Concordia reports dip in new law students

The U of I Law School sees a 7.8% increase. The two schools have similar attrition rates.

broberts@idahostatesman.comAugust 31, 2013 

A 40 percent drop in enrollment of first-year students at Concordia University School of Law in Boise from its inaugural year wasn’t unexpected, school officials say.

Pent-up demand for a law school in Boise helped push first-year enrollment to 73 in 2012, said Cathy Silak, Concordia law school dean. First-year enrollment for 2013-14 is 44.

The University of Idaho, bucking a national trend, reported an increase in first-year students to 110 from 102 for this school year.

“Law school is a serious investment and even with scholarships offered by other schools, students selected (U of I) because our tuition is the 13th-most affordable in the country and our employment prospects are encouraging," said Jeffrey A. Dodge, the associate dean who oversees law school admissions.

The two schools were similar in attrition rates for students going on to their second year.

Concordia saw a 14 percent drop in the number of students from the first to second year, from 73 to 63. An additional five students are on leaves of absence and not considered to have left the program, Silak said.

An attrition rate in the school’s second year of 10 to 15 percent is in the acceptable range, Silak said.

The U of I attrition rate, typically 5 to 8 percent, was 12.7 percent, dropping from 102 to 89 students. That was driven largely by six students who decided to transfer together to another law school, Dodge said.

Concordia has 105 total students for this year, including three who transferred into the second year of its program from other law schools. The school doesn’t yet have a third year of legal education.

Concordia’s new students come from 11 states, and 62 percent are from Idaho. The school is affiliated with Concordia University in Portland.

U of I has 323 students in its three-year program that has campuses in Moscow and Boise. Its new students come from Idaho and 18 other states.

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