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College of Law

Administration Office: 208-885-2255
Dean’s Office: 208-885-4977
fax: 208-885-5709
Menard 101
711 S. Rayburn Drive

Mailing Address:
College of Law
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2321
Moscow, ID 83844-2321


phone: 208-364-4074
fax: 208-334-2176
322 E. Front St., Suite 590
Boise, ID 83702

First Monday - March 1, 2010

In this issue:

Generous Gifts Advance Statewide Legal Educational Opportunities for Students

The College of Law has received a boost from alumnus Frank Shrontz (Law ’54) and his spouse Harriet Shrontz (UI ’54) toward fulfilling a vision for the College’s second century of service to Idaho. The Shrontzes recently pledged $300,000 to advance the College’s success and reputation as it implements a strategic plan to strengthen statewide legal education by offering more instruction in Boise. A third-year program, authorized by the Board of Regents (State Board of Education), will allow 25 or more law students each year to complete their professional training in Boise. This expanded presence in the state capital will make the law school more attractive to prospective applicants and will benefit students in both Moscow and Boise by providing additional employment, externship and professional networking opportunities, as well as an enriched curriculum – particularly in the fields of business and commercial law.

The effort to garner the private support necessary to establish the third-year program has been challenged in recent months by economic conditions. The Shrontzes gift comes at a pivotal time, making it possible for the College to launch the third-year program this fall, subject to approval of the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools.

“I have always been proud of my legal education,” said Frank, who took his law degree into the business world and became the chief executive officer of The Boeing Company. He and Harriet previously have created student scholarship funds at the University of Idaho in the College of Law and the College of Letters, Arts & Social Sciences. Now retired, they reside in the Seattle area, with a second home in Sun Valley.

More than $400,000 has been raised to date in support of the statewide legal education initiative, including additional generous commitments from alumni Nancy Morris (Law ’83), of New York City, and Ford Elsaesser (Law “78), of Sandpoint, Idaho. Further information about the College’s vision for the second century is available from Dean Burnett ( and from the College’s website:

Legislative Committee Votes Initial Funding for Renovation of Capitol Annex

A foundational element of the College’s vision for statewide legal education in Moscow and Boise is the establishment of an Idaho Law Learning Center ILLC) in collaboration with the Idaho Supreme Court. The ILLC will be a multipurpose facility, providing a new permanent home for the Idaho State Law Library and a venue for law-related public education, as well as classrooms and offices for judicial education and for the legal education program. Based upon architectural studies funded by the Legislature, the Capitol Annex building (old Ada County Courthouse) has been identified as the primary potential site of the ILLC. The Capitol Annex, occupied temporarily by the Legislature during recent remodeling and expansion of the Capitol Building, is in need of renovation in order to be suitable for long-term use. Although money is tight, the Permanent Building Fund Advisory Council, chaired by Senator Denton Darrington, has recommended an expenditure of $500,000 in Fiscal Year 2011 to get started with the renovation. The $500,000 would be used to connect the building to the Capitol Mall geothermal and chilled water systems including piping installation beneath State Street. Also included in the geothermal connection would be the purchase and installation of heat exchangers and air handling units. On February 23, 2010, the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee (JFAC) of the Legislature voted to approve the Permanent Building Fund budget, including this initial $500,000 investment in giving a new life to the old courthouse.

“Waters of the West” Program Brings Law-and-Science Students to Moscow

A magnet pulling students to the University of Idaho at Moscow is the growing success of the interdisciplinary graduate program in Water Resources, known as “Waters of the West.” The program provides collaborative research and study by graduate students in law and several science disciplines, with opportunities for the students to obtain concurrent J.D. and Masters or Ph.D. degrees. This year the graduate student enrollment has grown to 40, with 15 students (including 7 law students) in a “Law, Management, and Policy” track; 19 students (including a law student) in a “Science and Management” track; and 6 students (including a law student) in an “Engineering and Science” track. Enriched with interdisciplinary knowledge and problem-solving skills, these students will have abundant career opportunities as demand for water resource expertise continues to grow in Idaho and throughout the American West. One testament to the quality of the “Waters of the West” program has come from the Water Education Foundation and the University of California/Davis, which recently accepted a paper by one of our students -- 3L and concurrent Water Resources degree candidate Dylan Hedden-Nicely – for presentation at a major upcoming conference entitled “Towards Sustainable Groundwater in Agriculture: Linking Science with Policy.” Further information about the “Waters of the West” program can be obtained from Professor Barbara Cosens (, one of the Program’s co-founders.

Applications for Admission Continue to Surge

As noted in last month’s edition of “First Monday,” applications for admission to the College of Law are running ahead of the previous year and ahead of this year’s national and regional averages. Updated figures from mid-February show that applications to the College are now up 24% over last year, compared with average increases of 6% at law schools across the nation, 4% in the Northwest region, and 1% in the Mountain West region. Our College of Law continues to benefit from the recruiting and communications efforts of Jenifer Finney, Director of Admissions, and Helen Albertson-Ploucha, Associate Dean of Students and Administration. Interest in the University of Idaho College of Law also is enhanced by the “Waters of the West” program mentioned above, by the recent listing of the College as one of National Jurist magazine’s “top ten values” in American legal education, and by the prospect that Idaho law students will be able to combine the unique residential experience of Moscow with the metropolitan opportunities of a third year in Boise. Further information about admissions may be obtained from Ms. Finney (

Bellwood Schedule Set for Programs in Boise and Moscow

Here is a reminder of important dates for the upcoming Bellwood Lecture, which will feature a unique collaboration of nationally distinctive speakers in Boise and Moscow. Further information may be obtained from Helen Albertson-Ploucha (, Associate Dean of Students and Administration, or from Professor Angelique EagleWoman (

"The United States and Tribal Nations: An Evolving Relationship Guided by Domestic and International Law"

Thursday, April 15, 2010
Reception & Commentaries on Issues Facing Indian Country
5:30 p.m., Boise Centre on the Grove
Boise, Idaho

Friday, April 16, 2010
4:00 p.m., ASUI-Kibbie Activity Center
Moscow, Idaho

Special Guests:

Larry Echo Hawk
Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs,
U.S. Department of Interior
Presiding Moderator

Lawrence Baca
Federal Bar Association

Rebecca Tsosie
Executive Director Indian Leagal Program
Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
Arizona State University