Concordia University, a Lutheran school in Portland, says 71 students are registered for classes. It could have 75 by the time classes start.
Why does Boise need a law school?
Concordia officials began looking for a place to sprout a law school and came to Boise in 2007. They discovered a pent-up demand for legal education and laid plans to start a school they hoped would grow to 300 students. They set a goal of 75 students for the first year.
Those plans were set before the economic downturn. President Charles Schlimpert said some people questioned whether the school could find enough students, but Concordia stuck to its plans.
Who is attending?
So far, the entering class is 35 percent women and 65 percent men. Nine percent are minorities. The average age is 33. Nearly 90 percent come from the Treasure Valley. Students are also coming from Colorado, Utah, Washington and Oregon. About a third of the students will attend part-time.
Who works there?
The school has 16 employees including its dean, Cathy Silak, a former Idaho Supreme Court justice and anticipates adding four more over the next three months. Four adjunct faculty members will teach one class each.
How much does it cost?
Tuition is $28,500. Scholarships and additional fundraising will allow the entering class to save an average of $11,000 each off that rate.
Concordia wants the non-profit school to become self-sustaining but is prepared to help financially for several years, Schlimpert said. Weve got the money to make it happen, he said.
Will students be helped?
Each student will be paired with a mentor either an attorney or a judge to help students through their legal education, Silak said.
Is the school accredited?
No. New law schools typically are not. Next year, the school hopes to start the process of becoming accredited by the American Bar Association.
What about the University of Idahos law school?
The Moscow university made a run in 2008 at starting a full three-year law school program in Boise in 2008. The State Board of Education questioned the cost and the need. But the board agreed to let U of I launch a third-year program in the Idaho Water Center at 322 E. Front St.
The university still plans to add the first and second years eventually. It is collaborating with the Idaho Supreme Court to renovate the old Ada County Courthouse at 514 W. Jefferson St. into a new Idaho Law Learning Center.
Bill Roberts: 377-6408, Twitter: @IDS_BillRoberts