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University of Colorado School of Law, Boulder, CO


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Overview

The University of Colorado Law School was established in 1892. The law school is a charter member of the Association of American Law Schools and has been on the American Bar Association’s list of approved law schools since its first publication in 1923. The school has a well-defined mission to create “a supportive and diverse community of scholars and students in a place that inspires vigorous pursuit of ideas, critical analysis, and civic engagement in order to advance the rule of law in an open sustainable society.”

The University of Colorado School of Law teaches students to use the law, to research and analyze legal materials, to speak and write in an effective manner, and to evaluate arguments. The school’s faculty constantly urges students to inquire into the purposes of specific laws and whether those purposes are being served. Most classes in the school are conducted primarily through discussion rather than lecture. The Socratic method of probing interchanges between student and professor is used in many classes, especially during the first year. Judicial opinions and statutes are studied, and the principles extracted are used in arguments about hypothetical situations. Other methods of instruction include research and writing, drafting of legal documents, seminars, and practical experience both in clinical programs involving actual clients and in simulations.

The University of Colorado School of Law has been provided with a new building known as the Wolf Law Building which is technologically advanced and was constructed to LEED building certification.

The William A. Wise Law Library provides materials and services that support the instructional and research programs of the faculty and students of the law school. As the largest collection of legal information resources in the state of Colorado, the law library offers its resources and services to assist the university and legal communities and the public in meeting their needs for legal information.

Student-Faculty Ratio 9.8:1

Admission Criteria

 

LSAT

GPA

25th-75th Percentile

158-165

3.33-3.80

Median*

164

3.64

The above LSAT and GPA data pertain to the fall 2011 entering class.
Medians have been calculated by averaging the 25th- and 75th-percentile values released by the law schools and have been rounded up to the nearest whole number for LSAT scores and to the nearest one-hundredth for GPAs.

Admission Statistics

Approximate number of applications

3,175

Number accepted

956

Percentage accepted

30.1%

The above admission details are based on fall 2011 data.

Class Ranking and Grades

Through the spring of 2012 for JD students who matriculated before the fall 2010 semester, for the law school purposes only, a numerical system of grading shall be used in addition to the university’s Plus/Minus grading system. For JD students who matriculate in the fall 2010 semester or later, only letter grades shall be assigned. Numerical grades, when given, shall be reported to the law school registrar for recording and shall be related to the university’s Plus/Minus grading system for JD students as shown in the following table:

University Plus/Minus Grade

Credit Point

Value

Law School

Numerical Grade

A

4.0

93 and above

A-

3.7

90-92

B+

3.3

86-89

B

3.0

83-85

B-

2.7

80-82

C+

2.3

76-79

C

2.0

73-75

C-

1.7

70-72

D+

1.3

66-69

D

1.0

63-65

D-

0.7

60-62

F

0.0

59 or below

Incomplete

The grade I may be given if the instructor and the Dean’s Office determine thatan incomplete grade is appropriate because of serious illness of the student or for other equally justifiable reason; or the scope of the work involved in the course is such that it is appropriate to extend the time for its completion beyond the end of the semester.

Pass/Fail
All academic credit previously graded on a Pass/Fail basis, and any new academic credit when so designated by the faculty, will be graded (until otherwise changed) on a “Pass-graded” basis; however, the instructor of any clinical course or trial practice may, with notice prior to the start of the semester, grade such course on the same basis as other courses. “Pass-graded” means that the grade of Pass will be given when, in the judgment of the instructor, the quality and quantity of the work is such that on a graded basis such work would be equivalent to at least a C or 75. If the work does not receive a grade of Pass, it is assigned a letter and numerical grade between F or 50 and C- or 74 that the instructor has determined is appropriate.

Grade normalization (Curve)

Median Grades (through spring 2010, to expire thereafter)
The median grade in all first-year courses and in all sectioned upper-division courses, including upper-division courses that may be offered in different semesters of the same academic year, must be 84, plus or minus one point. For all other graded courses and seminars, the recommended median is 84, plus or minus one point. The highest recommended grade is 96.

Median Grades (beginning summer 2010, for students who matriculated before fall 2010 semester and visiting students, to expire after spring 2012)The median grade in all courses shall be 88, plus or minus one point.Median Grades (for students who matriculate Fall 2010 semester or later)The median grade in all courses shall be B+.

Honors


Students in the top 10% of each graduating class may be invited to join the Order of the Coif.

