Rule 225 of the Idaho Bar Commission Rules governs authorization of house counsel. The Idaho house counsel rules allows eligible out-of-state attorneys employed in Idaho to practice law without going through the formal process of being admitted to the Idaho Bar.
- Meet the qualifications for admission under Rule 202 of the Idaho Bar Commission Rules (be lawfully admitted to the United States, have a J.D. degree from an ABA approved law school, good moral character, and meet the Idaho Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (“MPRE” ) Requirements).
- Maintain an office for the practice of law limited to a house counsel practice within Idaho on behalf of his or her employer.
- Be admitted to practice law before the highest court of a state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia whose requirements for admission are commensurate with Idaho, including passing a qualifying bar exam.
- Be employed as house counsel by a company, association, or other business entity whose business is not engaged in the selling or furnishing of legal advice or services to others.
- Cannot be currently suspended or disbarred in any state where the applicant is admitted.
- Submit proof of employment with the company, association, or other business entity or confirmation of an offer of future employment with the company, association, or other business entity provided that the house counsel license shall not be effective until the employment commences.
House counsel activities are limited to providing internal counseling and practicing law within the employment setting exclusively for a qualifying employer and its commonly owned organization affiliates.
House counsel attorneys cannot appear before a court or administrative tribunal as an attorney or counselor in Idaho for anyone, including the employing business entity. Attorneys cannot represent to be authorized or offer legal services to the public.
Attorneys must complete the Application.
House attorney authorization ceases upon termination of employment with the company, association, or other business entity or upon failure to meet annual licensing requirements as provided in I.B.C.R. 302(a).