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Deans eNews October 2016



October 2016


Congratulations! Concordia's July bar takers achieved a first-time bar passage rate exceeding 80%. These results, combined with other results, have left Concordia Law with a first-time bar passage rate of more than 77% in 2016.  These will comply with the ABA's standards for first-time bar passage.  Concordia Law's cumulative rates for its 2015 graduates and 2016 graduates both exceed 75%, the standard that the ABA sets for full approval. 



Faculty and Staff Update

Welcome Law Librarian Emily Siess

Concordia Law and its George R. White Law Library is pleased to welcome Emily Siess as our new Public Services Librarian. Emily started at Concordia on Oct. 17th. She is a recent graduate of the University of Washington Library and Information Science program and she earned her JD at the University of South Dakota. Emily and her husband, Allan, are very excited about moving to Boise and joining our Law School community.


Concordia Law Programs


The Associate Dean and Admission Counselors have been on the road since the middle of last month visiting colleges and universities and attending law school fairs and forums throughout the region.  Their travels have taken them to Alaska, North Idaho/Eastern Washington, Eastern Idaho, Arizona, and San Francisco.  Upcoming trips include fairs and visits in Colorado, Texas, Utah, Oregon, Western Washington, and Illinois.  Click here to read more about where the admission office will be traveling this fall. 


Academic Success

The academic success program recently offered a special week of programming aimed at enabling first-year students to manage stress.  Students learned how to use such techniques as exercise, breathing, and creative activities to cope with the daily stresses of law school.  Also, the academic success program will offer a new course targeting writing skills for the bar exam during the spring semester.  The course will enable students to practice the skills necessary for success on the Multistate Essay Exam and Multistate Performance Test. 


Campus Ministry

Thursday Chapel and Reflection (Crosswalk) has returned to a weekly event under the direction of Pastor Rich Davis, Boise campus pastor, and with the support of the Concordia Law chapter of the Christian Legal Society.  Each week, students, faculty, and staff are able to gather, pray, and worship as a community - led either by a student or Pastor Rich.  In addition, Pastor Rich maintains office hours for individual counseling, conversation, and support.  Pastor Rich and the Christian Legal Society are always looking for ways to further integrate our service and Lutheran mission within our local community.  If you have ideas, we invite you to reach out to Pastor Davis.


Career Services

It's been a busy month for the Career Services Office!  With the admission of seventeen new lawyers in October, the office is actively assisting and supporting with job searches for many of these admittees.  We're on track for a very positive report and are working to have all graduates placed by the March 15, 2017 census date.  To that end, we welcome any job leads, suggestions, and/or opportunities you may know about.  In addition to working with our recent alumni, our introductory programming for first year students began on October 17th with a resume and cover letter writing workshop.  Fall on-campus interviews for second and third year students wrapped up in early October and we are preparing for the spring career fair, mock interviews, and on-campus interviews.   If you have job leads, would like to participate in a future fair or interviews, or are interested in knowing more about our graduates and their skill sets, please feel free to contact Career Services.  


Community Engagement 

Concordia University School of Law will hold its 5th Annual Leaders in Action Awards on Wednesday, March 1, 2017, at JUMP in downtown Boise from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m..  The Awards event honors esteemed professionals in the fields of Law and Education who lead by advocacy and action, growing positive outcomes throughout our community.  This year the Leaders in Action Committee has chosen The Honorable Jim Jones, retiring Chief Justice of the Idaho Supreme Court as the Leader in Law, and Cindy Wilson, U. S. Government teacher at Capital High School as the Leader in Education.  Sponsorship opportunities are available.  Please email Vice President Cathy Silak or call (208) 639-5499 for more details about sponsorship.  Individual tickets to the event will also be available at $40.00 per person. All net proceeds from the event will be used for Concordia Law student scholarships.


Experiential Learning

Concordia Law students are actively participating in several externships throughout the Treasure Valley this semester, including those with Family Advocates, the Canyon County Prosecutor's Office, and the Office of the Attorney General for the State of Idaho. Students are currently applying for a number of great externship positions available for the spring semester. For more information about externships or hosting a student extern, please contact Rachel Blood.


