Idaho Law Student Admission

Rule 226 of the Idaho Bar Commission Rules allows law students and recent law school graduates to practice as legal on a limited practice in Idaho.

Legal interns must:

  • Be a student duly enrolled and in good academic standing at an approved law school with completed legal studies totaling at least two-thirds of a prescribed three-year court of study with the written approval of the applicant’s law school Dean or the Dean’s designee; or
  • Have graduated from an approved law school within 12 months of applying for a legal intern license and provide proof of graduation and the date of graduation.

Legal interns may:

  • Advise or negotiate on behalf of a person referred to the legal intern by the supervising attorney with the client’s informed consent, confirmed in writing.
  • Prepare pleadings, motions, briefs, or other documents.
  • Participate in any civil and criminal proceeding if the supervising attorney is present.
  • Participate in proceedings before a court of general jurisdiction without the presence of the supervising attorney if the proceedings are ex parte or the facts and the resulting order are based upon a stipulation between the parties.
  • Participate in proceedings before a court of limited jurisdiction, without the presence of the supervising attorney if:
    • The proceedings involve an infraction or misdemeanor, proceedings tried without a jury, juvenile proceedings, ex parte proceedings, or civil proceedings.
    • The supervising attorney has filed a certificate in each case with the presiding judge or magistrate certifying that the legal intern:
      • Has participated in at least three similar actions under the direct supervision and control of the supervising attorney.
      • Is fully prepared to present the matter.
      • Has the informed consent of the client, confirmed in writing, to appear on behalf of the client.
  • Cannot receive payment directly from a client for services rendered. The employer or supervising attorney may compensate the legal intern for his or her services and may charge for services rendered by the legal intern as my otherwise be proper.

The court may exclude the legal intern from the active practice in any proceeding.

Supervising Attorneys
The supervising attorney and legal intern are responsible to the court, the Bar, the Idaho Supreme Court, and the client for all services of the legal intern.

Supervising attorneys must meet the faculty member exception or he or she must:

  • Be actively licensed in Idaho.
  • Have practiced for at least five years immediately prior to submission of the legal intern Application.
  • Cannot have been publicly sanctioned in Idaho or another jurisdiction, unless the Board grants express approval for the attorney to act as a supervising attorney.

Supervising attorneys are responsible for the following duties and may be subject to disciplinary action for failing to comply:

  • Maintain direction and supervision over all work of the legal intern.
  • Review and sign all pleadings, motions, briefs, and other documents prepared by the legal intern.
  • Immediately notify the Idaho Supreme Court or Idaho Bar if the legal intern is no longer employed or engaged by the supervising attorney or if there has been a change of the legal intern’s place of residence that impairs the ability of the supervising attorney to perform his or her duties.
  • Be present in any proceeding required by rule.
  • File a certificate in proceedings where the supervising attorney’s presence is not required.
  • Advise the court and client of the license status of the legal intern before any services are performed before the court or on behalf of the court.

Supervising attorneys cannot supervise more than one legal intern except in a clinical course offered by an approved law school, approved by the law school Dean, and directed by a faculty member.   Any supervising attorney of the clinical course or program may supervise all legal interns in that course or program.

With the approval of the supervising attorney, any attorney in the supervising attorney’s firm, law office, or practice that only supervises one law student intern may supervise and direct the work of the legal intern consistent with the duties the law student rules provided that the supervising attorney must continue to be responsible for all work of the legal intern.

Licensed legal interns may apply to substitute another attorney as his or her supervising attorney by application of the Executive Director and the Idaho Supreme Court on a form prescribed by the Board. A substitution shall not be effective until approved by order of the Idaho Supreme Court.

The Board or Idaho Supreme Court may terminate the supervising attorneys ability to practice as a supervising attorney.   Upon termination of the supervising attorney, the legal intern must cease performing any services and cannot hold himself or herself out as a legal intern until written notice of a substitute supervising attorney, signed by the legal intern and by a new supervising attorney, is approved by the Executive Director and Idaho Supreme Court.

Applicants are required to submit an Application to the Executive Director on a form provided by the Bar that includes:

  • A certification, under oath, that he or she has read, is familiar with and shall abide by the Idaho Rules of Professional Conduct.
  • Identification of any state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia where the applicant has been granted a legal intern license prior to applying for licensure in Idaho and whether the license has even been revoked, the date and reasons for the revocation.
  • Proof of the graduation date from the approved law school or written approval of the application by the law school Dean or designee. The Dean’s written approval may be withdrawn at any time and approval of a law student may be withdrawn if the student ceases to be duly enrolled prior to graduation or no longer in good academic standing.
  • The name, address, telephone number, and signature of the supervising attorney.
  • The application fee.

A legal intern license is granted for a period of time not to exceed 12 consecutive months.   If the applicant passes the first bar exam after graduation, the legal intern license terminates upon admission at the next scheduled admission ceremony. It the applicant fails the first bar exam after graduation, the license terminates upon the announcement of the bar exam results.

Failure to perform any of the following duties shall grounds for the immediate termination:

  • Abide by the Rules of Professional Conduct and rules governing lawyers admitted to the Bar.
  • Advise the client of the license status of the legal intern prior to performing any services for the client.
  • Advise the court in each case of the license status of the legal intern prior to appearing before the court.
  • Keep the supervising attorney, Idaho Supreme Court, and Idaho Bar advised of the legal intern’s current residence at all times.

Legal interns cannot practice upon any of the following:

  • The cessation of any of the condition on which the legal intern license was issued;
  • Termination of the legal intern license;
  • Resignation of the legal intern’s supervising attorney;
  • Suspension or termination by the Board of the supervising attorney’s status as a supervising attorney; or
  • Withdrawal of the law school Dean approval.

The Idaho Supreme Court may terminate a legal intern license at any time on the Idaho Supreme Court’s own motion, on motion of the supervising attorney, the Board, or the by the legal intern.