Celebrating Tara Malek as a Force of Justice for Idaho and Washington

Aug 11, 2023 | Business, Homeowner's Associations, News

Smith + Malek’s co-owner, Tara Malek, is having a banner year in terms of recognition for her depth of knowledge in the legal profession. From making appearances on true crime podcasts  to winning statewide awards and assisting in the selection of Idaho’s first State Public Defender, she has been advancing our mission to make tomorrow better for our clients, employees, and communities.


True Crime Commentator

Tara is a familiar voice on Surviving the Survivor, a daily podcast covering the most talked about cases in America. Since April she has routinely appeared on Crime Stories with Nancy Grace, an exceedingly popular true crime daily podcast that has as many as 500,000 monthly listeners. She joins forensic examiners and pathologists, regional and national news reporters, psychologists, psychiatrists, and detectives to discuss two high-profile and shocking crimes in Idaho: Bryan Kohberger and Lori Vallow.

Although Smith + Malek doesn’t practice criminal law, Tara speaks as a former federal and county-level prosecutor. Both podcasts are well-known nationally in the world of true crime and it is considered prestigious that Tara was invited to be a guest. These appearances highlight Tara’s knowledge, and by raising awareness and promoting thoughtful dialogue, she is fostering a society that is better informed and engaged in advocating for justice.


Circle of Excellence

Earlier this year, Tara was named a Women of the Year honoree by the Idaho Business Review (IBR). This is the second time she received this prestigious statewide award (she was also recognized in 2018) resulting in her enrollment in IBR’s “Circle of Excellence”.

In her nomination, Tara detailed that one of her major goals is to “continue to change the status quo as to how women and parents are treated by removing arbitrary barriers to their success in the professional world.” With Tara’s partnership, Smith + Malek bucked the traditional law firm structure and eliminated the partner track, eliminated origination fees, and instituted family friendly benefits that support working parents


Hand-picked Panelist

Currently Tara is busy reviewing applications for Idaho State’s Public Defender. This role stems from property tax relief legislation that Governor Brad Little signed in 2022 – more on that here

House Bill 236 was enacted by the Legislature this year to carry out the transition from a county system to a state system of public defense, which the 2022 property tax bill started. Consistent with HB 236, Governor Little formed the State Public Defender Nominating Panel and appointed Tara to represent Judicial District 1 (Coeur d’Alene).

“Together with my esteemed colleagues on the panel, I look forward to helping shape a fair and effective public defense system that serves the best interests of justice and the state,” Tara said.

Tara’s clear vision to be a force of justice and make the world a better place is propelling her onto state and national stages. We are proud that, despite balancing a demanding career as an attorney and business owner, she is committed to catalyzing positive change for women and parents and that Smith + Malek benefits from her leadership. Congratulations on your accomplishments in 2023, Tara!