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June 2016 Dean's eNews

From the Desk of Dean Cathy R. Silak

As I transition to my new role of Vice President for Community Engagement, it's so inspiring for me to look back at how far Concordia University School of Law has come in my 7 1/2 years as Dean. From building the downtown law school and library, to recruiting students, faculty, and staff, to our first graduates entering the legal profession, our success has always involved the community. The Dean's Advisory Council contributed amazing hands-on work in the early years and continues to provide wise counsel and valuable links to the community. Attorneys and judges have shaped our students' professional development, including Legacy Mentors, externship supervisors, pro bono supervisors, adjunct faculty, panelists, and guest lecturers.  Our many donors have given generous support to student scholarships, showing their kind personal interest in our students' success. Visionary donors, including George R. White of Boise, in large measure made the law school building, library and program of legal education possible. The Law Faculty and Administrative Deans here are outstanding, demonstrating every day their dedication to the law students' success. My thanks goes out to Concordia University, President Charles Schlimpert and the entire Council of Trustees for having the vision to start a new Law School in Boise, which will benefit this community for years to come.

Congratulations to our Spring 2016 Dean's List Students for Their High Academic Achievement!
Graduates:  Brittany Kreimeyer, Larry "Scott" Peterson and Kara Przybos.
Students:  Jon "JB" Evans, Abby Hoskisson Jessica McBride, Benjamin Monaghan, Kolby Reddish and Gwen Thomson

Conference on Criminal Justice Reform held at Concordia Law
On June 6th, Concordia Law, along with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Idaho and the Federal Defender Services of Idaho, hosted the Conference on Criminal Justice Reform, bringing scholars, practitioners, and policy makers to Boise and Concordia Law. Keynote speakers, Congressman Raúl Labrador and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Wroblewski, along with panelists on Current Issues in Federal Sentencing, Collateral Consequences of Convictions, and Problem Solving and Alternative Courts, brought unique perspectives and insights into our justice system. Thank you to our sponsors the Idaho Association of Defense Counsel and Bublitz Law!

Concordia Law Engages the Community with Pro Bono Services

Concordia Law Professor Provides Pro Bono Service to the Emerald House Tenants
Professor Jason Dykstra prepared rental agreements with special "opt-in behavioral clauses" for the tenants at the Emerald House which is part of a "housing first" solution to the homeless problem in our community. Read more.

Veterans' Clinic Provided by Concordia Law Faculty and Students
In partnership with the Idaho Military Legal Alliance, Army OneSource, and the Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program, Concordia law faculty, staff, and students hosted a second Estate Planning Clinic on May 20th at the Boise VA. Volunteer lawyers and students served approximately 30 veterans, service members, and employees by creating a simple will and accompanying documents. The next quarterly event is planned for September at Gowen Field. 

Thanks to Generous Funding the Housing Clinic Continues Serving the Community This Summer
Generous funding by the Idaho Bar Foundation and a private donor, allowed the Concordia Housing Clinic to keep its doors open outside the traditional academic year. So far, during this summer, our faculty along a summer extern have been able to provide pro bono legal services to 34 low-income and modest-means individuals or families living in uninhabitable conditions, struggling to obtain deposited funds necessary to secure new housing or provide basic necessities for their families, and/or facing eviction and potential homelessness.  We also responded to calls from an additional 41 individuals seeking assistance with a variety of housing or non-housing legal issues or issues outside our areas of expertise, and referred them to other legal resources. We joined the Idaho Housing Coalition (comprised of the ACLU of Idaho, Idaho Legal Aid Services, the Idaho Trial Lawyers Association, the Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program, and Intermountain Fair Housing Council) to address the mass evictions of tenants from mobile home parks and apartment complexes in the Treasure Valley.

Life's Kitchen and Concordia Law Partner to Provide Pro Bono Opportunities This Summer and Fall Semesters to Students
Concordia Law Students will have the opportunity to work with a volunteer supervising attorney to provide legal education focused on specific legal issues related to attaining age of majority here in Idaho and understanding one's rights and responsibility needed to navigate the legal system. About Life's Kitchen. For more Information, email Prof. Nafzger.

Concordia Law Selected to Host WestPac 2017 Annual Conference
Based on law librarian Assistant Professor Ning Han's proposal and recommendation, WestPac, Western Pacific Chapter of American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), decided  to take its 2017 Annual Conference to Boise and Concordia University School of Law. The last time WestPac met on a law school campus was two years ago at the University of Washington School of Law Campus. Westpac represents law librarians from academic, firm, government, and other law library sectors in 10 Western States and Western Canada. We anticipate around 50 attendees. Hosting this large group of law librarians will give us a great opportunity to showcase the George R. White Law Library and Concordia Law. 

Program Coordinator Announced
Concordia Law is pleased to announce that Rachel Blood will serve as the program coordinator for Experiential Learning and Career Services. Rachel joined our team in January of  2014 as an Admission Counselor. We look forward to Rachel's continued service at Concordia Law.

Recent Events

CU Law Preview  - Thursday, June 16, 2016
Life's Kitchen Legal Education Program Workshop - Friday, June 17, 2016
Fourth of July Holiday - Monday, July 4, 2016, Campus Closed
New Student Information Session - Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Life's Kitchen Legal Education Program Workshop - Friday, July 22, 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

Cathy R. Silak, Dean, School of Law