Fish Culture and Experiment Station
3059 National Fish Hatchery Road #F
Hagerman, Idaho 83332
Research & Extension Center
CSI Evergreen Building
315 Falls Avenue East
Twin Falls, Idaho 83301
821 W. Idaho Street
Boise, ID 83702
M-F: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sat: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Parking is available in the Eastman Garage located above the VandalStore with entrances on both Idaho and Main Street.
Private Practice to Law School Leader
He had a high paying job at a firm in Chicago, but Lee Dillion gave it all up for Idaho.
“We were young and crazy and entrepreneurial,” says Dillion. It was a risky move, too.
Dillion and his young family packed their bags. He had a dream of starting a firm with Tom Chandler, a University of Chicago classmate from Boise. They moved west in 1981, and it was a rewarding and successful venture.
Twenty years later, in 2001, he decided to take the risk again of starting another career in law.
“My wife had quit her job at the AG’s office to open a yoga studio, and I thought well, I should just kind of get my mind thinking,” says Dillion. “What do I want to do for the next 20 years?”
In addition to his business law practice, he had been teaching in the paralegal program at Boise State University for many years, as well as teaching continuing legal education seminars for the practicing bar. He never imagined that full time teaching for a law school was a possibility since he was committed to staying in the Treasure Valley. Then he saw the advertisement for a Boise-based faculty member for the University of Idaho College of Law.
“I was just at the beginning of thinking about the next phase of my career, and I decided I would check out this law school opening,” says Dillion. He was offered the job.
Since 2001 he has been teaching for the College of Law; last year, he was named the associate dean for the College of Law Boise programs. And his work to help the College of Law fulfill its statewide mission by expanding its offerings in Boise saw results with the opening of the third year program in the Fall of 2010..
The College of Law program sits cozy on the 5th floor of the Water Center Building on Front Street in Boise. Approximately thirty students make up this year’s class of the third year program. They have their desks just feet from faculty offices, and all the classroom space and amenities needed to be successful in a new location.
“They [students] have entered into a professional program. They are going to begin their professional lives in less than nine months and they respond that way to us,” says Dillion.
Dillion knows that just because the school has established a presence in Boise, his work is far from over. He’s now part of a team focused on establishing the Idaho Law Learning Center – collaboration between the judiciary and the law school designed to benefit the judiciary, the practicing bar, and the public generally.
“I would never have predicted when I graduated from law school that I would be in this position or doing this job. But at every point along the way, I think my decisions opened doors and didn’t close them,” says Dillion.
Lee Dillion is originally from Sterling, Ill. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois and his juris doctor degree from the University of Chicago.
Dillion is responsible for starting the University of Idaho Small Business Legal Clinic in Boise. The clinic provides legal advice to start up businesses throughout Idaho.
Dillion is married to Jeanne, and is father of 2 daughters and 2 stepdaughters. He is very proud of his 7 grandchildren with 2 more due this year.