Concordia University School of Law

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Concordia University School of Law
Concordia Portland School of Law logo.png
Parent school Concordia University
Established 2011
School type Private
Parent endowment $7.2 million[1]
Dean Cathy Silak
Location Boise, Idaho, US
Coordinates: 43°36′44″N 116°12′08″W / 43.612170°N 116.202114°W / 43.612170; -116.202114
Enrollment 110
Faculty 15 planned

Concordia University School of Law is a private, non-profit law school which opened in August 2012 in Boise in the U.S. state of Idaho. Announced in 2007, the school originally planned to open in fall 2011. The first class had 75 students and the school expects to grow to 250 students when fully operational. The law school is the second in Idaho, and the first in Boise. The school is part of Concordia University, a private Lutheran school based in Portland, Oregon.


Concordia University announced it would open a law school in 2007, with the school looking at locations in Washington, California, and Idaho.[2] In November of that year the small Lutheran school announced they were looking at Boise as the location under consideration in Idaho.[2] Boise is the state’s most populous city and one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States that did not have a law school.[2][3] Proposed locations included using Boise’s Carnegie Library on a temporary basis.[2]

The law school was originally scheduled to open in 2009, but an increase in the start-up costs from $4 million to $7 million delayed the planned opening to allow for additional fund-raising.[4] Idaho’s only law school at the University of Idaho (UI) also had plans to open a campus in the city at that time.[4] In August 2008, Concordia announced the school would be delayed until the fall of 2010, and Idaho’s Board of Education decided against allowing UI to add a full three-year program in Boise.[4] Instead, UI would be allowed to open a program for third year students, also to open in fall 2010.[4]

Concordia narrowed its search for a dean of the law school to two people by August 2008,[4] and in December 2008 choose former Idaho Court of Appeals judge and Idaho Supreme Court justice Cathy Silak to lead the school.[5] Expected to cost $7 million and take 18-months to open, the original plan called for an entering class of 70 students in fall 2010 with a faculty of 15.[4][5] By December 2008 Concordia had raised $1.5 million for the law school and by 2009 had pushed the opening back to fall 2011.[5][6] Concordia announced plans to buy a building at 501 Front Street in Boise in January 2010 to house the campus.[6] The purchase was expected to close in April and be for about $2 million.[6]

Concordia announced in January 2010 it planned to open in fall 2012 with 75-95 students and an annual tuition of around $28,500, with enrollment projected to later increase to 250.[3] The school planned to apply for provisional accreditation by the American Bar Association after its first year of operation (fall 2013).[7] The school opened in August 2012 with 75 students.[8] In July 2014, the ABA withheld provisional accreditation from the school, with 48 of 102 students at the school then transferring, taking a leave of absence, or withdrawing from Concordia.[9] The ABA planned to seek additional information, and the school hoped to gain provisional accreditation later in 2014.[9]


The law school building is in downtown Boise at 501 West Front Street near the Idaho State Capitol, the Ada County Courthouse and the Idaho Supreme Court buildings.[6] Concordia chose to add a law school in Boise over its main Portland campus primarily since Portland already has one law school with Lewis & Clark Law School and Salem just south of Portland has Willamette University College of Law.[1] Additionally, Concordia has strong ties to the Boise area with students, donors, and several board of trustees coming from Boise,[1] plus Boise was one of the largest metropolitan areas lacking a law school, yet is home to the state supreme court and about half of all the lawyers in Idaho.[2][5][3] The first building on the campus was a two-story brick building with 17,000 square feet (1,600 m2) of space.[6][10] The law school completed construction in 2010 of a three story extension of the original building located directly South of the existing structure to add 30,000 square feet (2,800 m2) for more offices and classrooms.[3] The school's library is known as the George R. White Law Library.[11]


  1. ^ a b c Bucks, Olivia (April 23, 2009). "Northeast Portland's Concordia expands for future". The Oregonian. Retrieved 17 January 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Killen, John (November 12, 2007). "Portland's Concordia considers opening law school in Boise". The Oregonian. Retrieved 17 January 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d Roberts, Bill (January 16, 2010). "Concordia law school to move into Downtown Boise". Idaho Statesman. Retrieved 18 January 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Killen, John (August 25, 2008). "Snags hit both Boise law school proposals". The Oregonian. Retrieved 17 January 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d Terry, Lynne (December 10, 2008). "Concordia names dean of law school in Boise, set to open in 2010". The Oregonian. Retrieved 17 January 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c d e The Associated Press (January 16, 2010). "Concordia finds building for Boise campus". The Oregonian ( Retrieved 17 January 2010. 
  7. ^ "Fact Sheet". Concordia University. September 29, 2009. Retrieved 19 January 2010. 
  8. ^ Roberts, Bill (September 19, 2012). "Boiseans chart new career at Concordia University school of law". Idaho Statesman. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Manning, Jeff (August 29, 2014). "Concordia Law School suffers mass defection after it fails to gain accreditation". The Oregonian. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  10. ^ DJC Staff (January 18, 2010). "Portland-based university eyes Boise property". Daily Journal of Commerce. Retrieved 19 January 2010. 
  11. ^ "Library". Concordia University School of Law. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 

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