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Eye On Boise

UI law school’s Boise expansion wins ABA approval, opens in August

The University of Idaho's Boise law school expansion, which will add second-year law students to the existing third-year law program in Boise, has won the approval of the American Bar Association and will offer its first classes in August, the U of I has announced. The Legislature and the State Board of Education previously approved the expansion, and the Legislature allocated the funding for the coming year. Twenty to 30 second-year students are expected to enroll in August, a number that's expected to grow in the future; click below for the UI's full announcement.

College of Law to Offer Second-Year Program in Boise August 2014

The University of Idaho is ready to launch its second-year program in Boise this fall, after the American Bar Association gave the final necessary approval for the program on Saturday

The Idaho State Board of Education had already approved the Boise second-year program, and the Idaho Legislature and Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter allocated funding in the last legislative session to support the program. In addition to admitting rising second-year law students at UI, the college also will accept applications from transfer students interested in enrolling on the expanded Boise campus. 

“The second-year program complements the full three-year program in Moscow and is an investment in Idaho’s future,” said Michael A. Satz, the college’s interim dean. “Students in the Boise area can now spend their first year in Moscow and have the option to return to Boise to complete their legal education. For these students, the expansion will help tremendously in managing their debt and keeping them connected in their community.” 

The second-year program will continue to build upon the opportunities of Boise’s metropolitan setting by offering increased skills training, professional engagement opportunities and the advanced doctrinal courses required in legal education today. 

In addition, the second- and third-year Boise program expands on existing efforts to broaden and deepen UI’s Juris Doctor (J.D.) curriculum with emphases correlated to the interdisciplinary assets of Moscow’s land-grant campus and the commercial and governmental assets of Boise’s metropolitan area. Students in Boise will be able to complete the Business Law and Entrepreneurship, and Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution emphasis programs. 

“This next step forward is sure to increase the overall high quality of our J.D. program and offer second-year students at UI an innovative way to earn their law degree,” said Lee Dillion, associate dean for the Boise program. “The expansion will allow our law students a dynamic combination of doctrinal and experiential learning opportunities in two location options, Moscow and Boise.” 

The college plans to enroll between 20 and 30 students in the second-year program this fall and expects that number to grow in the future. The second- and third-year program in Boise will continue to run from the Water Center until renovations are completed in fall 2015 on the old Ada County Courthouse, former capitol annex and future home of the Idaho Law & Justice Learning Center—a joint undertaking of the Idaho Supreme Court and the College of Law that will include the State Law Library and civics education for the general public.

“Our third-year program in Boise was recognized over the last year as one of the most innovative in legal education today,” Satz said. “As Idaho’s only accredited law school, we are delighted to expand our curriculum in Boise and continue fulfilling our statewide mission to provide affordable, public legal education.” 

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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