University of Denver, Sturm College of Law



University of Denver, Sturm College of Law

2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208
(303) 871-6000

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TippingTheScales (2013): NR
U.S. News (2013): 64
AboveTheLaw (2013): NR



Academics & Programs: The luxury liner of law schools, the University of Denver Sturm College of Law boasts “amazing” facilities, “several” journals and clinical experiences, an “increasing” endowment, and a “strong” alumni network in the Denver metropolitan area. This large private school is “great” for its public interest and environmental law programs, though a wider range of interests, such as a Lawyering in Spanish program and “numerous opportunities for those of us that want to work for a corporate law firm” also garner praise. Diverse as the courses they teach, DU’s “kind, brilliant, tough, and challenging” faculty is comprised of a “mixture of tenure-track professors and practicing attorneys.” Despite the variety, students find that “the scheduling and availability of classes could be a little more diverse,” especially when it comes to “basics” and “bar classes.”

A practical perspective is paramount to the academic experience at University of Denver. For those interested, Career Services hosts frequent—almost daily—sessions (many offering free lunch) on “topics in international law, human rights, politics, practical career advice, debates on current issues, etc.” Students say that these daily extra talks allow them to gain a better grasp of “life out of law school and after law school, which is a huge help.” Through the mentorship program, “All students have regular opportunities to get career advice and direction from lawyers in the Denver community.” To top it off, the school operates a large number of clinic programs, five law journals, and, from day one, “1Ls are invited and encouraged to participate in almost every moot court competition, so students develop exceptional trial advocacy skills early on.”

Students explain, “As with any large law school, there are some administrative problems”; however, one student sums it up this way: “Right now DU is like a teenager whose metaphysical development is just a little behind his or her physical growth. Make no mistake, all indications are that DU’s going to be a stunner; however, on occasion administrative clumsiness leads to collective student body headaches.” That said, students dole out praise for the new and spacious facilities, housed in an environmentally friendly (aka “green”) building. One student explains, “The building is beautiful and well designed. There are lots of commons areas, and it would be nearly impossible to make it through a day without interacting with other people.”

Students get a jump start on their career through the school’s “outstanding” externship program that offers externships “with sole practitioners, large firms, and judges in legal fields ranging from water law to criminal law to administrative law.” Come graduation, satisfied students praise the school’s “incredible alumni network in the community and its incredible reputation in Denver and Colorado.” Job-seekers are given an additional edge due to the fact that “DU is the only law school in Denver, and one of only two law schools in the state of Colorado, which creates numerous opportunities for DU graduates to find jobs.” Plus, the Career Development Center does an “excellent” job introducing students to the local legal community. A current student elaborates, “between guest speakers, networking events, on-campus interviews, resume and writing sample coaching, and weekly e-mails announcing new job/internship opportunities, if you don’t have a job or at least some leads when you graduate, it’s because you didn’t want it.”

Campus Life/Facilities: While DU is a large school, the program is structured in a way that creates a more intimate atmosphere. One student says, “Day students are divided into one of three sections comprised of eighty students. I see the same people day in and day out for every class.” Many find this “very helpful for forming close friendships” since it allows students to get “to know and become comfortable” with each other while “forming study groups.” No matter what your background, you’re likely to find a friend or two amongst the large student body. “There’s a wide range of social groups, from ‘high school’ gossiping, partying groups, to academic and career-centered groups,” explains one student. In addition, “There’s a club for every interest you could think of, which is great.”

Not surprisingly, many law students admit that they are “too busy studying to go out and have a social life.” However, if you are looking for a good time, “The straight-outof-college crew is probably the most social, or at least the ones that seem to go out and hang out the most,” and “There are lots of informally organized nights at the local restaurant or bar that are open to all.” Students agree, “Denver is a great city” with “so much to do.” And being only “an hour from the mountains,” winter sport fans find that “you can be in court in the morning and on the slopes by afternoon.”

* The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.