September 8, 2015 - First Monday
Welcome back. I hope you enjoy the remaining weeks of your summer. Here at the College of Law, the fall semester is in full swing with classes having begun on August 24. I always look forward to the start of the new academic year. Having been a teacher for so many years, I suppose I am programmed to see fall as a time for new beginnings.
Welcome to the Class of 2018
On August 17, the College of Law welcomed 105 first-year students to our Annual Orientation Program designed to prepare them for law school and their future legal careers. This year’s program began on Monday with a convocation ceremony. Students were joined at the ceremony by College of Law faculty and members of the bench and bar who came to campus for the orientation week activities. Idaho State Bar President Tim Gresback gave the convocation address. Rather than dismiss the attorneys of his generation—the baby boomers—he encouraged new students to use his generation’s lawyers as a resource as they commenced their legal careers.
Later Monday morning, students and invited members of the bench and bar participated in our annual Professional Program where professionalism and civility were the topics of discussion. I am very appreciative to all the mentors for taking time from their busy schedules to spend a day with our students exploring these important topics. It is a great opportunity for our law students to engage one-on-one with such distinguished members of the bench and bar on their very first day of law school. A special thank you to Professor Don Burnett who established this program when he was dean of the College of Law and for his continued involvement.
Our annual Trial Advocacy Program was also held during orientation week. A big “Thank You” to Professor Maureen Laflin for her continued leadership in this program. Nine volunteer attorneys and four law faculty members mentored students in the art of trial advocacy. During convocation, two were recognized for their service. Noel Larrivee has participated as a trainer since the inception of the program 37 years ago. Ada County Prosecutor Jan Bennetts was recognized for five years of service as a trainer. Thank you to all our volunteers who gave their time and energy during orientation week.
I would like to share some news about our new class of students. As I mentioned, we welcomed 105 new first-year students to campus this fall. This year’s class is comprised of 64 percent Idaho residents, a significant increase from the 52 percent last year. The college also increased the entering credentials of the class, moving the median LSAT score from 151 to 152 and the median undergraduate GPA from 3.15 to 3.18. The credentials of a law school’s entering class become official in early October and are used in a variety of rankings and reputational assessments. The new class is 41 percent women, the second highest percentage in the last five years, and 16 percent identify as ethnically diverse, the third highest in the last five years. In addition to the first-year class, we welcomed five transfer students. We continue to hold strong against nationwide trends of declining applications. I am proud to be a part of the UI College of Law, a place where our students gain a valuable education at a fair price. Thank you for being a part as well.
First Year in Boise
We have officially announced plans to offer first-year classes in Boise beginning in the fall of 2017. Those of you who receive our First Monday newsletter know that adding the first year in Boise has been a part of the strategic vision of the College for a long time. We are now ready to begin the planning process which will involve evaluation and input from our faculty, and the approval of the State Board of Education and the American Bar Association. We are optimistic that we can meet our goal of the fall 2017 start date.
The dual locations will provide our law students with more opportunities than at a traditional law school and set the College of Law apart from other law school programs. The addition of the first year in Boise will give students a choice of location for the full three years of their law school experience. As we move through the planning and approval process, I will provide updates in First Monday. Read the full press release.
Idaho Law and Justice Learning Center Grand Opening Celebration
I hope you can join me on Thursday, September 24, for the Grand Opening celebration of the Idaho Law and Justice Learning Center (ILJC) in Boise. This multi-year renovation of the historic Ada County Courthouse now houses the College of Law in Boise, the Idaho State Law Library and the Idaho Supreme Court’s Institute for Advanced Legal Studies. The building was ready on schedule for the start of fall classes August 24. Many individuals who helped bring the ILJLC to completion will be acknowledged at the celebration. I personally wish to thank our Associate Dean for Boise Programs, Lee Dillion, for his countless hours of work on the project.
The Grand Opening celebration will begin at 5 p.m. as an open house where visitors can walk through and view the renovation. A short program beginning at 5:45 in the Senate Classroom will include comments from Lieutenant Governor Brad Little, Chief Justice Jim Jones, and UI President Chuck Staben. Appetizers, cake, and beverages will be served in the House Classroom. The event is open to the public, so there is no need to RSVP. If you have questions about the event, please contact Terri Muse, Assistant Dean for External Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next month, take care, and I hope to see you at one or more of the following events.
Class of 1965 Reunion
September 11-12, 2015
Registration contact Terri Muse at 208-364-4044
Constitution Day Programs
September 17, 2015
Constitution Day Lecture
3:30 – 5 p.m.
Courtroom - Menard Law Building
Constitution Day Panel Discussion
4 - 6:30 p.m.
ILJLC 325 - Idaho Law and Justice Learning Center
Idaho Law and Justice Center Opening Celebration
September 24, 2015
5 p.m. Tours begin
5:45 p.m. Program
514 W. Jefferson Street
Class of 1975 Reunion
October 9-10, 2015
Registration contact Terri Muse 208-364-4044
Sherman J. Bellwood Memorial Lecture
“Truth, Justice and Democracy: Post Dictatorship,” with former Chilean Justice Juan Guzmán
October 12, 2015
October 13-14, 2015
Class of 1971 Reunion
October 24, 2015
Registration contact Terri Muse 208-364-4044
Law Advisory Council Fall Meeting
November 13, 2015
Mark L. Adams