How to Become a Lawyer in Idaho: Education Requirements & Bar Exam Info for 2023

Are you passionate about justice and committed to upholding the law? Becoming a lawyer in Idaho could be the perfect career path for you. In this comprehensive guide on how to become a lawyer in Idaho, we’ll explore the steps to become an attorney in Idaho, from obtaining an undergraduate degree to passing the bar exam and everything in between. Let’s embark on this exciting journey together!

What you’re about to learn in this guide:

  • Path to becoming an Idaho attorney involves obtaining an undergraduate degree, attending ABA-accredited law school and gaining practical experience.

  • The Idaho Bar Exam is a two-day Uniform Bar Examination assessing knowledge of state law & ability to apply it.

  • After passing the exam, admission to the Idaho State Bar provides access to benefits such as discounts on goods & services and job opportunities with competitive salaries.

Path to Becoming an Idaho Attorney

To become an Idaho attorney, one must obtain an undergraduate degree, attend an ABA-accredited law school, and gain practical experience through internships. These steps form the building blocks of a successful legal career.

We will now examine these vital stages of your legal education in greater detail.

Obtain an Undergraduate Degree

An undergraduate degree is a prerequisite for attending law school in Idaho. Though it isn’t specified which particular undergraduate degree or major is required, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as political science or criminal justice, can provide a solid foundation for your future legal studies.

Additionally, your undergraduate years are an excellent opportunity to develop essential skills like critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and communication, which are vital for a successful legal career.

Attend an ABA-Accredited Law School

Upon completion of your undergraduate degree, you should then proceed to one of the ABA accredited law schools. In Idaho, the University of Idaho College of Law is the only ABA-accredited law school in the state, offering a comprehensive curriculum and practical training to prepare students for a successful legal career. The college offers emphasis areas in Natural Resources & Environmental Law, Native American Law, and Business Law & Entrepreneurship to cater to the diverse interests of aspiring lawyers at law schools.

To gain admission to the college, you need to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), which assesses essential skills required for success in law school. The LSAT score is used to evaluate applicants for admission to the University of Idaho Law School. The median of these scores is 153. Additionally, you need to submit your college transcripts and letters of recommendation through the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) for a fee of $195.

Once admitted to the justice learning center, you will embark on a three-year journey to acquire your Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree.

Complete Internships and Gain Practical Experience

Internships and practical experience significantly contribute to the formation of your legal career. The University of Idaho College of Law offers numerous opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience, such as:

  • Engaging in pro bono service

  • Participating in live-client clinics

  • Taking part in the summer externship program

  • Competing in skills competitions

These experiences not only help you develop practical skills but also allow you to build a professional network within the legal field, essential for a thriving career in law.

Idaho Bar Exam Overview

The Idaho Bar Exam is the final hurdle you must overcome in your quest to become a lawyer in the state. This two-day Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) assesses your understanding of Idaho law and your ability to apply it in various legal scenarios.

We will now examine the format, tested subjects, and scoring requirements of the Idaho Bar Examination, also known as the Idaho Bar Exam, under the supervision of the Idaho Supreme Court.

Idaho Bar Exam Format

The Idaho Bar Exam is a 2-day UBE consisting of three components: the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE), the Multistate Performance Test (MPT), and the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE).

On the first day, you will tackle six MEE essay questions in the morning session, followed by two MPT questions in the afternoon session.

The second day is devoted to the MBE, a 200-question multiple-choice examination. This comprehensive exam format is designed to evaluate your knowledge and understanding of core legal principles and your ability to apply them in practice.

Subjects Tested on the Idaho Bar Exam

The Idaho Bar Exam covers a wide range of topics, including Idaho law topics, MEE subjects, and other relevant legal subjects. Some of the key areas tested include Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts & Sales, Criminal Law & Procedure, Evidence, Real Property, and Torts. Additionally, the MEE covers topics such as Business Associations, Conflict of Laws, Family Law, Trusts & Estates, and Secured Transactions. Lastly, Professional Responsibility and Legal Writing are also assessed.

Acquainting yourself with all these subjects is key to achieving success on the exam.

Scoring and Passing Score

To pass the Idaho Bar Exam, a score of 272 is required. The MBE contributes 50% of the total score, while the written portion (MEE and MPT) accounts for the remaining 50%. It’s essential to perform well in both components to achieve the passing score. Additionally, you must achieve a scaled score of at least 85 on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) either before taking the Idaho Bar Exam or within the subsequent two administrations.

Preparing for the Idaho Bar Exam

Preparing for the Idaho Bar Exam is a significant challenge, given the multitude of subjects to cover and the substantial knowledge to assimilate. Hence, a strategic approach to your exam preparation is imperative. Utilizing study guides, practice exams, and review courses can help you master the exam content and ensure success.

We will now delve into these resources in greater detail.

Study Guides and Practice Exams

Study guides and practice exams are invaluable resources in your Idaho Bar Exam preparation. They help you familiarize yourself with the exam format and content, allowing you to:

  • Identify areas where you need improvement

  • Gain confidence in your knowledge and skills

  • Practice time management and test-taking strategies

  • Understand the structure and types of questions you may encounter

Many publishers offer comprehensive study guides covering all the subjects tested on the exam, as well as practice exams that simulate the actual test experience. Utilizing these resources can greatly enhance your chances of success on the Idaho Bar Exam.

Regularly reviewing these materials and tackling practice questions can bolster your confidence and enhance your test-taking skills.