Awards

Name of Award

Description

ALI-ABA Scholarship and Leadership Award

Awarded for scholarship and leadership qualities

Austin W. Scott, Jr. Award

Awarded for excellence in oral argument in the Rothgerber Moot Court Competition

Rothgerber Appellate Competition Awards

Awarded for brief writing and oral argument in the Rothgerber Moot Court Competition

Journal of Telecommunications and High Technology Law Stephen William Leadership Award

Awarded for leadership qualities

Journal of Telecommunications and High Technology Law Writing Award

Awarded for outstanding writing contributions to the Journal

Don W. Sears Award

Awarded for the greatest contribution to the classroom learning experience in each academic year

Edward C. King Award

Awarded for outstanding leadership and achievement exemplifying the ideals encouraged by Dean King

Gary C. Bryner Award for Civic Engagement in Natural Resources Policy

Awarded to a third-year law student for contributions to solving natural resources problems

Irving P. Andrews Award

Awarded for outstanding achievement by a black graduate

Sandgrund Award for Best Consumer Rights Work

Awarded for writings that advance the field of consumer rights

West Publishing Company Book Award

Awarded for the highest scholastic average for the academic year

Courtland H. Peterson Leadership Award

Awarded to a third-year student for outstanding scholarship, leadership, and contribution to the school’s law review

Courtland H. Peterson Writing Award

Awarded for an outstanding comment or case note published in the school’s law review

James N. Corbridge Initiative Award

Awarded by the members and editors of the Colorado Journal of International Environmental Law and Policy to a graduate who has shown outstanding leadership and contributed significantly to the journal

Colorado Journal of International Environmental Law and Policy Writing Recognition Award

Awarded by the members and editors of the Colorado Journal of International Environmental Law and Policy in recognition of graduates who have made outstanding writing  contributions to the journal

Joel H. Greenstein-Colorado Trial Lawyers Association Award

Awarded to graduates of the school’s Advanced Trial Advocacy courses for excellence in trial performance

Natural Resources Award

Awarded for outstanding scholarship and service in natural resources and environmental law

Outstanding Asian Pacific American Law Graduate

Awarded to one graduating student who has shown dedication and service to the Asian Pacific American community, a commitment to diversity, and leadership ability

Outstanding Latino/a Graduate

Awarded to recognize a graduating Latino or Latina student who exemplifies characteristics that every person should hope to attain

Women’s Law Caucus Award

Awarded to the graduate who contributed most to women’s issues during his or her law school career

Student Bar Association Sutcliffe Distinguished Service Award

Awarded for outstanding dedication and service to the law school community

Meritorious Student Award

Awarded to a third-year student for contribution to the law school community during his or her three years at the school

Jim R. Carrigan Cup

Awarded in honor of federal district court Judge Carrigan to recognize his distinguished career and to assist law students chosen to participate in the national trial competition

Legal Clinic Awards

Awarded for outstanding commitment and service to the Clinical Education Program in the categories of criminal and civil programs

Natural Resources Law Center Outstanding Student Award

Awarded for an outstanding contribution to the Center’s work

Student Bar Association

Lifetime Achievement Award

Journals

The University of Colorado Law Review is a journal of legal scholarship managed and edited by students and published four times a year. It covers all topics of legal importance. Students of the Law Review conduct independent legal research, prepare notes and comments for publication, edit the works of their fellow students, as well as articles and book reviews submitted by faculty members and other scholars. New members are selected by the student Board of Editors based in part on class standing and the quality of student essays submitted in a writing competition.

The Colorado Journal of International environmental Law and Policy is dedicated to examining the legal and policy implications of international environmental issues. Published thrice per year, it is a student-run publication. The journal’s articles tend to focus on such topics as global climate change, transboundary water pollution, protection of biological diversity, and international environmental conventions.

The Journal on Telecommunications and High Technology Law publishes articles related to telecommunications, technological convergence, intellectual property, and regulatory law. It was founded in 2001. JTHTL is closely affiliated with the Silicon Flatirons Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Annually, the Center hosts the nationally renowned Digital Broadband Migration symposium, submissions to which are published in the winter issue of JTHTL.

Moot Court

University of Colorado School of Law students compete in moot court competitions to develop their skills in appellate brief writing and oral argument and to gain valuable trial practice experience. Dean’s Fund and endowments provide financial assistance to support student participation in these competitions. University of Colorado teams have consistently been extremely competitive, garnering top awards from most of the competitions in which they participate.

Selection of teams varies by competition, and students may earn academic credit for their participation. Some of the moot court competitions include:
  • Constance Baker Motley National Moot Court Competition
  • Emory Civil Rights and Liberties Competition
  • Hispanic National Bar Association Moot Court
  • Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition
  • Jim R. Carrigan Trial Advocacy Competition
  • Mardi Gras National Moot Court Competition
  • National Moot Court Competition
  • National Moot Court Competition in Child Welfare and Adoption Law
  • National Student Trial Advocacy Competition
  • National Telecommunications Moot Court Competition
  • The National Trial Competition
  • Native American Law Students Association Moot Court Competition
  • Pace National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition
  • Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition
  • The Rothgerber Moot Court Competition
  • Saul Lefkowitz National Moot Court Competition
Clinical Programs

The University of Colorado School of Law offers the following clinical programs:

The American Indian Law Clinic, which provides quality legal representation to low-income Native American clients with specific Indian law-related problems. Every case accepted or project undertaken involves issues of federal Indian law or the law of a particular tribe. The clinic primarily focuses on cases or projects located in Colorado.

