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Idaho State Bar Lawyer Referral Service

The Idaho State Bar (ISB) operates a Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) from its offices in Boise, Idaho. The LRS helps individuals and businesses throughout the state find a qualified attorney at their regular price.

Attorneys in the LRS are members in good standing with the Idaho State Bar with no pending public disciplinary complaints. Attorneys in the LRS must carry Professional Liability Insurance to participate in the referral service.

When you call the LRS, you will discuss the case with a trained staff member during a confidential intake process. The staff person will take your contact information and ask you questions about the case to determine the type of attorney needed. If needed, the service will then refer you to a qualified attorney.

After the referral, you can call the attorney for an initial $35 half-hour office consultation fee. The fee is waived for personal injury, medical malpractice, or workers' compensation cases. During the consultation, you can discuss the case with an attorney and the additional attorney fees required for future representation.

Neither the attorney nor the client is not required to continue the representation beyond the initial consultation. In many cases, however, the client decides to hire the attorney for continued representation in order to solve a legal problem.

In addition to offering a statewide Lawyer Referral Service for regular priced attorneys, the ISB also manages the Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program for people who can't afford an attorney. IVLP volunteer lawyers are assigned to represent clients in some types of family law cases, wills and estates, debt collection, and immigration cases (involving naturalization or help for the victims of domestic violence or sexual assault).

The public can also use the Attorney Roster Search feature on the Idaho State Bar website to find an attorney.

Contact Information:

Idaho State Bar - Lawyer Referral Service
Website: https://isb.idaho.gov/lawyer-referral-service/
P. O. Box 895
Boise, ID 83701
Phone: 208-334-4500

Recent Changes to the LRS in Idaho

The ISB Lawyer Referral Service implemented changes to change the procedures and rules of the service that were approved two years ago by the members. The LRS now charges callers $35 for each referral. To create a better match between the caller and the attorneys, ISB staff members now screen callers.

Participating attorneys agree to provide up to a half-hour consultation for free. Along with the new rules, the ISB also created a new web portal that can be used by staff and attorneys to better track referrals.

Types of Legal Issues for the LRS in Idaho

Attorneys throughout the State of Idaho are on panels for a variety of different practice areas. Referrals to a qualified attorney are made for the following types of cases:

  • Administration Law;
  • Bankruptcy;
  • Business & Corporate;
  • Consumer Law;
  • Criminal Defense;
  • Debtor/Creditor;
  • Elder Law;
  • Family Law / Divorce;
  • Immigration;
  • Indian Law;
  • Intellectual Property;
  • International Law;
  • Labor & Employment;
  • Litigation;
  • Military Law;
  • Personal Injury; and
  • Real Property.

Fun Facts about the Idaho State Bar (ISB)

The Idaho State Bar (ISB) is the integrated or mandatory bar association (as opposed to a voluntary bar association). The Idaho State Bar (ISB) is financed by license fees paid by each Idaho attorney along with other miscellaneous fees and revenues.

Pursuant to the Idaho Bar Commission Rules, the ISB is responsible for Admissions, Right to Practice after Admission, Governance, Professional Conduct, Fee Arbitration, Client Assistance Fund, Practice Sections, Specialization, Unauthorized Practice of Law, and Mandatory Continuing Legal Education. The ISB publishes The Advocate, a monthly magazine for attorneys and judges across the state.

Each year, the Idaho State Bar holds an annual meeting.

The state bar in Idaho oversees the requirement that attorneys earn at least thirty (30) credits of approved continuing legal education (CLE), including at least three (3) credits of ethics / professional responsibility every three years. You can visit the website of the Idaho State Bar to find Upcoming ISB/ILF CLE Courses.

In 2015, the state bar in Idaho has 3,369 total section members. The five largest sections were Business and Corporate Law, Litigation, Real Property, Taxation, Probate and Trust Law, Family Law.

As of June 2016, there were 6,201 attorneys licensed by the Idaho State Bar which was a 1.9% increase from the previous year. For the July 2016 Idaho bar examination, 161 people applied to sit for the bar exam which was the highest number of bar exam applicants since the July 2008 bar examination.

When it comes to helping the public find an attorney, the Idaho State Bar also manages an Attorney Roster Search feature on its website.

IBS Approved Board Certified Specialist Organization in Idaho

The Idaho State Bar does not certify specialists, but it does approve the organizations that certify attorneys as specialists in specific areas of law. Once the attorney has met the organization’s requirements, the organization will inform the Idaho State Bar that the attorney has been certified as a specialist. Approved legal organizations that award certifications include: 

  • American Board of Certification
  • American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys
  • Estate Law Specialist Board, Inc.
  • Idaho Trial Lawyers Association
  • National Association of Counsel for Children
  • National Board of Trial Advocacy
  • National Elder Law Foundation

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. The bar rules in Idaho for attorney advertising have special rules that apply when using the term "specialist."

Additional Resources

Idaho Attorney Roster Search - The website for the Idaho State Bar also maintains an attorney roster and a "find an attorney" directory. The attorney roster on the website of the State Bar Association allows the public to type the last name or the beginning of the last name of the attorney into a search bar. The more letters used, the more narrow the search. This process can be used to confirm that an attorney is licensed to practice law in Idaho, in compliance with Active licensing requirements under IBCR 302, and whose right to practice law is not currently limited under IBCR Section V by order of the Idaho Supreme Court. The roster will show individual attorney results that are updated frequently. Other types of statutes include: Active, Canceled, Emeritus, House Counsel, Inactive, Judicial, Military Spouse Provisional License, Resigned, Senior, Disability Inactive, Disbarred, Disqualified, Interim Suspension, Resigned in Lieu of Discipline, or Suspended. Use the Roster Search on the Idaho State Bar to find the attorney’s name and contact information, email address, website address, ISB member number, admittance date and status as active or inactive. Information on former members of the Idaho State Bar is limited to name, admission date, and status. The online roster includes information about former members going back to 1994. The records before 1994 are not available online, but you can contact the Licensing Department for more information on former members.

Idaho Bar Association on Facebook - Visit Facebook to find the page on the bar association in Idaho. Find posts about upcoming events, continuing legal education (CLE) opportunities, and networking social events. Upcoming events include the Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program kick-off pro bono week and the Attorneys Against Hunger event.

Legal Organizations and Associations in Idaho - Find a list of legal associations in Idaho, including the State Bar of Idaho (sometimes called the "Idaho Bar Association"). The list includes voluntary bar associations based on a common factor such as location or regionality, minority status or nationality, or specialty practice area.

Finding an Attorney in Idaho

If you need to find an attorney in Boise, Idaho, or throughout the state then consider the benefits of using a Lawyer Referral Service. The service carefully screens the attorneys in advance. Lawyer Referral Services provide an alternative to searching the internet for an attorney or using a commercial online directory.

Other ways of finding an attorney in Idaho include looking for a certified specialist. Read more about the specialty certification plan for attorneys in Idaho. This information from Lawyer Legion is provided to help you understand resources offered by the Idaho State Bar including lawyer referral services and the "find an attorney" feature on the Idaho State Bar website.

Contact the bar association directly to learn more about why the Lawyer Referral Service is a great way for its members to receive vetted, paying client referrals in the areas of law they choose, while benefiting members of the public who aren't sure where to turn for legal help.

This article was last updated on Wednesday, January 29, 2020.