USA - Idaho International Trade in Legal Services

United States of America - Idaho International Trade in Legal Services


Is there legislation governing the legal sector


Under what title do lawyers practise?

Attorney at law

How does an individual lawyer obtain a "licence" to practise law? How often must this be renewed?

An individual must have an LLB or JD from an ABA approved law school, satisfy character and fitness to practice requirements, and have passed the bar exam.

Does this entitle the holder to practise throughout the country? If the law license only permits one to practice on a sub-national level, please explain the jurisdictional limits

This only automatically entitles the holder to practise in Idaho. The right to practise on a temporary basis in another state or to appear pro hac vice in another state depends on the explicity permission of that state.

Are there certain activities that are "reserved" to those who are licensed to practise law in the jurisdiction?



The Idaho Supreme Court has defined the practice of law as: 'The doing or performing services in a court of justice, in any matter depending [sic] therein, throughout its various stages, and in conformity with adopted rules of procedure. But in a larger sense, it includes legal advice and counsel, and the preparation of instruments and contracts by which legal rights are secured, although such matter may or may not be depending [sic] in a court.' Idaho State Bar v. Meservy, 80 Idaho 504, 508, 335 P.2d 62, 65 (1959).

Do you need to hold local nationality to be eligible to practise law?


What legal forms can lawyers work in? (e.g. self employment, partnership, limited liability partnership, multi-disciplinary partnership, incorporation)

A lawyer may practise as a sole practitioner, in a general or limited liability partnership. Fee sharing with non lawyers is prohibited.

What other ethical or regulatory requirements must a licensed lawyer comply with? 

The Idaho code of professional conduct which is modelled on the ABA model code (see:http://isb.idaho.gov/pdf/rules/irpc.pdf)

Do law firms need to receive a "license" (or permission/approval) to practice law?

Not from the Court but may be subject to other notification requirements depending on the form taken (e.g. limited liability company) and the local State code.

Which authority issues licences? Are there different authorities for individuals and firms? 

Licences are issued by the Idaho State Bar: http://www.isb.idaho.gov/



Are there any explicit rules or restrictions other than visas on fly in fly out practice of law? Ie. Do you need to obtain a licence for temporary practice?

There is no express rule allowing temporary practice by foreign lawyers. US lawyers from other jurisdictions are permitted to practise on a temporary basis when: (1) the lawyer is authorized by law or order, including pro hac vice admission pursuant to Idaho Bar Commission Rule 222, to appear before a tribunal or administrative agency in this jurisdiction or is preparing for a potential proceeding or hearing in which the lawyer reasonably expects to be so authorized; or (2) other than engaging in conduct governed by paragraph (1):(i) a lawyer who is an employee of a client acts on the client’s behalf or, in connection with the client’s matters, on behalf of the client’s commonly owned organizational affiliates; (ii) the lawyer acts with respect to a matter that arises out of or is otherwise reasonably related to the lawyer’s representation of a client in a jurisdiction in which the lawyer is admitted to practice; or (iii) the lawyer is associated in the matter with a lawyer admitted to practice in this jurisdiction who actively participates in the representation.

Can a foreign lawyer obtain a visa to visit clients or to market but not to practice?




Under the WTO commitments of the US, an individual wishing to practise law on a fly in fly out basis in Idaho would need to be fully admitted to the Idaho Bar, or to the Bar of another US state. 'Service salespersons' are permitted to enter the US for periods of up to 90 days. ‘Service salespersons’ refers to ‘persons not based in the territory of the United States and receiving no remuneration from a source located within the United States, who are engaged in activities related to representing a services supplier for the purpose of negotiating for the sale of the services of that supplier where: a) such sales are not directly made to the general public and b) the salesperson is not engaged in supplying the service.’ Entry for persons named in this section is limited to a 90 day period.

Can a foreign lawyer obtain a licence to establish and practise as a foreign legal consultant and what is the scope of this limited licence?