The Appellate Advocacy Clinic, taught by experienced attorneys from the appellate division of the Colorado Public Defender’s Office and the criminal division of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. Each student, under the direct supervision of his or her instructor, is responsible for completing an appellate brief for a case currently on appeal in the Colorado Supreme Court or the Colorado Court of Appeals and for attending the oral argument.

The Civil Practice Clinic, in which students render services to low-income clients in a variety of civil law settings, including in family court and in front of administrative judges. Participating students represent real clients in court proceedings.

The Criminal Defense Clinic, in which students can hone their legal skills in the area of criminal practice. Students in this clinic represent clients in actual cases in municipal and county courts primarily in Boulder and Jefferson County.22

The Entrepreneurial Law Clinic, which provides students with supervised, practical experience in transactional law and offers valuable legal services to local entrepreneurs in need.

The Family Law Clinic provides free legal services to low-income Coloradans who need help with family law matters such as divorces, issues related to parenting time, and child support.

The Juvenile Law Clinic provides legal services for indigent children, youth, and families, in four metro counties. Children and families facing abuse, poverty, homelessness, and despair are among the neediest members of our community requiring quality legal representation. It is a two-semester course.

The Natural Resources Litigation Clinic, in which students work in a small environmental law practice representing public interest clients before administrative agencies, state and federal courts, and Congress and state legislatures. The clinic deals with environmental litigation concentrating on the protection of federal public lands, especially lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service.

Through Samuelson-Glushko Technology Law & Policy Clinic, student practitioners provide assistance “in the public interest” on technology issues to regulatory entities, courts, legislatures, and standard-setting bodies.

Placement Facts

Starting Salaries (2010 Graduates employed Full-Time)

Private sector (25th-75th percentile)

$60,000-$110,000

Median in the private sector

$80,000

Median in public service

$50,000

Employment Details

Graduates known to be employed at graduation

57.4%

Graduates known to be employed nine months after graduation

82.5%

Areas of Legal Practices

Graduates employed In

Percentage

Law Firms

49.0%

Business and Industry

14.6%

Government

11.9%

Public Interest Organizations

5.3%

Judicial Clerkships

17.2%

Academia

1.3%

Unknown

0.7%

Externships/Internships

Externships

The Colorado Law externship program is offered year-round (fall, summer, and spring semesters). Students may only extern at government or non-profit organizations and agencies. Students may work in all three branches of the government, at all three levels of government, including state and federal judicial chambers, executive agencies, and congressional offices. Students may also extern with nonprofit organizations. Externship sponsors are not limited to agencies and organizations that have sponsored externs in the past.

Externships are also available with the law school’s Center for Energy & Environmental Security.

This program is administrated by the experiential learning program coordinator in the office of career development.

Internship

Colorado Law students have numerous opportunities inside of and outside of the law school to engage in public service work.

Public Interest Summer Internships

Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) offers public interest and pro bono work for law students.

Student organizations
  • Aerospace Law and Policy Association
  • American Bar Association-Law Student Division
  • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
  • American Constitution Society
  • Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA)
  • Black Law Students Association (BLSA)
  • Business Law Association (BLA)
  • Christian Legal Society (CLS)
  • Class of 2011
  • Class of 2012
  • Class of 2013
  • Colorado Election Law Project (CELP)
  • Construction and Real Estate Law Association (CRELA)
  • Diversity Awareness Now (DAN)
  • Doman Society of International Law
  • Environmental Law Society
  • Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies
  • Health Law Society
  • J Reuben Clark Law Society
  • Jewish Law Students Association
  • Juvenile and Family Law Club
  • Latino Law Students Association (LLSA)
  • Law Students for Reproductive Justice
  • Legal Alternative Dispute Resolution Club (LADR)
  • Military Law Society
  • National Lawyers Guild
  • Native American Law Students Association
  • OUTlaw, the GLBT & Allies Law Student Group
  • Phi Delta Phi
  • Public Interest Students Association (PISA)
  • Republican Law Society
  • Sports and Entertainment Law Student Association (SELSA)
  • Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF)
  • Student Bar Association (SBA)
  • Student Trial Lawyers Association
  • Technology and Intellectual Property Society (TIPS)
  • Women’s Law Caucus
References
  • http://www.colorado.edu/l
  • http://lawweb.colorado.edu/
  • http://premium.usnews.com/
  • http://www.nalplawschoolsonline.org/
  • http://www.jthtl.org/
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