College of Law

Moscow

uilaw@uidaho.edu
Administration Office: 208-885-2255
Dean’s Office: 208-885-4977
fax: 208-885-5709
Menard 101
711 S. Rayburn Drive

Mailing Address:
College of Law
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2321
Moscow, ID 83844-2321

Boise

phone: 208-364-4074
fax: 208-334-2176
322 E. Front St., Suite 590
Boise, ID 83702

First Monday - July 6, 2010

In this issue:


ABA Accreditation Committee Gives Green Light to Third-Year Law Program in Boise

The Accreditation Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has recommended approval of the University of Idaho’s plan to offer a full third-year program in Boise, commencing this fall.  The Committee’s recommendation, made after a hearing in Washington, D.C., on June 24, will go to the Council of the Section for final action during the ABA’s annual meeting at San Francisco in the first week of August.  The ABA review process (known as “acquiescence” because the College of Law is already fully accredited, and has been since 1925) is thorough; it has included site visits to Boise and Moscow.  The process has focused on the University of Idaho’s capability to provide a quality third-year program in Boise while maintaining the quality of its full three-year J.D. degree program in Moscow.  The Accreditation Committee report contains specific findings that the College of Law can adequately support its proposed program in Boise, that the College is in compliance with ABA Standards, and that the Boise program will not detract from the College’s ability to continue meeting the requirements of those Standards.

The University of Idaho Board of Regents (State Board of Education) earlier approved the third-year program  and authorized the University of Idaho to collaborate with the Idaho Supreme Court to develop in Boise an Idaho Law Learning Center that will contain the University’s legal education program, the Idaho State Law Library, judicial education offices, and an innovative venue for public education and outreach on the rule of law in a democratic society (pdf).  While plans for the Idaho Law Learning Center move forward, the College’s third-year program will be housed initially in the University of Idaho/Boise Center (“Water Center” Building) at Broadway and Front Streets.  The Idaho Law Learning Center is envisioned to become the permanent home of the program and eventually to be the location of a full three-year branch program of the College of Law in Boise.

Further information about the College’s third-year program and ABA accreditation may be obtained from Dean Donald Burnett (dburnett@uidaho.edu).

Boise Facility Gets Ready to House Third-Year Program

As noted above, the College’s third-year law program in Boise will be housed initially in the University of Idaho/Boise Center (“Water Center” Building) at Broadway and Front Streets.  The building is a modern education and research facility containing a range of University of Idaho graduate-level programs including architecture, agriculture, education, engineering, and medicine (WWAMI program), as well as law.  The College of Law, which already has externship, semester-in-practice, and development offices in the building, is preparing space on the 5th Floor for exclusive use by the third-year law program this fall.  The project is under the direction of Lee Dillion, Associate Dean for Boise Programs.  The space configuration, reviewed by the American Bar Association as part of its site visit, encompasses:

  • Reception area
  • Clinic conference and client intake room
  • Clinic work space
  • Student work space for 30 student carrels
  • Student organizations office
  • Working library for the third-year program and staff
  • Five faculty offices
  • Student services office
  • Development Director office
  • Faculty conference room
  • General workroom

In addition to the 5th floor space, the third-year program will utilize University facilities throughout the building, including state-of-the-art classrooms and seminar rooms (with real-time distance education connectivity to Moscow), general meeting spaces, lounge areas, and kitchen and locker facilities.  Further information about facilities for the College of Law third-year program may be obtained from Dean Dillion (dillion@uidaho.edu).

Business Law Specialist Joins Full-Time Faculty

As noted in last month’s edition of “First Monday,” the College of Law has hired faculty and professional staff for the third-year program in Boise.  The program’s emphasis on economic development, business law, entrepreneurship, and related topics will be advanced by the specialized business law background of the latest full-time faculty appointee, Wendy Gerwick Couture.  Professor Couture holds a baccalaureate degree from Duke University summa cum laude.  She earned her J.D. degree from Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law, where she graduated summa cum laude with the #1 ranking in her class.  She has served as a federal law clerk, as a securities litigator at a large Dallas firm, and as an attorney in a business and civil litigation practice in Olympia, Washington. 

Having formerly served as a visiting faculty member at the University of Idaho College of Law in 2008-09, Professor Couture has accepted a tenure-track appointment.  Her familiarity with Moscow faculty, staff, and programs will allow her to facilitate integration of the curriculum in Boise and Moscow.  “It is essential that the College of Law further its statewide mission by offering students the opportunity to study in Boise,” says Couture. “The flexibility of allowing students to spend their third year in Boise will open the law school doors to more students who dream of becoming lawyers. On-the-ground experience, gained at the nexus of Idaho law and commerce, gives University of Idaho law school graduates a competitive edge in the job market.”

Professor Couture, who will start her full-time work in Boise this summer, can be contacted at wgcouture@uidaho.edu.

Future Faculty Hiring Aims to Enhance Strength in Moscow and Boise

This summer the College of Law will commence searches for additional full-time, tenure-track faculty who will enhance the College’s programmatic strength in both Moscow and Boise, starting in 2011.  The faculty appointment process, coordinated with the Association of American Law Schools, is highly competitive (as illustrated by the credentials, noted above, of Professor Couture).

In Moscow, the College will hire two full-time faculty members.  One appointment will replace retired Professor James Macdonald, whose teaching included Constitutional Law and Federal Courts.  The other appointment will fill a new position increasing the College’s teaching strength in other core curricular areas such as Evidence, Civil and Criminal Procedure, and Advanced Torts.  The expansion of Moscow faculty will enable the College of maintain favorable faculty-student ratios as cohorts of first-year and second-year students grow in response to the opportunities for students to pursue third-year studies in Boise as well as in Moscow.  The College plans to make a further addition to the Moscow full-time faculty in 2012, augmenting faculty depth in high-enrollment courses such as Business Associations and Property Security.

In Boise, the College plans to make an innovative hire of a full-time faculty member focusing on community economic development – a growing area of legal education at the cusp of entrepreneurship, business investment, and local and regional government.  This faculty position would bring “value added” to Idaho by educating future lawyers on their transactional and counseling roles in promoting and enabling economic development.  The position is expected to entail a combination of traditional classroom teaching, clinical education, and outreach.  Distinctive curricular offerings made possible by this position will complement the Small Business Legal Clinic already conducted at the College of Law by Associate Dean Lee Dillion.

Further information about the curriculum and faculty appointments at the College of Law may be obtained from Professor Elizabeth Brandt, Associate Dean for Faculty (ebrandt@uidaho.edu).