Officials at Portland-based Concordia University quietly came to Boise in 2007 to sniff out the opportunities to start a law school.
Five years later, the Lutheran university is opening the doors on the school with 71 registered students and the possibility of picking up a few more before classes begin Aug. 27.
Concordia University School of Law will be Boises only private law school. The University of Idaho has a third-year law school program in Boise and is working toward creating a full branch of its Moscow-based law school at the old Ada County Courthouse.
Concordia seeks to capitalize on pent-up demand for legal education in southern Idaho to help it launch the school. President Charles Schlimpert said Concordia hopes the school will eventually gain attention nationally, said Charles Schlimpert.
Schlimpert said the university set a goal of opening with 75 students and stuck to it through the economic downturn, even though some questioned whether the school could find that many students to attend. Full-time tuition is $28,500 a year, though everyone in the inaugural class will receive at least a $5,000-a-year grant to defray costs. The law school employs 16 people, including faculty and staff, plus some adjunct faculty.
Concordia spent $10.2 million buying, retrofitting and expanding a two-story building at 501 W. Front St. where classes will be held. The building has 53,000 square feet.
Bill Roberts: 377-6408