Review Courses and Tutoring

Enrolling in a bar review course or seeking tutoring services can provide additional support and guidance in your exam preparation. Review courses offer a structured approach to studying, with expert instructors guiding you through the material and providing valuable insights and test-taking strategies. Tutoring services, on the other hand, offer personalized assistance tailored to your specific needs, helping you to address your weaknesses and build on your strengths.

Some popular review courses include Barbri, Themis, Kaplan, Crushendo, AmeriBar, and TestMaxPrep.

Applying for the Idaho Bar Exam

After completing your legal education and preparing for the bar exam, it’s time to officially apply for the Idaho Bar Exam. This process involves meeting application deadlines, paying fees, and submitting required documentation.

We will now examine these requirements and the application process in greater detail.

Application Deadlines and Fees

Application deadlines and fees for the Idaho Bar Exam can be found on the Idaho State Bar website. Deadlines for timely submissions must be followed. October 1 is for the February exam and March 1 is for the July exam. Be sure to submit your application and required fees by these dates to avoid late fees or missed opportunities.

The application fee for the Idaho Bar Exam varies depending on the type of applicant, but generally, the fee is around $250.

Required Documentation and Moral Character

In addition to meeting deadlines and paying fees, you must also submit the required documentation for the Idaho Bar Exam. This includes:

  • Proof of your age

  • Legal admission to the country

  • A certified copy of your law school transcript demonstrating the completion of your degree

  • Evidence of good moral character, typically in the form of letters of recommendation from employers, colleagues, or other individuals who can attest to your character.

After Passing the Idaho Bar Exam

Congratulations, you’ve passed the Idaho Bar Exam! Now it’s time to officially become a member of the Idaho State Bar and begin your legal career. We will now delve into the subsequent steps in the process, including:

  • Gaining admission to the Idaho State Bar

  • Discussing the wide variety of job opportunities available to you

  • Exploring networking events that can help you kickstart your legal career

Admission to the Idaho State Bar

Admission to the Idaho State Bar grants you access to a wealth of resources, practice sections, and member benefits. Upon admission, you can take advantage of:

  • Discounts on office supplies, hotel accommodations, car rentals, and more

  • Access to Casemaker, an internet-based legal research library

  • Practice Sections dedicated to various areas of legal practice

To be admitted, you must meet the requirements outlined in the previous sections, such as providing proof of age, legal admission to the country, and a certified copy of your law school transcript.

Job Opportunities and Networking

As a newly admitted attorney in Idaho, a world of job opportunities awaits you. With a competitive salary ranging from $70,000 to $100,000 annually, you can practice law in various areas and make a meaningful impact on society.

Networking is a crucial aspect of building your legal career, and attending bar association meetings, legal conferences, and other professional gatherings will help you forge connections and establish relationships with other attorneys. Embrace the opportunities that come your way and enjoy the rewarding journey of being an Idaho attorney.

Alternative Pathways to Practice Law in Idaho

While the traditional route to becoming a lawyer in Idaho involves completing an undergraduate degree, attending an ABA-accredited law school, and passing the bar exam, there are alternative pathways for those who may not fit the traditional mold. These alternatives include reciprocity with other states, transferring MBE scores, and options for foreign-educated attorneys.

We will now examine these options and their associated requirements.

Reciprocity with Other States

Reciprocity allows attorneys from reciprocal states to practice in Idaho without taking the bar exam, provided they meet certain requirements. If you are a licensed attorney in a reciprocal state and can demonstrate qualifications to practice law, you may be eligible for reciprocity in Idaho, just like Idaho residents.

It’s important to consult the Idaho State Bar for detailed information on the specific requirements for reciprocal admission.

Transferring MBE Scores

If you have taken the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) in another jurisdiction within the last 37 months, you may transfer your MBE score to Idaho. The Idaho State Bar recommends a score of 140 or greater for transferring MBE scores.

Transferring your MBE score can save you time and effort, allowing you to focus on mastering the written portion of the Idaho Bar Exam.

Foreign-Educated Attorneys

Foreign-educated attorneys have options to practice law in Idaho as well. These alternatives include:

  • Obtaining a legal intern license

  • Participating in experiential learning programs such as Semester in Practice and Pro Bono work

  • Joining alternative spring break programs organized by the Public Interest Law Group for Idaho attorneys licensed in other jurisdictions.

Consulting the Idaho State Bar is essential for detailed information on the specific requirements for each of these pathways.


In conclusion, becoming an attorney in Idaho is a rewarding journey that involves obtaining an undergraduate degree, attending an ABA-accredited law school, passing the Idaho Bar Exam, and gaining practical experience through internships. Alternative pathways, such as reciprocity with other states, transferring MBE scores, and options for foreign-educated attorneys, provide additional opportunities for those who may not fit the traditional route. With determination, dedication, and the proper guidance, you too can join the esteemed ranks of Idaho attorneys and make a lasting impact in the field of law.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you become a lawyer without going to law school in Idaho?

Unfortunately, in order to become a lawyer in Idaho you must be a graduate of an American Bar Association (ABA) approved law school.

Does Idaho have a law school?

Yes, Idaho does have a law school – the University of Idaho College of Law which has campuses in Moscow and Boise. It is ABA-accredited and has an excellent rating from its alumni and reviews online.

What is the hardest state to become a lawyer?

California is widely considered to be the most difficult state in which to become a lawyer, with an average bar exam pass rate of only 34%.

What is the minimum passing score for the Idaho Bar Exam?

To pass the Idaho Bar Exam, you must score at least 272 points.

What subjects are tested on the Idaho Bar Exam?

The Idaho Bar Exam tests candidates on Idaho law, MEE topics and other relevant legal subjects.

Scroll to Top