BOISE — Concordia University School of Law in Boise made the surprising announcement Thursday that it will close permanently at the end of the summer term as part of the closure of Concordia University-Portland.
The eight-year-old Boise law school had hoped to stay open through a transfer the School of Law to Concordia St. Paul. The universities in February signed a letter of intent to transfer but were “unable to consummate the transaction,” according to a press release issued Thursday on behalf of the Boise law school.
Latonia Haney Keith, the Boise school’s interim dean, told the Idaho Press that due to pending litigation, she could not disclose many additional details about the reason for the closure. She said the process to transition to Concordia St. Paul was supposed to be complete by the end of the month, but due to “financial distress” at Concordia University-Portland, the process couldn’t continue. She said the closure was out of school officials’ control.
“This is incredibly disheartening,” she said.
Concordia Law officials are working with officials from the University of Idaho to provide a plan to transfer students to UI’s law program, she said. Officials are also looking for other schools to offer students multiple options for continuing their education.
Concordia Law opened in 2012 and serves 190 students. In August the school reported its highest incoming class at 89 students. Concordia Law earned full ABA accreditation in 2019, is ranked among the nation’s most affordable law schools, and is one of three law schools nationally that for two consecutive years posted a 100% ultimate bar pass rate, according to the press release. The School of Law’s most recent graduating class provided 4,614 hours of pro bono legal services, totaling nearly $1 million dollars to under-represented members of the Idaho community.
“Put simply, our closure leaves a significant gap in access to justice in this community,” Haney Keith said.