The fifth week of school is now underway, and with the leaves starting to turn, it feels like Fall at the College of Law. The new location in Boise has to be seen to be believed. With the trees of our palatial front lawn starting to change colors, it is a delight to arrive at the campus each day. The new digs are really starting to feel like home. Law school requires so much time and attention from each student, it is vitally important for the campus to be comfortable and inviting, professional yet approachable. Our campus in Boise typifies all of these attributes.
I keep calling it 'new,' but the Boise campus is not.
The building was finished in 1939 as part of Roosevelt's New Deal, and served as an active courthouse and holding jail until 1999. Following protracted discussions about demolition, the building was saved from destruction with the help of many, many voices in the community. It was definitely worth saving.
The building wears a limestone-clad, obelisk-topped, art deco façade. Rubbed brass lamps and a stone staircase give an impressive view on approach. Not to be totally upstaged by its next-door neighbor the Idaho State Capital Building, our school has marble floors and wall coverings, grand staircases, and brass railings. It even features period murals (some of which are controversial). On the eighth and ninth floors, the jail remains intact, complete with 8 cells in 2 blocks, and a prison library.
The building is now fully modernized to meet the demands of the College of Law. Dual 80" monitors in the small classrooms, and large monitor arrays (think JumboTron) in the larger classrooms help Professors demonstrate with visuals. The Boise campus is blanketed in Wi-Fi, supported by a 50-megabit backbone, and a fiber optic link allows students and Professors to connect with the campus in Moscow. The building runs with the help of downtown Boise's excellent geothermal system, and even offers free parking.
The school offers a place not only for students to grow and learn, but also for Idaho's entire legal profession to learn with them. The campus is located in the heart of the Capital Mall in downtown Boise, nestled between the Idaho State Supreme Court, the Idaho State Bar Association, and the Idaho State Capital. The campus is also home to the Idaho Supreme Court Judicial Education Program, allowing judges to expand their knowledge, too. Further, our classrooms will be used by the many local attorneys and judges to host education events for lawyers seeking CLE credit.
Each day when I leave the building, I take a moment to reflect on the beautiful monument where I get to work and study. Taken in total, our campus here in Boise feels like a law school, complete with a sense of occasion. And years of renovations have rendered the building a very warm and welcoming home for the College of Law-- jail cells and all.