The University of Idaho announced that they received a $1 million grant from the Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation, to help start a U of I Law School in Boise. In the near future, the third year can be taken in Boise at classes held in the Idaho Water Center, but apparently they want to work toward a full three year program here.
The plan is to eventually be housed in a remodeled Ada County Courthouse, and to be co-located with the Idaho Supreme Court Library. They still need to raise another $6 million to achieve that dream.
I dunno about all this, though I'm not sure the U of I has much choice. If they don't get a Boise presence, the new Concordia Law School is going to siphon off a bunch of their students. And if they do get a three year Boise program, it will pull students from the Moscow campus. Either way, it's difficult to see how the Moscow law school stays viable, or at least, stays in anything like its current configuration. This will be interesting to watch.
The other part of this story that I really don't get is the law library issue. Really? A state law library? For what purpose? The Supremes will still be blocks away, and they don't go to the library anyway. They, like more and more lawyers, use Westlaw or Lexis for legal research. It really seems like the law library is an unnecessary expense that, if it accomplishes any purpose, subsidizes lawyers. To give you an idea of its usefulness, its hours are Monday - Friday, 10 AM to 4 PM.
If the library has some archival function, why not shift that over the the State Historical Society? The state is casting around to save money; this seems like an opportunity.
But, I suspect it's sort of a backroom deal. See, one of the key factors in rating a law school is the size of its library. The more books, the higher rating. So, co-locating the law school with the law library will allow the law school to get accreditation easier, and will help it gain credibility (assuming the proper deal between the school and the law library for use of and access to the books).