In this issue:
Board of Regents' Action on Legal Education Proposal 21 Aug 08
On August 21, 2008, at Pocatello, the University of Idaho Board of Regents/State Board of Education considered the University's proposed plan to implement the dual location concept for statewide public legal education. The plan, described in previous editions of "First Monday" and posted on the College of Law website (www.law.uidaho.edu), would establish a branch location of the three-year J.D. degree program in Boise while preserving and enhancing the program in Moscow. The Boise location would be phased-in over an eight-year period. The two locations would offer a unified curriculum with distinctive subject-matter emphases.
UI President Steven Daley Larsen and College of Law Dean Don Burnett presented the plan and answered questions from the State Board. Former Chief Justice Gerald Schroeder read a supportive letter from current Chief Justice Daniel Eismann (who was unable to attend for health reasons) and offered supportive commentary of his own. Additional supportive statements were presented by former Chief Justice Linda Copple Trout (chair of the College of Law Advisory Council), state senator Denton Darrington (chair of the Senate Judiciary & Rules Committee and of the Permanent Building Fund Advisory Council), academic consultant Richard Morgan, and 2008 law graduate Brian Williams of Jerome, Idaho (providing a student perspective).
A motion to approve the University's plan was the subject of amendatory motions, eventually resulting in adoption of the following language by a 6-2 vote:
"A motion to authorize the University of Idaho to expand its offerings in Boise to a full third year curriculum and to include a legislative appropriation in the FY 2010 budget for this expansion. The Regents recognize the statewide mission of the University of Idaho for legal education. The University is instructed to re-visit the issue of funding and support for a full dual location model, including a full three year branch curriculum in Boise, to continue collaboration with the Idaho Supreme Court on the Idaho Law Learning Center with respect to those programs to be delivered in Boise, and return to the Regents for further discussion."
Votes in favor of the motion were cast by Regents Milford Terrell, Sue Thilo, Rod Lewis, Kenneth Edmunds, Richard Westerberg, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna. Votes in opposition were cast by Regents Paul Agidius and Blake Hall.
The following is a news release issued by the Office of the State Board of Education:
BOARD AMENDS PROPOSED LAW SCHOOL EXPANSION
(Pocatello). The Idaho State Board of Education (SBOE) voted 6-2 to approve an amended plan to expand the University of Idaho Law School to a second location in Boise. The Board authorized the University of Idaho officials to now offer, pending legislative approval, a full third year curriculum in Boise and to revisit the issue of funding and support for a full dual location model, including a full three (3) branch curriculum in Boise.
The Board, which serves as the Regents of the University of Idaho, heard extensive presentations from officials with the University of Idaho Law School and administration.
"I was impressed by the depth of detail and preparation I heard from the University of Idaho", said Board President Milford Terrell. "Now is a time to take a small step, rather than a large leap. We need to have a law school presence in Boise but we need to be sure that all the parameters are in order first," added Terrell.
"We can not remain stagnant. We either become progressive or we are regressive. We are looking many years down the road," said Senator Denton Darrington, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary & Rules Committee. Senator Darrington was one of a number of officials who testified on behalf of the proposal. Joining Darrington were former Idaho Supreme Court Justices Linda Copple-Trout and Gerald Schroeder. Schroeder also read a prepared statement from current Chief Justice Daniel Eismann.
The Board also reaffirmed the University of Idaho's statewide mission to provide legal education and for the University to return to the Board for further discussion on the possibility of adding the first two years of law education to the Boise program.