Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Citydesk Gets A Look at Concordia Law School

Posted By on Wed, May 2, 2012 at 9:27 AM

While most schools are counting down the days of their current school calendars, faculty and staff at the new Concordia University School of Law are gearing up for their inaugural session, slated for this fall.

"Our first class will report for orientation on Oct Aug. 22 and classes begin the 27th," said Tamara Martinez Anderson, assistant dean of admissions.

Citydesk joined a group of Idaho media to tour the newly finished 54,000-square-foot building on Boise's Front Street. The state-of-the-art building, tapped into Boise's geothermal heating pipeline, is already being considered for LEED Gold certification. In addition to its vast law library and study and conference rooms, the school holds seven classrooms, ranging in size from 24 students to stadium-style seating that can hold as many as 132 students.

Law school Dean Cathy Silak also showed off the school's mock courtroom.

"This is where our students can be videotaped and critiqued on their courtroom skills," said Silak. "Introducing evidence in a courtroom is critical, and this is where they can practice those real-life skills."

Silak also said local law offices may be using the mock courtroom to rehearse opening and closing arguments or to prep witnesses for upcoming trials.

Additionally, the new school has built two offices that will serve as law clinics for members of the public who can't afford legal representation. The clinics are expected to be functional by the fall of 2014, when the class of students will be in their third year. (Third-year students are eligible for special licenses to represent clients.)

Silak also said the Treasure Valley law community will be a key partner in mentoring the new students.

"We'll pair each student with a member of the practicing bar or judiciary," said Silak. "We already have more than 100 potential mentors who have agreed to participate."

Faculty and staff have been busy reviewing applications for the fall semester.

"We have 53 students who have already decided to come here this fall after we accepted their admissions," said Martinez Anderson. "The vast majority of them are from Idaho. We're expected to have 70-75 students in our first class."

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