In this issue:
New Law Students Combine Academic Quality with Diverse Backgrounds
Preliminary figures are in for the 2007 entering class. (Final statistics will be compiled after the 12th day of regularly scheduled classes.) Based on data available on “opening day,” 104 first-year law students have enrolled. They were selected from a pool of 675 applicants, down from 782 last year and 825 in 2005. Across the nation, the law school applicant pool has declined during the past three years, due in part to employment opportunities in a strong economy. Based on the preliminary data, the UI Law “Class of 2010” has a median LSAT score of 155 (same as last year’s entering class), which represents approximately the 62nd national percentile. The undergraduate grade point average is 3.36, down slightly from 3.44 a year ago. The entering class is 49% women, and it includes 18% minorities (believed to be a record), compared with 47% and 17%, respectively, last year.
Approximately 66% of the entering students (up from 58% a year ago) are Idaho residents, and many others have chosen the College of Law because its connections to the Northwest. The students have come to the College of Law from 48 undergraduate institutions. The Idaho institutions represented in the entering class are the University of Idaho, Boise State University, BYU-Idaho, Idaho State University, Albertson College of Idaho, and Lewis-Clark State College.
Academic and geographical data, of course, do not capture the whole human dimension of the entering class. The admissions committee, composed of faculty members, looks at each “whole person” in making selections. Our new students include single parents, Congressional interns, college athletes, scientists, members of the Armed Forces (Army, Air Force, Marines, and Korean Army), small business owners, bus drivers, paralegals, a journalist, a radio producer, farmers and ranchers, community activists, firefighters, law enforcement officers, teachers, a nurse, and a dog sled tour guide. Their personal activities include volunteer service in Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), LDS missions, Catholic Charities, Boy Scouts, American Red Cross, and domestic violence prevention organizations.
Nearly half (54) of our new students speak a second language; three speak a third language, and three others speak a fourth language. Language proficiencies range from Spanish to Japanese, Korean, Cantonese, Bengali, Arabic, Polish, Hindi, Yupik, Salish, and American Sign Language. Six students were born outside the United States; collectively, members of the entering class have lived for a month or longer in 36 foreign countries.
These numerical and human dimensions of the student body enhance the richness and quality of education at the College of Law, where students learn from each other as well as from the faculty. Further information about the incoming class and the admissions process is available from Stephen Perez, Director of Admissions.
Lawyers and Judges Emphasize Professionalism as Pathway to Success
For the fifth consecutive year, the first day of orientation for lL students at the University of Idaho has been dedicated to professionalism and ethics. The College’s distinctive program, “Professionalism: First Step in Law School, Foundation of a Career,” is designed to show students how professional success and professional values go together. Conducted in collaboration with the Idaho State Bar Section of Professionalism & Ethics, the program features small-group discussions of scenarios posing issues of professionalism and ethics issues. Each group consists of five or six students and one or two selected mentors from the bench and bar.
Mentors this year included three members of the Idaho Supreme Court -- Chief Justice Daniel Eismann, and Justices Roger Burdick and Jim Jones – as well as federal magistrate judges Mikel Williams and Larry Boyle. Also participating from the Idaho bench were district judges Jeff Brudie (Second District) and Cheri Copsey (Fourth District), as well as magistrate judge Debra Heise (First District). Practitioner-participants included ISB president-elect Terrence White (Nampa) and ISB past presidents Fred Hoopes (Idaho Falls), Deborah Kristensen (Boise), and Jean Uranga (Boise), as well as Howard Burnett (Pocatello), Ronaldo Coulter (Boise), Candy Dale (Boise), Deputy Ada County Prosecutor Jim Dickinson (Boise), Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah Ferguson (Boise), Charles “Hoey” Graham (Moscow), Statewide Public Defender Molly Huskey (Boise), Idaho Chief Deputy Attorney General Brian Kane (Boise), Caralee Lambert (Boise), Albert Matsuura (Pocatello), Katherine Moriarty (Idaho Falls), Michael Peacock (Kellogg), and Latah County Public Defender Sunil Ramalingam (Moscow). They were joined by ISB staff attorneys Brad Andrews (bar counsel), Julia Crossland (deputy bar counsel), and Terri Muse (legal education director), as well as Lee Dillion, College of Law instructor, director of outreach in Boise, and past chair of the ISB Professionalism & Ethics Section. ISB president Andrew Hawes (Boise) later addressed the entering students and their families during the traditional 1L convocation, again emphasizing the importance of professionalism and ethical conduct.
hese members of the bench and bar for their unselfish volunteer efforts on behalf of legal education and the profession. Further information about the “first day of law school” professionalism program may be obtained from Dean Burnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.