The future of Concordia University School of Law in Boise was uncertain after its parent institution, Concordia University Portland, shut its doors.

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Concordia University School of Law in Boise Acquired by Minnesota School

Brittany Mertz and her classmates watched from the top floor of the library as Concordia University School of Law‘s ownership changed hands.

“It was a surprise,” said Mertz, a second year law student at Concordia University. “We weren’t in limbo for too long.”

When Concordia University in Portland announced it would shutter after more than a century of operation, one of Boise’s two law schools was left in flux. The students, faculty and staff weren’t sure what would happen. Still, Mertz said that the faculty was very supportive and positive throughout the entire process.

“[It’s] definitely a sense of relief,” she said.

Only a week after Portland’s Concordia announced it was closing, a successor was named: Concordia University St. Paul. Dozens were in attendance, including Boise Mayor Lauren McLean.

“I spoke with our students, our faculty and our staff, and I asked for just a bit of time and their trust as we sought to find a partner that shared their values,” said Interim Dean Latonia Haney Keith.

Haney Keith said that the law school received interest from a number of schools, but Concordia University St. Paul emerged as the best fit. She said that education was not disrupted, and the university maintained its accreditation from the American Bar Association.

Concordia St. Paul’s Interim CEO and Provost Eric LaMott addressed the crowd at the unveiling, noting that partnering with a Boise school is a homecoming for him as a Boise State University graduate and Boise native.

“It’s about this experience of what this law school is and how it mirrors Concordia St. Paul,” LaMott said.

He added that both schools have a Christian mission, which was important in choosing a partner institution.

“When I look at this, and we look at this, obviously as this happened relatively quickly in the state of higher education for sure, it was interesting how well and how seamlessly this came together,” LaMott said. “They both fit with our vision, our mission and our strategic plan.”

—Xavier Ward

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