Idaho Legal Leaders Converge On Moscow To Engage New Law Students

Thursday, August 22 2013

MOSCOW, Idaho - More than 30 distinguished members of the Idaho judiciary and practicing bar traveled from across the state to Moscow this week to introduce new Vandal law students to the study of law as part of the Annual Professionalism Program that precedes the first week of classes.

Members of the Idaho Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, federal and state trial judges, Idaho’s Attorney General, prosecutors, defense counsel, and attorneys in private practice worked in pairs to take students through legal scenarios that pushed them to think about the ethical and professional requirements expected in the practice of law. All of the visitors donated their time to the University of Idaho.

“The program starts law students on a pathway of ethics and professionalism. We hope these values, instilled by role models on day one, will guide our students in their careers -- whether in the practice of law, business, or other fields where the Juris Doctor opens doors of opportunity,” said UI Interim President Don Burnett, who started the program 11 years ago as Dean of the UI College of Law.

In addition, the students completed a professionalism program on cultural competency that was led, in part, by practicing lawyers. Students also interacted with the current and incoming presidents of the Idaho State Bar Association and concluded the week by serving as witnesses and jury members in the Trial Advocacy Program, which is designed to teach third-year law students the skills and ethics of courtroom practice, while also actively engaging the new students. This program, too, is led by practicing attorneys.

“The new students really feel the gravitas of their commitment to law as they interact with practicing professionals who fly in from all over the state and commit a day, two days, even a week to introduce them to the profession,” said Michael Satz, interim dean at Idaho’s only public and accredited college of law.

These professionalism programs reflect aspects of a larger body of learning that will become a requirement for graduation beginning next year as part of the effort to produce more ethically aware, culturally competent and professionally capable graduates.
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The University of Idaho inspires students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Through the university’s $225 million Inspiring Futures capital campaign, private giving will enhance student learning, faculty research and innovation, and a spirit of enterprise. Learn more: