Licensing/MCLE

All current Idaho State Bar members have annual licensing requirements including payment of license fees and the client assistance fund assessment. Depending on status, members are required to provide certification of trust accounts, disclosure of professional liability insurance and certification of mandatory continuing legal education (MCLE) compliance.

Membership Information

The following membership information is required by Idaho Bar Commission Rule 303 and is considered public information: 

  • Full name,
  • Name of employer or firm (if applicable),
  • Mailing address,
  • Phone number, and
  • Business email address (if applicable).

In order to maintain complete records, the Idaho State Bar requests you to also provide your home address and street address (if you mailing address is a PO Box) for our internal records.  Note - if you do not wish your home address released to the public, do not use it as your mailing address.

Please keep the Idaho State informed of any changes to your membership information by using the online Address Update Form or contacting the Licensing Department at (208) 334-4500.

Licensing Forms

The annual licensing packets are mailed in mid-November. Depending on the attorney's status and MCLE reporting reporting period, the packet will contain all or some of the following forms. The forms are preprinted with the attorney's information and these samples should only be used for informational purposes. To order new forms, please contact the Licensing Department.

The fees and other requirements for each attorney will be included in the licensing packets.

License Fees

License Fee Schedule
Admitted before July 1 of the calendar year
$175
Admitted after July 1 of the calendar year
$115
Active or House Counsel fourth full year of admission and every year thereafter
$425
Active or House Counsel in the first, second or third full year of admission
$320
Inactive or Emeritus Member (information below)
$150
Age 72 years or older
$ 70

Description of All Membership Statuses

Active: Active members are licensed to practice law in Idaho.  In addition to paying an annual license fee and client assistance fund assessment, active members must file a Trust Account Certificate and complete the Disclosure of Professional Liability Insurance form.  Idaho attorneys are not required to have a trust account unless they handle client or third party fund and they are not required to carry professional liability insurance.  However, all active members must complete both forms.

Inactive Membership is available to attorneys who wish to continue their membership, but do not plan to engage in the practice of law in the state of Idaho.  They continue to receive all publications and mailings of the Idaho State Bar, but cannot practice law in Idaho, vote for Commissioners or vote on resolutions.  Inactive members are not required to meet the mandatory continuing legal education (MCLE) credit requirement required for an active or house counsel license.  However, transferring to inactive status at the end of the MCLE reporting period will not eliminate the current reporting requirement.

Senior Membership is available to attorney over the age of 72. Senior members are not licensed to practice law in Idaho and must meet the same licensing requirements as an Inactive member.

Emeritus Membership is available to retired attorneys from Idaho and other states enabling them to engage in pro bono work under a supervising attorney through an approved organization such as Idaho Legal Aid Services or the Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program.  The Idaho Supreme Court certifies emeritus attorneys.  (IBCR 228)

Voluntary Resignation. An attorney may voluntarily resign his or her membership by submitting a Voluntary Resignation Form to the Executive Director.

Transfer to Active Status:  Idaho Bar Commission Rule (IBCR) 306 governs transfer to active status.  When considering a change in status, please keep the following requirements in mind:

  • Attorneys who have not been active in Idaho for 1-3 years must complete an extra 10 MCLE credits and attorneys who have not been active in Idaho for 3 years or more must complete an extra 30 credits.
  • Attorneys who have not been active in Idaho for 5 years or more must complete a character and fitness investigation including fingerprinting and must provide proof they are competent to practice law in Idaho.
  • Attorneys who have not active in Idaho or actively engaged in the practice of law in another state for 7 years or more may be required to take all or a portion of the bar examination.
  • Attorneys who have not active in Idaho or actively engaged in the practice of law in another state for 10 years or more will have apply for admission.

If you are interested in transfer to active status or would like to discuss the effects of transferring to inactive status, please contact Annette Strauser in the Licensing Department at (208) 334-4500.

Client Assistance Fund Assessment

Idaho Code §3-409 and Idaho Bar Commission Rule 602(b) state that the Client Assistance Fund shall be funded by an assessment of the members of the Idaho State Bar.  Each member of the Idaho State Bar, regardless of membership category or type of practice, is required to pay the $20.00 Client Assistance Fund assessment listed on the License Fee Notice.

Trust Account Certification

Section XIII of the Idaho Bar Commission Rules and Idaho Rule of Professional Conduct 1.15 govern attorney trust accounts.  All active and house counsel members of the Idaho State Bar must certify their trust account information as a part of their licensing regardless of whether or not they have an Idaho client trust account. 

If an attorney does not handle any funds of property of client or third persons in connection with a representation or does not have an office with Idaho, the attorney may check the appropriate exemption box under “Trust Account Requirement” and sign the trust account certificate. Attorneys who are not exempt from the trust account requirements, must list all trust accounts, mark them as IOLTA or Non-IOLTA and check the appropriate box under IOLTA Requirement before signing the certificate.

Financial Institutions Approved by the Idaho State Bar to Act as Depositories for Attorney Trust Accounts.

The Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Program allows attorneys to invest small or short-term deposits so that these otherwise idle funds may be pooled to generate interest money channeled to the Idaho Law Foundation, Inc. for use in law-related public interest programs.

Trust Account Certificates are not available as blank forms. A Sample Trust Account Certificate PDF Document - Click Here for Acrobat Reader is available for informational purposes, but should not be used to certify accounts. Please contact the Licensing Department to request a certificate.

Disclosure of Professional Liability Insurance

Idaho Bar Commission Rule 302(a)(5) requires each lawyer admitted to the active practice of law to certify to the Idaho State Bar on or before February 1 of each year (1) whether the lawyer represents private clients; (2) if the lawyer represents private clients, whether the lawyer is currently covered by professional liability insurance; and (3) whether the lawyer intends to maintain insurance during the next twelve months.  Each lawyer admitted to the active practice of law in this jurisdiction who reports being covered by professional liability insurance shall identify the primary carrier and shall notify the Idaho State Bar in writing within 30 days if the insurance policy providing coverage lapses, is no longer in effect, or terminates for any reason, unless the policy is renewed or replaced without substantial interruption.  Note - All active members are required to disclose their professional liability insurance information, but they are not required to obtain or maintain professional liability insurance.

Disclosure of Professional Liability Insurance Form PDF Document - Click Here for Acrobat Reader

MCLE Compliance Certification

Idaho Bar Commission Rule 402 requires each active and house counsel member of the Idaho State Bar to complete thirty (30) credit hours of accredited continuing legal education in each and every three year reporting period following his or her date of admission.  This thirty (30) hour total must include two (2) hours of legal ethics or professional responsibility education.  Note:  Transferring to inactive status at the end of the reporting period does not eliminate this requirement.

The MCLE deadline is December 31.  Attorneys due to report must have their MCLE credits completed by the deadline.  The certificate of compliance can be submitted with the licensing forms and fee by the February 1 licensing deadline.  If needed, an attorney can request an MCLE extension from January 1 to March 1 by submitting a written request and paying the $100.00 MCLE extension fee.  An additional hardship extension not to exceed 60 days may be granted by the Executive Director.  The names of all the attorneys who have not completed their MCLE requirements by the deadline will be given to the Idaho Supreme Court for cancellation of their licenses.

Check your MCLE Attendance Credits

MCLE - Completing the Requirements (information on extensions, self-study credit and course approval)

MCLE Certificates of Compliance are not available as blank forms and are not available before the end of an attorney's MCLE reporting period.  MCLE Certificates of Compliance will be included in the annual licensing packets of attorneys whose reporting periods are ending.  Attorneys needing a replacement certificate should contact the MCLE Department.

Admission in Other States

We are asking our members to inform us if they are admitted to practice law in any other states.  If you have been admitted in another state, please indicate it on the front of the license fee notice.  It is not necessary to provide current statuses in the other jurisdictions.

Deadlines

The licensing packets are mailed in mid November.  The initial deadline is February 1 (if February 1 falls on a weekend, the deadline will be the following Monday).  All licensing materials and fees must be physically received in the Idaho State Bar office by the initial deadline to avoid the late fee.  All fees received after the initial deadline must include the appropriate late fee:  Active/House Counsel - $100.00, Affiliate/Emeritus - $25.00.  The final deadline is March 1 (if March 1 falls on a weekend, the deadline will be the following Monday).  All licensing must be physically received in the Idaho State Bar by that date.  The names of all attorneys who have not paid by the final deadline will be given to the Idaho Supreme Court for cancellation of their licenses.

Information on MCLE Compliance Deadlines

Resignation

An attorney who does not intend to meet licensing requirements may voluntarily resign his or her membership in the Bar by submitting a written request to the Executive Director on a form provided by the Bar: Voluntary Resignation Form.  An attorney with pending disciplinary matters may not voluntarily resign without Bar Counsel approval.

Reinstatement

An attorney whose license was cancelled for noncompliance with the licensing requirements has one year to apply for reinstatement under Idaho Bar Commission Rule (IBCR) 305(d). Attorneys who fail to apply for reinstatement with one year will be deemed resigned under IBCR 305(e).

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