Yes – a foreign lawyer can become a foreign legal consultant in Idaho (Idaho Bar Commission Rule 207, available online at: isb.idaho.gov/general/rules/ibcr.html). This sets out the scope of practice for an Foreign Legal Consultant (FLC): ‘A Foreign Legal Consultant under this rule may render legal services in Idaho only with respect to the law of the foreign country in which such person is admitted to practice law subject, however, to the limitations that he or she shall not: (1) appear for another person as an attorney in any court, or before any magistrate or other judicial officer, in Idaho, other than upon admission pro hac vice pursuant to Rule 227; (2) prepare any instrument effecting the transfer or registration of title to real estate located in the United States of America; (3) prepare: (A) any will or trust instrument effecting the disposition on death of any property located in the United States of America and owned by a resident thereof, or (B) any instrument relating to the administration of a decedent’s estate in the United States of America; (4) prepare any instrument in respect of the marital or parental relations, rights or duties of a resident of the United States of America, or the custody or care of the children of such a resident; (5) render professional legal advice on the law of Idaho, or of the United States of America (whether rendered incident to the preparation of legal instruments or otherwise), except on the basis of advice from a person duly qualified and entitled (otherwise than by virtue of having been licensed under this rule) to render professional legal advice in Idaho; (6) be, or in any way hold himself or herself out as, a member of the Bar of Idaho; or (7) carry on his or her practice under, or utilize in connection with such practice, any name, title or designation other than one or more of the following: (A) his or her own name; (B) the name of the law firm with which he or she is affiliated, in each case only in conjunction with the title‘Foreign Legal Consultant ‘ as set forth below; (C) his or her authorized title in the foreign country of his or her admission to practice, which may be used in conjunction with the name of such country, in each case only in conjunction with the title ‘Foreign Legal Consultant ‘ as set forth below; and (D) the title ‘Foreign Legal Consultant, ‘ which may be used in conjunction with the words ‘admitted to the practice of law in [the name of the foreign country of his or her admission to practice]’.

Are there any conditions that must be fulfilled once a foreign lawyer has been granted a limited licence (e.g. residency requirement)

An FLC must use the title of FLC and abide by the Idaho code of conduct

Are there any conditions that must be fulfilled for a foreign lawyer to qualify for a limited licence? (e.g. prior practice)

Licensure is subject to meeting requirements of registration.

Are foreign lawyers permitted to undertake arbitration and mediation?

The Idaho code of conduct exempts other US lawyers who are not admitted to practise in Idaho from unauthorised practise of law violation, provided the legal services they are providing ‘are in or reasonably related to a pending or potential arbitration, mediation or other alternative dispute resolution proceeding in this or another jurisdiction, if the services arise out of, or are reasonably related to, the lawyer's practice in a jurisdiction in which the lawyer is admitted to practice and are not services for which the forum requires pro hac vice admission’.

Are foreign lawyers allowed to appear in court under any circumstances?


Idaho permits pro hac vice admission of foreign lawyers

Can foreign lawyers requalify as local lawyers?


A foreign lawyer can obtain a full licence to practise law in this jurisdiction. In order to obtain a full licence to practise law in this jurisdiction, foreign lawyers must comply with the rule set out in IBCR 205A, which is available online at: www.idaho.gov/isb.


Can a foreign law firm obtain a licence to open an office?

There are no separate requirements on law firms. An FLC is permitted to open an office

Even if a foreign law firm does not require a legal licence must they register in some form in order to set up an office? (e.g. with a ministry of company affairs etc)

 Not Applicable

Are there different types of foreign law firm 'licence'  (e.g. Joint Law Venture, stand alone foreign licence etc)

Not applicable

Is there a quota on the number of licences available?

Not applicable

Are there geographical restrictions on foreign firm licences or on the number of branches a foreign firm can have?


Are there "scope of practice" rules that apply directly to foreign law firms (as opposed to lawyers themselves)? (e.g. home, host, international law), if so, what are they? No
Are there restrictions on the corporate form a foreign law firm can take? Not applicable
Are there rules about the name a foreign law firm can take? Not applicable
What entity grants a 'license' to a foreign law firm? If that entity is on the Internet, please provide the URL Not applicable


Are there restrictions on the ownership share of foreign lawyers in a law firm?

Not applicable

May a domestic lawyer be employed by a foreign lawyer or law firm?

Not applicable

Can a domestic lawyer enter into partnership with a foreign lawyer?


Can a domestic lawyer or domestic law firm employ a foreign lawyer?




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