June 2018 - First Monday
Dear Alumni and Friends,
We have come to the end of another academic year. Professors are engaging in summer research, and students are working summer externships. This year was full of accomplishments and change. I am honored to lead our faculty and staff as we continue to strive to provide access to the highest quality of legal education across all cultures and ideologies.
For many of us, summer is a time to take a break, and that is why the First Monday newsletter will take a short leave of absence from your inbox, returning for the 2018-19 school year in August.
Sheldon A. Vincenti Award for Exemplary Service
Professor Emeritus Don Burnett was awarded the Sheldon A. Vincenti Award. This award recognizes individuals “whose extraordinary and exemplary service to the College of Law reflects the spirit of devotion, loyalty, and commitment to the betterment of the College of Law embodied by Dean Vincenti.”
The award is much deserved. He served as Dean of the College and as Interim President of the University. He has gone above and beyond to grow the presence of the College of Law throughout Idaho. During his time as Dean, the College of Law expanded the delivery of legal education in the capital city of Boise, and collaborated with the Idaho Supreme Court on the development of the Idaho Law & Justice Learning Center, which commenced operation in the fall of 2015 at the refurbished, historic Ada County Courthouse adjacent to the State Capitol in Boise.
His career has encompassed service as an appellate judge, practicing lawyer, Army JAG officer, state bar president, law professor and dean of two law schools. After retirement in 2016, he has continued his volunteer service on the Idaho Supreme Court’s Education Committee, on the Board of Directors of the Idaho Legal History Society, and as a presenter at continuing legal education and law-related civic education programs.
We often forget he is retired; he leads professionalism day at New Student Orientation and plays an important part in both the Idaho Teachers’ Institute on Law-Related Civic Education and the Idaho Journalism Institute on Law. He continues to volunteer his time to students and can be found in his office giving advice.
The award has been awarded four times since its inception in 2011 following the passing of former Dean and Professor Emeritus Vincenti. Previous recipients include Justice Linda Copple Trout, Merlyn W. Clark, Hon. John Stegner and Karen Gowland.
2018 College of Law Commencement and Awards
This May, we celebrated spring commencement in Moscow and Boise. A total of 93 students participated in the ceremonies. Several students and faculty received honors and awards at our two “Celebrate the Class” receptions.
- Award of Legal Achievement — Kacey Jones
This award is presented to the graduating student with the highest cumulative grade point average and honors the student’s outstanding dedication and success in the pursuit of academic excellence.
- Spirit of the Class Award — Geoff Schroeder
The recipient of this award embodies the values of the class, both in and out of the classroom, and has a commitment to the law school that is apparent throughout their activities. The recipient is not only one who might liven up a class with a thought-provoking question, but is also a person who always has a smile, an encouraging word, or a helping hand for their fellow students.
- Spirit of the Clinic Award — Sam Gedde
This award is determined by clinic faculty. The recipient best represents the spirit of the clinic and demonstrates their passion for the work of the clinic.
- Peter E. Heiser Award for Excellence in Teaching — Professor Richard H. Seamon
This award is determined by a vote of the graduating class and recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated outstanding dedication to students at the College of Law.
- Outstanding Student Service Award — Jessalyn Hopkin, Cameron Warr and Erin McCrillis
The recipients of this award are leaders who have devoted much of their time and energy to improving the law school community and enhancing the student experience. Not only should the recipients be strong advocates for student ideas and concerns, but should also show a commitment to the law school within the building and outside its walls.
- Diversity & Human Rights Award — Joanna Garza, Nanette Serrano and Professor Liz Brandt
This award is determined by the members of the diversity committee. The recipients of this award are members of the College of Law community who have shown leadership and compassion in assisting minority and underserved communities.
Summer Public Interest Funds
This summer 10 students from the University of Idaho College of Law are serving the public interest pro bono, thanks to awards from the College’s Summer Public Interest Fund Program. The program awarded about $23,000 to students working for nonprofits and legal organizations like Nez Perce Tribe Public Defenders Office, Alaska Public Defender Agency and Idaho Legal Aid.
The funds help cover the housing, transportation and living expenses of the students who are working in unpaid positions, permitting our students to gain legal experience while helping underserved communities.
The Summer Public Interest Fund program was expanded in 2014 with seed money from the Idaho Law Foundation, alumni and external donations, federal work-study funds and fundraising from the College of Law’s student organizations.
Alumnus appointed to Idaho Supreme Court
Second District Court Judge John Stegner ’82 has been named to fill an Idaho Supreme Court vacancy. Stegner will succeed Justice Warren Jones, who is retiring. Stegner has been a Moscow-based district judge since Governor Phil Batt appointed him to the position in 1996. He has always been generous with his time, mentoring our students and serving as a trial advocacy judge. With his appointment, three of the five Idaho Supreme Court Justices are U of I alumni. He will join Chief Justice Roger Burdick ’74 and Justice Joel D. Horton ’85.
AASE 2018 Excellence Award
Nancy Luebbert, director of Academic Success in Moscow, received the 2018 Excellence Award from the Association of Academic Support Educators (AASE). AASE is the national association for academic support/success professionals. It provides educators an opportunity to collaborate and work collectively to develop research-based teaching methods and design programs that enhance student learning for law school, the bar exam and legal practice. The Excellence Award recognizes excellence in providing academic support services to students and in mentoring and providing support to other academic support professionals.
Have a great summer,
Mark L. Adams
College of Law
New Student Orientation
Moscow: Friday, Aug. 10 - 17, 2018
Boise: Thursday, Aug. 09 - 17, 2018
First Day of Class
Monday, Aug. 20, 2018