711 S. Rayburn Drive
College of Law
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2321
Moscow, ID 83844-2321
First Monday - September 2, 2003
In this issue:
- Justice Ginsburg's Visit Focuses Attention on Women in the Law
- New Entering Class Achieves High Profile
- Professionalism Enriches Students' First Day of Law School
- Trial Advocacy Program Sets Records, Celebrates 25th Anniversary
As noted in the July issue of "First Monday," the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg will deliver the Sherman J. Bellwood Lecture in Moscow on September 18, 2003. In addition to the afternoon lecture, entitled "Looking Beyond Our Borders: The Value of a Comparative Perspective in Constitutional Adjudication," Justice Ginsburg's visit will feature a morning program on "Landmarks of Gender Jurisprudence: The Reed Case and Its Progeny." Justice Ginsburg will offer her perspectives during a panel discussion. As main author of the brief in Reed v. Reed, 404 U.S. 71 (1971), Justice Ginsburg collaborated with Boise attorney Allen Derr, who argued the case. Additional programs on the theme of women in the law and the legal profession will be coordinated throughout the academic year by a law school committee.
In August the College of Law welcomed one of the most talented and diverse classes in its history. Exactly 100 matriculating students came from a pool of 831 applicants. The new students' median LSAT score of 155 ranks near the 65th national percentile and is one of the highest levels recorded at the College of Law. The class also boasts a median undergraduate grade point average of 3.39. Notably, women comprise 40% of the class, and minority students represent 12% (both figures among the College's best ever). Students qualifying as Idaho residents constitute 64% of the entering class, demonstrating the College's success in attracting many of the State's best and brightest.
When the entering class of 2003 arrived at the College of Law, they were welcomed by three judges (including two judges of the Idaho Court of Appeals) and 19 lawyers (including the president of the Idaho State Bar and seven former bar presidents). These distinguished members of the bench and bar traveled from all parts of the state, donating their time to participate in an innovative program focusing on ethics and professionalism. In small discussion groups, the students, judges, and lawyers examined factual scenarios designed to produce thoughtfulness and introspection on such topics as civility, truthfulness, and fairness in litigation; fiduciary obligation to clients; reasonableness of attorney fees; conflicts of interest; and pro bono service for the poor.
For a quarter-century, the College of Law clinical faculty has collaborated with seasoned trial judges and practitioners to provide an intensive week-long summer training experience for law students seeking to enter the College's clinical program in the fall. The 2003 trainers included four members of the law faculty, a federal magistrate judge from Washington, two federal public defenders, a state prosecutor, and two private practitioners from Idaho and Montana - all seasoned in trial practice. The pace is grueling but the outcome exhilarating. At the conclusion of the week-long program, 38 students "went to court" as plaintiff's or defense counsel in 10 concurrent civil trials, with new law students serving as jurors. The number of trial participants and concurrent trials established a new record for the program.