U Idaho accepts 110 Concordia law students to Boise campus; breaks transfer record in west

The University of Idaho School of Law took another step towards making Boise a major campus, by accepting 110 transfers from Concordia University School of Law, which announced in June that it would close. 

The University of Idaho is located in Moscow, in the far north of the state, which is sparsely populated. It started a Boise satellite campus in 2010, which at first only offered classes for third-year students. In 2014, it began offering classes for second-year students and in 2017, it opened classes to first-year students. 

The university had been rebuffed by the state legislature in 2008 when it wanted to open a full campus in Boise. That led the school to take the piecemeal approach. It also opened the door for Concordia University, which is based in Portland, Oregon, to open a law school campus in Boise. 

But while Concordia had a lot of success, its parent university is closing and it was unable to find another parent university to help it continue to operate. The school had 147 students who needed to find a home.

While most chose to attend University of Idaho, some students who are not Idaho residents found tuition too high. Tuition is only $22,760 for residents, but $41,996 for out-of -state students. Idaho requires students to be residents for one year before enrolling in the university or to be independent of their parents and living in state for one year. 

Concordia laid off most staff within days of the June announcement that it would close. But it kept staff to help students transfer. 

“The Concordia Law team immediately contacted partner institutions on behalf of each of our law students to effectuate the transfer of our law students to other law schools, actively working with more than 35 law schools,” said Latonia Haney Keith, interim dean at Concordia. “In particular, we developed preferred partnerships with the University of Idaho College of Law, the University of North Dakota School of Law, Creighton University School of Law, Mississippi University School of Law and Washburn University School of Law.

“The remaining faculty and staff worked one-on-one with all current and (incoming) students to ensure to the extent possible that every single student found a new law school home.

Nearly all of the students attending University of Idaho will finish their law degree at the school’s campus in Boise. Two are relocating to Moscow.   

The University of Idaho also hired eight law professors, including six from Concordia. Concordia had 13 full-time faculty last year. . 

The transfer of 110 students is a record number for a western law school and ties Georgetown University Law Center for the most transfers in a year, which that school set in 2016. 

“As the state’s public law school, we felt it was our obligation to help Concordia students who wanted to complete their legal education in Idaho,” said Jerrold Long, Dean at the University of Idaho School of Law.

This is not the first time that Concordia students have transferred to University of Idaho. In 2014, Concordia was unsuccessful in securing ABA Accreditation and 53 students transferred at that time. The school subsequently gained accreditation. 


Related stories:

UIdaho opens Boise building, plans for first years in 2017

UIdaho launches second-year program in Boise

Concordia fails to merge, will close

Battle for Boise: U Idaho up, Concordia down in enrollment

Concordia students move to Univ. of Idaho after accreditation postponement

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