Idaho Pro Bono

Rule 228 of the Idaho Bar Commission Rules allows qualified attorneys to be admitted as emeritus attorneys in order to engage in the limited practice of law.

For at least 10 of the past 15 years preceding the application, the attorney must be a member of the Idaho Bar or he or she was admitted to practice law in any other state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia. Attorneys must have been engaged in the active practice of law.

Approved Legal Assistance Organization
A non-profit legal assistance organization seeking approval from the Idaho Supreme Court is required to file a petition with the Clerk certifying the nonprofit organization and reciting with specificity:

  • The structure of the organization and whether it accepts funds from its clients.
  • The major source of funds used by the organization.
  • The criteria used to determine potential clients’ eligibility for legal services offered by the organization.
  • The types of legal and non-legal services offered by the organization.
  • The names of all members of the Idaho Bar who are employed by the organization or who regularly perform legal work for the organization.
  • The existence and amount of malpractice insurance that will cover the emeritus attorney.

Emeritus attorneys may perform activities in association with an approved legal assistance organization approved by the Idaho Supreme Court and under a supervising attorney.

Emeritus attorneys may:

  • Appear in any court or before any administrative tribunal, mediator, or arbitrator in Idaho on behalf of a client or an Approved Legal Assistance Organization if the person on whose behalf the emeritus attorney is appearing has been given informed consent, which is confirmed in writing, to that appearance and a supervising attorney has provided written approval for the appearance.   Certification of the written consent and approval will be provided to the court.
  • Prepare pleadings and other documents to be filed in any court or before any administrative tribunal, mediator or arbitrator in any matter in which the emeritus attorney is involved, provided that the supervising attorney shall also sign such pleadings and documents.
  • Render legal advice and perform other appropriate legal services after prior consultation with, and upon the informed consent, confirming in writing, of the client and supervising attorney.

The presiding judge, hearing officer, mediator, or arbitrator may determine the extent of the emeritus attorney’s participation in any proceeding.

Emeritus attorneys cannot represent themselves to be active members of the Bar licensed to practice law in Idaho and cannot request or receive compensation for legal services rendered. An Approved Legal Assistance Organization may reimburse the emeritus attorney for actual expenses incurred and may charge for his or her expenses as it may otherwise properly charge. The Approved Legal Assistance Organization or client is entitled to receive all court awarded attorneys’ fees for legal services rendered by the emeritus attorney.

Supervising Attorney
Supervising attorneys must be active members of the Idaho Bar, be employed by or volunteering for the Approved Legal Assistance Organization, and be responsible to the court, the Idaho Bar, the Idaho Supreme Court, and the client for all services of the emeritus attorney.

Application and Certification
Attorneys are required to file a sworn statement by the emeritus attorney that he or she:

  • Meets the eligibility requirements.
  • Will not ask nor receive compensation for legal services.
  • Will abide by the Idaho Rules of Professional Conduct and all other laws and rules governing lawyers.
  • Submits to the jurisdiction of the Idaho Supreme Court and Idaho Bar for disciplinary purposes.
  • Written confirmation from the Approved Legal Assistance Organization that states:
    • The emeritus attorney is currently associated with the organization.
    • The Idaho Supreme Court has approved the organization.
    • The attorney employed by or volunteering with the organization will act as supervising attorney.
    • Verification from the highest court or agency in the state, territory, or district where the emeritus attorney is licensed or was previously licensed to practice law, stating the attorney meets the eligibility requirements.

An emeritus license terminates upon the following:

  • A request by the emeritus attorney;
  • By the Supreme Court at any time;
  • Upon notice to the Idaho Supreme Court from the Approved Legal Assistance Organization that the emeritus attorney is no longer associated with the organization; or
  • Upon the Idaho Supreme Court’s withdrawal of its approval of the Approved Legal Assistance Organization.

Upon termination, the supervising attorney must immediately:

  • File in each matter pending before any court or tribunal a notice that the emeritus attorney will no longer be involved in the case.
  • Advise all clients that the emeritus attorney will no longer be representing them.