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UI says it’s raised $1.1M to turn old courthouse into Idaho Law Learning Center

The University of Idaho says it has raised $1.1 million in gifts and pledges for renovation of the old Ada County courthouse, now known as the Capitol Annex, into a new Idaho Law Learning Center. The old courthouse, which hosted two sessions of the Legislature while the state Capitol was being renovated, has stood vacant since; it's tabbed as the future location of the Boise branch program of the University of Idaho College of Law; the Idaho State Law Library, which is open to the public; state judicial education offices; and other law-related public programs.

The UI also says it's raised another $500,000 from donors for education programs at the new center, which initially will include the third-year law school Boise program authorized by the State Board of Education in 2008 and started in 2010. That program, which has graduated nearly 60 students, is currently housed at the Idaho Water Center at Broadway and Front. Click below for the UI's full announcement.

Serving Students and the State: U-Idaho Helps Build the Future Idaho Law Learning Center

Tuesday, July 24

BOISE, Idaho – The University of Idaho is looking to the future and, with the support of generous donors, the university is collaborating with the Idaho Supreme Court to establish a unique venue for legal education, service to state government, and law-related civic education in the heart of the capital city.

Through the financial support of University of Idaho donors, $1.1 million has been raised in gifts and pledges to pay the university’s part in the renovation of the Old Ada County Courthouse. The historic courthouse, which served as the “Capitol Annex” during remodeling of the state capitol building, has been designated by the Idaho Department of Administration as the future home of the Idaho Law Learning Center. More than $500,000 in additional private support has been raised for educational programs at the Law Learning Center.

The renovated courthouse is planned to serve many public purposes. It will house a branch program of the University of Idaho College of Law; the Idaho State Law Library, which is open to the public and operated by the College of Law under agreement with the Supreme Court; state judicial education offices; outreach and service to other branches of state government; and law-related civic education programs for the general public.

In 2008, the State Board of Education authorized the college to offer the third year of the three-year Juris Doctor degree program in Boise, complementing the full three-year program in Moscow. The State Board also approved collaboration by the university with the Supreme Court in developing the Idaho Law Learning Center.

The Boise third-year program began in 2010 and has graduated nearly 60 students. The university is proposing to add a second-year opportunity for law students in Boise, if and when authorized by the State Board. The university’s ultimate vision, subject to State Board approval, is to fulfill its assigned statewide mission in legal education by providing complementary three-year programs in Moscow and Boise.

The Boise program, accredited by the American Bar Association, focuses primarily on business law, economic development and entrepreneurism. The program includes direct assistance to start-up businesses and to Idaho communities undertaking economic development initiatives.

The Boise program and State Law Library are currently co-located at the University of Idaho - Boise location at Front and Broadway in Boise. When renovations to the old Ada County Courthouse are complete, the program and library to will move into the historic building – giving it a new life of service to students and the state as the Idaho Law Learning Center.
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About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho inspires students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Through the university’s $225 million Inspiring Futures capital campaign, private giving will enhance student learning, faculty research and innovation, and a spirit of enterprise. Learn more:

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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