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State Board of Education Approves First-Year Law Program in Boise

February 16, 2017

The Idaho State Board of Education approved the opening of a first-year law program in Boise for the University of Idaho College of Law. Pending final American Bar Association approval, a first-year law program will be available in both the Moscow and Boise locations beginning this fall semester.

“A first-year program in Boise rounds out the University of Idaho’s options for a dynamic legal education that leads to great opportunities for graduates,” said President Chuck Staben. “We will be able to continue to build on our success at the Idaho Law and Justice Learning Center in Boise and on our long tradition of excellence in legal education.”

Previously, all students completed their first-year in Moscow and then could transition to Boise, if desired, for their second and third year. The addition of first-year classes in Boise will make a Juris Doctor degree fully available at either location. Classes in Boise are held in the Idaho Law and Justice Learning Center (ILJLC), the newly renovated historic Ada County Courthouse in the heart of downtown Boise that also houses the Idaho State Law Library and the Idaho Supreme Court’s judicial education offices. It is adjacent to the Idaho Supreme Court, Idaho State Bar and the Capitol Building.

“The College of Law would like to thank all those who have worked to make a full program in Boise possible” said Mark Adams, dean of the Law College, “Dual locations will allow us to serve more of the state and give our students the best possible education.”

The dual-location model will offer myriad opportunities for students across Idaho. Each location will have unique aspects to its program, but will operate under the same standards. Emphasis areas will align with the strengths of each location, such as the interdisciplinary assets of Moscow’s location as part of the broader University of Idaho campus, and Boise’s commercial and government connections.

The expanded College of Law program can accept up to 60 first-year students in Boise; current applications indicate expected classes of similar sizes in both locations.

“This uniquely Idaho solution offers a valuable new opportunity for Idaho's future law students — one long supported by the many statewide members of the Law Advisory Council," said Council Chair Denny Davis of Coeur d'Alene. “This is the culmination of efforts by so many, including Don Burnett, former College of Law dean and interim university president, and Dean Adams, Governor Otter, Idaho Legislature, the Board of Regents, University of Idaho Presidents Nellis and Staben and the College of Law faculty.”

ABA approvals should be in place by the end of March 2017. The College of Law is currently accepting first-year applications for fall 2017 at both locations. For more information or to apply, go to

Media Contact:
Cara Hawkins-Jedlicka
Marking and Communications Manager, College of Law
University of Idaho

Chuck Staben

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, a research and Extension center in Twin Falls, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to more than 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference and Sun Belt Conference. Learn more: