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Economic Development and Land-Use Expert to Join Law School in Boise

Stephen R. Miller

The state of the economy – especially at the local level, where most jobs are created – is being closely watched by business and community leaders. To help local leaders develop sustainable and economically prosperous communities, the University of Idaho College of Law is expanding its outreach with a new faculty member with special expertise on the area.

Attorney Stephen R. Miller will be supervising a new community economic development clinic in which third-year law students provide assistance to Idaho local governments and nonprofit entities as they work with entrepreneurs, investors, and state and federal regulators on sustainable economic development initiatives throughout Idaho. Miller’s legal scholarship, focusing on community economic development, sustainable land-use practices and growth management, and public- and private-sector approaches to green building, are perfectly suited to the clinic's mission.

“I want the clinic to be a resource for local governments and businesses in Idaho that are seeking cutting-edge ways to achieve long-term economic growth, and who want to do it in an environmentally sustainable way,” Miller says. “That kind of growth is inevitably tied to long-term land-use decisions made both locally and regionally, and working on such issues will be a major focus of the clinic. I am excited to help law students understand and experience a lawyer’s role in this process while also providing a valuable service to Idaho’s communities.”

The University of Idaho and the College of Law are honored to have Miller as a member of their team, and believe this new faculty appointment will enhance the university and state of Idaho.

“Many people equate lawyers with litigation because that is what they see on television,” says Don Burnett, Dean of the College of Law. “But lawyers increasingly are resolving disputes through mediation, and they are shaping the business transactions that create jobs for families and wealth for communities.”

As an attorney in private practice in San Francisco, Calif., Miller has represented a wide variety of developers, businesses and non-profit organizations in permitting, compliance and due diligence matters for complex land-use, development and redevelopment projects. He has served as guest lecturer in law and land-use planning at the University of California, Berkeley, is a LEED Accredited Professional, and is on the advisory board for the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Resource Efficient Communities.

Miller received a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Brown University, a master’s degree in city and regional planning from the University of California, Berkeley, and a juris doctorate from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. During law school, Miller was the senior articles editor of the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly. While in Berkeley’s planning program, he won the Thomas Church Prize, a nationally juried design competition focusing on land-use and water conservation issues.

Miller’s faculty appointment, subject to approval by the University of Idaho Board of Regents, becomes effective this summer.

The University of Idaho is charged by the State Board of Education with the statewide mission in legal education. The University of Idaho College of Law-Boise focuses on entrepreneurism, business law, intellectual property and international business transactions. The Boise location also has a professor in business law and an expert in tax law to run the Low Income Taxpayer Assistance Clinic. In addition, Associate Dean Lee Dillion operates the Small Business Legal Clinic in Boise.

The University of Idaho College of Law is the only accredited law school in the state of Idaho. The Boise program opened in the fall of 2010 with seven full-time and adjunct faculty members and 29 third-year students.