose what situation that best describes you:
Recently, the Idaho State Bar Commission created the Idaho Academy Leadership for Lawyers (IALL). It was designed to enhance, promote and inspire the development of leadership and professional growth within Idaho lawyers. The program offers six sessions per year, with class topics such as team dynamics, communication, self-awareness, consensus, strategic planning, personal balance, and wellness. This is just one way the state bar of Idaho is striving to constantly improve and enhance the personal and professional lives of its 4380 members (as of the bar’s 2010-2011 annual report). Many bar members in Idaho also participate in community outreach programs, donating their time and talents to working with the state’s citizens; as well as charitable donations to organizations such as the Idaho Legal Aid Society and the Idaho Legal History Society. If you would like to become a member of the Idaho State Bar, keep reading.
The Idaho State Bar Commission has not formally required applicants to the bar to have an undergraduate degree. However, the Commission does require that all applicants to the bar be graduates of an American Bar Association (ABA) – approved law school. ABA law schools require that you have an undergraduate degree prior to applying to law school (usually at least a bachelor’s degree). By default, therefore, you must have an undergraduate degree.
The undergraduate college or university you attend must be accredited by a recognized agency. If the national or regional accreditation agency that accredits your school is listed in the U.S. Department of Education accreditation database, this should be sufficient for the ABA’s purposes.
Requirements and Standards
Coursework for your pre-law education is not specified, but the more challenging your undergraduate coursework, the more favorably the ABA-approved law school to which you apply will look upon your application. Courses in the following areas are usually the most helpful to pre-law students:
ABA-accredited law schools require that you have a bachelor’s degree (at minimum) prior to entering law school. The major or chief discipline of this degree is not specified. However, any major from the above-listed coursework and/or disciplines is recommended.
The next step in becoming a lawyer in Idaho is to take the LSAT, or Law School Admission Test. Required for admission into all ABA-accredited law schools, the LSAT is a six-hour-long standardized test offered four times a year at testing centers around the globe.
How to prepare
The LSAT website provides free materials to help you study for the LSAT, including practice tests. You might also want to check out some of the following LSAT preparation courses, each of which carries its own fee:
LSAT Exam Prep Courses in Idaho:
On the LSAT, you will be presented with five 35-minute multiple-choice question sections and a writing sample. The major areas of the LSAT are:
You can apply online to take the LSAT and also pay the $160 examination fee online. The test is given twice weekly in June, October, December and February, at these centers in Idaho:
Receiving Your Score
Your LSAT scores will arrive by postal mail about three weeks after the exam. The lowest score possible is 120, and 180 is the highest. The median LSAT score for applicants to the University of Idaho Law School is 159.
Congratulations – you passed the LSAT! Now you may begin the law school application process. All ABA-approved law schools require that you use certain services when applying. Take a look at this list of services required by ABA-approved law schools upon application.
Credential Assembly Service
Using the LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service is a necessity when applying for enrollment in any ABA-approved law school. This valuable service helps you collect all undergraduate transcripts, letters of recommendation and evaluations, and applies electronically to the ABA-approved law schools you choose. All transcripts from all undergraduate institutions you ever attended and received credit (but not necessarily a degree)must be mailed to Law School Admission Council,662 Penn Street,PO BOX 2000-M,Newtown PA 18940-0993. International school transcripts must be mailed to Law School Admission Council, 662 Penn Street, PO BOX 8502, Newtown PA 18940-8502.
You must pay the LSAC a fee of $155 to use the CAS. This is payable online through your LSAC account (which was created when you registered for the LSAT).
The Idaho State Bar Commission requires that you graduate from an ABA-approved law school in the United States (not necessarily in Idaho) prior to bar admission. Consult the ABA-LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools for a complete listing of ABA-approved law schools across the nation.
ABA-Accredited Law Schools in Idaho
Just one law school in Idaho currently holds ABA accreditation:
Law school courses in an ABA-approved law school will likely include:
After completing these basic foundation law courses, you may opt to choose from electives such as:
You must complete at least 83 semester hours according to the ABA in pursuit of your Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. Many law schools require more semester hours. Additionally, you may be required to do a certain number of hours of pro-bono work, internships and/or clinical placements prior to graduation.
Online Law Degrees
Internships will place you on-site in a real-life legal setting. This may be in a law office, governmental agency, or the like. You will work on your legal skills and use the knowledge you have learned in class, incorporating both into practice under the watchful eye of an on-site supervisor. A faculty member will also grade your performance periodically. Internships may last from one semester to one academic year, depending upon your law school’s policies.
You must have a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree or the foreign equivalent, an L.L.B., to become a member of the Idaho bar. You may also have the option to concentrate on an area of the law that interests you, such as Native American law, business, or environmental concerns.
Once you have received your J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited law school, you may apply to take the Idaho State Bar Exam. You must also meet the following requirements:
You may use materials available for free from the National Conference of Bar Examiners website to prepare for the Idaho bar exam. In particular, use the study materials for the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE), Multistate Performance Test (MPT), and Multistate Bar Examination (MBE). Other bar exam review courses that are available for a cost include:
The University of Idaho has compiled this list of additional resources to help you prepare for the Idaho bar exam.
You will take the Idaho state bar exam over a two-day period in February or July. This year, the exam is administered in Boise, Meridian and Moscow. Parts of the exam are as follows:
Complete the Application for Examination and Admission to the Idaho State Bar. If you are taking the July exam, the deadline to file your application is March 1 (for the February exam, it is October 1). The application fee is $500 for a student filing on time. If you file between March 2 and April 16 (October 2 and November 16), you must add a late fee of $100. All checks must be made payable to the Idaho State Bar. Applications filed after April 16 (or November 16) will not be accepted. When submitting the application to the Idaho State Bar, be sure to:
Results of the bar exam are released about two months post-exam. The Bar will also publish a list of those who have passed on its website.
The following are passing rates for the Idaho State Bar Exam from 2002 to present, provided by Adaptibar.com:
Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE)
Either prior to taking the Idaho State Bar Exam or within the next two administrations of the MPRE, you must take and pass Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) with a scaled score of at least 85. or more. It is administered in Boise, Moscow, Caldwell and Lewiston in March, August and November. To register, visit ncbex.org.
If you are already a licensed attorney in another jurisdiction, you may be admitted to the Idaho State Bar without taking the bar exam. You must meet the following requirements:
For more information, contact the Idaho State Bar.
Licensing and Admission to the Bar
Once you are notified of your passing score on the Idaho State Bar exam, you will also be instructed of the time and place of your admission ceremony. Within 12 months of admission to the bar of Idaho, you must complete a practical skills seminar.
Well done! You are now a licensed lawyer and one of the 5600 members of the Idaho State Bar! The Bar has many resources for attorneys who are just starting out in their practice in Idaho. These include Casemaker, an Internet-based legal research library consisting of a searchable database of case law, statutes and regulations, that is free for all active Idaho lawyers; the ISB Fee Arbitration Program, to help you resolve client fee disputes quickly and discreetly; and the Lawyer Referral Service, a service that takes 9500 calls per year and directs the public to lawyers in the field in which they request help.
The ISB’s Mentor Program can also help new lawyers transitioning from law school to legal practice. You will be paired with an experienced lawyer in your area who will help you.
The ISB has Practice Sections dedicated to various areas of legal practice, and you might wish to become a member of your corresponding section. Additionally, there are District Bar Associations of other lawyers practicing in your geographical area.
The ISB provides many benefits to its members. These include discounts for office supplies through Office Max, hotel discounts, discounted ABA publications, discounted car rentals, a health benefits program, and professional liability coverage. Contact Deputy Executive Director Mahmood Sheikh at (208) 334-4500 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on ISB’s Member Services.
Legal specialty certification
The ISB has approved certain specialty certification agencies to provide specialty legal certification to Idaho attorneys. They include:
Requirements for maintaining license
As a member of the Idaho State Bar, you must complete 30 credits of continuing legal education (CLE) every three years to maintain your law license. At least two of these hours must be in legal ethics. CLE standards, course accreditation, and reporting information is available from the ISB.
Court Systems in Idaho
There are three levels to the state court system in Idaho:
Elective membership organizations
Think about joining an elective professional membership association for attorneys in Idaho, such as:
Lawyer Career Specialties
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