Pro Bono

In celebration of National Pro Bono Week, Concordia Law will be hosting a free CLE entitled, Know Thyself: Unconscious Bias in the Legal Profession (1.5 CLE ethics pending), on Friday October 28th from 11:30 am - 1:00 pm. Immediately following the CLE, from 1:00-2:00 pm, the law school will be hosting a Pro Bono Fair where agencies who provide legal services to persons of limited means will share information about opportunities for services in our community. To sign up or for additional information, please contact Rachel Blood.


Congratulations to this year's elected Student Bar Association Delegates!  With a full governing council, the SBA is actively representing student interests, allocating activity funds, collaborating on policy suggestions, and programming to enhance community engagement.  The SBA Student Organization Fair was held October 11th, with nine student organizations represented.  In addition, the co-curricular Concordia Law Review and inaugural Moot Court Competition Team are fully represented and are preparing for their respective publication and competition.  Elsewhere in student affairs: spring 2017 course registration opens October 24th and closes October 30th; a flu shot clinic was held at Concordia Law through our partnership with BSU Health and Wellness; and two town halls with students were conducted in preparation for the ABA Visit.  



Upcoming Presentations and Publications


Professor Victoria Haneman is presenting on the "Distributing Wealth, Law and Power" panel at Class Crits IV: The New Corporatocracy and Election 2016," being held at Loyola University School of Law in Chicago on October 21, 2016.


Professor Ryan Stoa has been invited to speak at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law's Law Review Symposium in March 2017. The Symposium will focus on comparative approaches to marijuana legalization. Professor Stoa, an expert on the intersection of marijuana and water law, will be comparing marijuana agriculture regulations in the United States and Canadian provinces.  His forthcoming article on the topic will be published in the McGeorge Law Review.  


Technical Services Librarian Ning Han recently attended the Western Pacific (WestPac) Law Libraries annual meeting, held in Jackson, Wyoming. Ning was selected to receive a $500 travel grant to attend the conference, based on her contributions to the profession as an emerging law librarian. As a member of WestPac, Ning is also assisting in planning for the 2017 WestPac 50th Anniversary Meeting, which will be held in Boise, Idaho. 


In addition,Ning Han's forthcoming article, Legal Research Instruction and Law Librarianship in China: An Updated View of Current Practices and A Comparison with the United States Legal Education System, will be published through Law Library Journal.




Concordia Remembers LSAC President Bernstine

Brian Bava, Associate Dean Admissions, attended the memorial of Law School Admissions Council, Daniel O. Bernstine in San Francisco.  President Bernstine was the former president of Portland State University and a friend of Concordia University.





Faculty, staff, students, and family watched and celebrated while Professor Joseph Isanga became a U.S. Citizen during the annual naturalization ceremony held at the Nampa Civic Center in September.  Professor Isanga is quoted here.  Congratulations Joseph!!


Beginning January 1, 2017, Professor Tenielle Fordyce-Ruff will become the Associate Series Editor for Carolina Academic Press' Legal Research Series.  The series boasts over 30 titles.  Professor Fordyce-Ruff is the author of Idaho Legal Research, now in its second edition.  In addition, Professor Fordyce-Ruff is named as the chair of the conference site committee for the Association of Legal Writing Directors' (ALWD) biennial conference. She is also an Associate Professor and Director of the Legal Research and Writing Program at Concordia Law.


Dates to Remember 

CU - Preview ~ Wednesday, November 9th, 5:00 - 8:30 pm.  Sign up here.

Thanksgiving Break ~ Week of November 21-25, 2016




I encourage you to visit the Concordia University School of Law and learn more about our forward-thinking vision of legal education. For more information, visit



Jilma L. Meneses, Executive Vice President

Dean, School of Law

Concordia University



Concordia University School of Law
501 West Front Street
Boise, Idaho 83702

Concordia University School of Law is provisionally approved by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association, 321 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654, 312-988-6738.