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ITLA's Certification of Specialization Program

The Idaho Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA) in Boise, Idaho, founded the Certification of Specialization Program. The specialization program is approved by the Idaho State Bar to certify attorneys as a specialist in three areas:

  • Civil Trial;
  • Criminal Trial; and
  • Workers' Compensation.

Attorneys who are certified by ITLA may advertise that they have met the standards approved by the Idaho State Bar Association for specialization. Only Idaho attorneys who have been certified as specialists pursuant to Section X of the Idaho Bar Commission Rules can advertise or refer to themselves as specialists in an area of law. 

Section X of the Idaho Bar Commission Rules apply to specialization after admission to practice and membership in the Idaho State Bar. The Section X Rules are promulgated by the Board of Commissioners of the Idaho State Bar and adopted by Order of the Supreme Court of the State of Idaho.

The stringent requirements of specialty certification programs are recognized as the most highly regarded credentials in the legal profession.

Contact Information:

Certification of Specialization Program ITLA
P.O. Box 1777
Boise, ID 83701
Phone: (208) 345-1890
Fax: (208) 345-1894

Requirements to Earn Specialty Certification from ITLA

To earned specialty certification through the ITLA, the attorney must meet the following general requirements:

  • be a member in good standing of the Idaho Bar Association;
  • have at least five (5) years experience practicing law;
  • show proof of participating in at least 30 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) in the field of specialization in the past three years;
  • provide ITLA with the names of two judges and ten attorneys for use as professional references; and
  • show proof of serving as lead counsel in the required number of jury and court trials in the prospective area of certification.

After the attorney has successfully completed the application process, the attorney must pay a filing fee of $500, and pass a written exam. The attorney must also be approved by ITLA's Certification of Specialization Committee.

Certification will last for five years as long as the attorney satisfies the ongoing ethical and reporting requirements. After five years, the certification is renewable if the attorney meets the standards for recertification and maintains an active trial practice in the field of specialization. The fee for recertification is $100.

Certified Civil Trial Specialists

To become a Certified Civil Trial Attorney the attorney must meet certain task requirements including a showing that as primary trial counsel, the attorney has tried at least ten (10) district court civil cases to verdict or decision, at least seven (7) of which were jury trials. The applicant must also be verified by judges which involves submitting rating forms signed by at least two (2) current or former district court judges with at least two (2) years of bench practice in Idaho who have observed the applicant as primary counsel in at least one (1) trial completed through verdict or decision.

Certified Criminal Trial Specialists

The task requirements to become a certified criminal trial specialist in Idaho include: fifteen (15) district court or magistrate court cases tried to verdict or decision with the applicant as the primary trial attorney. A maximum of five (5) of the said fifteen (15) trials may be at the magistrate level. No more than five (5) of the trials of the minimum of fifteen (15) as required shall be to the court (a minimum of ten (10) cases tried to a jury is required).

The CLE requirements for the Criminal Trial certification include a showing that thirty (30) hours of all continuing legal education reported to the Idaho State Bar in a regular three (3) year reporting period shall be allotted to the field of criminal litigation.

Certified Workers' Compensation Specialists

To become a Certified Workers' Compensation Attorney, the following task requirements must be shown:

  • having tried, as primary trial counsel, at least ten (10) workers' compensation cases through the hearing process and submission to the Idaho Industrial Commission including preparation through hearing, depositions, and post-hearing processes; 
  • substantial involvement through:
    • devoting at least twenty-five percent (25) of the equivalent of a full-time law practice to workers' compensation:
    • showing practice and association with others specializing or substantially limiting their practice to workers' compensation through:
      • teaching, lecturing, speaking or writing in the field;
      • special education in the field including post graduate ITLA seminars, local seminars, law school courses or
      • professional school courses;
      • continuing legal education courses and comparable educational experience;
      • acting as an referee or mediator in the field of workers' compensation; and/or
      • other involvement specified by the applicant and accepted by the certification committee as comparable.

The applicant must also include rating forms signed by at least two (2) current or former judicial officers of the Industrial Commission with at least two (2) years of judicial practice for the Industrial Commission in the state of Idaho. The rating form shall offer the judicial officers the opportunity to rate the applicant on a scale of 0 to 4 in categories relevant to the applicant's workers' compensation trial skills, professionalism, and integrity.

Finding a Certified Specialist Attorney in Idaho

If you need to find an attorney in Idaho, then consider the benefits of the Idaho Trial Lawyers Association's Certification of Specialization Program.

The board certification program establishes an independent measure of competence, professionalism, and peer acknowledgment. It helps clients and fellow lawyers set expectations for professional abilities.

This article was last updated on Friday, November 22, 2019.