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American Bar Association Approves First-Year Law Program in Boise

March 16, 2017

The American Bar Association (ABA) approved the opening of a first-year law program in Boise for the University of Idaho College of Law. The Idaho State Board of Education approved the first-year law program in February. A first-year law program will now be available in both the Moscow and Boise locations beginning this fall semester.

"We appreciate the ABA’s approval for our first-year option in Boise,” said President Chuck Staben. “We look forward to expanding access to our nationally ranked law program for more students.”

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), in the newly renovated historic Ada County Courthouse in the heart of downtown Boise. The ILJLC 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.

“We are excited to welcome our inaugural class of first-year law students this fall to Boise,” said Mark Adams, dean of the College of Law. “This is a culmination of many efforts and we thank those who have helped in the process of getting the first year approved.”

The dual-location model will offer myriad opportunities for students. Each location will have unique aspects to its program, but will operate under the same standards. Areas of studies 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.

The cost for adding first-year students to the Boise program is relatively minimal and will be covered within the university and College of Law budget. The UI College of Law is transferring three faculty members from Moscow to Boise and recently hired a new associate director of admissions and director of academic success. National searches are underway for an additional two faculty members to join the College in Boise.

This spring, the College of Law was ranked 109 among top law schools by U.S. News and World Report (, a climb of two positions from 111 in 2016. Also, for the first year, the College of Law broke into the Law School Diversity index: .

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
Marketing and Communications Manager, College of Law
University of Idaho

College of Law Dean Mark L. Adams

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, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 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. Learn more at