In this issue:
“Second Century” Initiative Moves Forward
As reported in recent editions of “First Monday,” the College of Law will celebrate its centennial in 2009. The College is advancing toward its second century with a plan to fulfill the University of Idaho’s statewide mission in legal education. The planning process has included consultation with experts, with the Idaho Supreme Court, with leaders of the Idaho State Bar and Law Foundation, with professional leaders in a statewide “Conclave on Idaho Legal Education in the 21st Century,” and with the College of Law Advisory Council. The College’s faculty and administration, and the University’s senior leadership, have concluded, subject to approval by the Board of Regents (State Board of Education), that the legal education mission should be fulfilled by one statewide law school under unified administration by the University of Idaho, offering the Juris Doctor degree at two locations – Boise and Moscow -- with distinct curricular emphases at each location.
With funding assistance from the University’s central administration, a “second century” committee is now developing the academic design of the two-location J.D. program. A conceptual plan is expected to be presented to the State Board this spring, with a more detailed action plan to follow in the late summer.
In related developments, the State of Idaho Permanent Building Fund Advisory Committee has recommended approval of a planning project expenditure in Fiscal Year 2009 (beginning July 1 of this year) to determine the architectural needs of an “Idaho Law Learning Center” in Boise that could house a relocated State Law Library and facilities for the College of Law, as well as offices and shared instructional spaces for judicial and civic education. Relocation of the State Law Library would enable the Idaho Court of Appeals – currently located in commercially leased space in downtown Boise – to move into the Idaho Supreme Court Building. Moving the Court of Appeals, in turn, would facilitate an expansion of the three-member Court, which has remained the same size for more than a quarter-century while its caseload has more than doubled. Legislation (S. 1270) authorizing expansion of the Court has passed the Senate (all votes in favor) and now awaits consideration in the House.
Further information about the “second century” planning process can be obtained from Dean Burnett (firstname.lastname@example.org). Planning documents are posted on the College of Law website.
Classroom Technology Project Takes Shape
As planning unfolds for the Boise component of the two-location J.D. program, the College of Law continues to invest in modernizing the Menard Law Building on the Moscow campus. Last month’s “First Monday” newsletter reported the remodeling and technological upgrading of the courtroom. The project also includes our largest classroom (Room 104), which has undergone physical alterations, including acoustical adjustments and improvements in disability access. The classroom now is receiving equipment for computer-based interactive instruction, featuring a “smart podium,” dual digital imaging screens, whiteboards, and distance education receiving/transmitting capability.
The upgrading of both the courtroom and Room 104 should be completed during the spring semester. The project is supported by law student professional fees, private giving, and a University allocation of resources available from the State Permanent Building Fund. Further information about the project can be obtained from Professor/Associate Dean Richard Seamon (email@example.com).
Law Review Symposium to Focus on Healthcare and the Law
Recognizing that healthcare is entwined with legal concerns, the Idaho Law Review will dedicate its 2008 symposium to “Law and Healthcare: Bridging the Divisions.” The symposium will encompass two days. The main event will be held on Friday, April 11, at the Red Lion Downtowner Hotel in Boise. Healthcare professionals, attorneys, and nationally renowned scholars will lead a dialogue on topics including privacy, standard of care, consent, and other healthcare issues germane to Idaho, while encouraging questions from attendees. Preceding the main event will be small “summary classes” on focused topics during the afternoon of Thursday, April 10. These intimate sessions will be taught by Idaho legal, accounting, and insurance authorities for the benefit of healthcare professionals, students, and community members.