Concordia University School of Law in Boise, Idaho, will not reopen this fall after the end of its summer term.
The law school was established in 2007 by Concordia University Portland and began teaching students in 2012. Concordia University Portland announced its permanent closure in February due to financial difficulties.
Plans called for the law school to be transferred to Concordia St. Paul, another institution in the Concordia University system. But the two parties were unable to complete the transaction, despite “tireless efforts” to “secure a transfer agreement and the approval of the American Bar Association (ABA) and accrediting bodies,” according to a Thursday news release.
“We are absolutely heartbroken for our prospective and current students, our alumni, our faculty and staff, and our supporters and donors who have worked so hard over the last eight years to build a law school up from scratch. I can’t thank everyone enough for their work, energy, and commitment to this law school and the values we stand for,” said Latonia Haney Keith, interim dean of the law school.
The law school welcomed 89 students into its incoming class in August 2019. It is not yet clear where these students and others who have not yet completed their studies will continue their education. A teach-out plan is still being finalized by the school and will be submitted to the ABA for approval.
The closure of the law school, which offered thousands of hours of pro bono legal services locally, will leave “a significant gap in access to justice in this community,” said Haney Keith.
Concordia University Portland collapsed after falling behind on payments to its former online program management partner HotChalk. The company helped the university to substantially grow its online presence but is now suing the institution for $302 million.