Anybody who is looking into attending law school in the great state of Idaho has surely heard about the University of Idaho College of Law's program in the state's capital—Boise. As a prospective law student three years ago, I remember hearing all the students, faculty, and staff rave about how great the program in Boise was going to become. As a cynical college graduate who felt like I had the world on a string, I thought to myself...."Ya, ya, ya, this is all just another recruitment ploy. There is not going to be any addition to the program in Boise and even if there was I am sure it will be a flop."
Three years and many classes later, I have come to learn three main things, which I would like to share with you today. First, the undergrad me—you know the one who knew it all and was always three or four steps ahead of any law school admissions department—didn't have the first clue about anything related to law school, let alone what the status and chance of success was for the new Boise program. Shortly after commencing classes my 1L year, we learned that the Boise program was going to be offered to 2L students, and that there was a new Boise campus in the works....Man was I ever wrong about my cynical hypothesis! Unfortunately, I had already committed to living arrangements in Moscow and I decided that continuing my 2L year in Moscow was the best fit for me. Don't get me wrong, doing my second year in Moscow was a great choice and I took a lot from it.
The second main thing that I have since learned is that saying the Boise program has "expanded" is an understatement. By my count, there are currently around 25 courses and 3 attorney-supervised, student-run clinics in Boise. The course offerings in Boise are at least comparable, if not more numerous, in Boise than in Moscow. Not only are there several courses offered, I have found the courses that are offered to be a nice mixture of your "fundamental" law courses and your less fundamental and more "specialized" law courses. To further demonstrate my point about the course variety, currently the Boise program is offering many necessary bar courses such as Property, Evidence and Business Associations; however, a student also has the opportunity to take more specialized and practice specific courses such as Insurance Law, White Collar Crime, and International Trade Law. With the variety of courses offered in Boise I was definitely wrong in my prediction that the Boise program would remain small and unpopular.
The third and final fact that I have come to learn is that the Boise program is by no means anything remotely close to a "flop"..... Of the three courses I am currently taking, (I took full advantage of the rumor that the 3L year they bore you to death, and I must say I am loving it) only one is not being taught by a Federal Judge. Let me restate that just to make sure you are picking up what I am putting down. I have three classes...of those three classes...two are taught by FEDERAL JUDGES. This means that I get to spend the bulk of my time interacting, conversing, problem solving, and getting to know Federal Judges (three in all) each and every day. To be more specific, I am currently taking Bankruptcy, which is "team taught" by three adjunct professors—The Honorable Bankruptcy Judge Papas, The Honorable Chief Bankruptcy Judge Myers, and a well-known local practitioner, Joe Meier. Along with Bankruptcy, I am also taking Complex Litigation, which is taught by the Federal District Judge Winmill. To really solidify the benefits of taking these courses let me put it to you this way; If I were to litigate a bankruptcy in the state of Idaho it would be in front of one of my two Bankruptcy professors, and if I am involved in a federal case at the district level, there is a fifty percent chance that I will be appearing in front of my Complex Litigation professor. Now if that is not the opposite of a "flop" I don't really know what would be.
In sum, to all you nay-sayers, such as myself, that had a hard time buying into the idea of a Booming Boise Program....It is the real deal here in Boise, and I can only imagine that the opportunities and course offerings are going to continue to grow!