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Bridge to Practice Fellowships
Each year, Denver Law provides funding for new Bridge to Practice Fellowships in judicial, government and public interest settings. These positions are open to individuals from the most recently graduated JD class. For more specific information on hiring timelines and eligibility, please contact the administrators identified below.
Judicial Fellows Program. Tightened state budgets have taken a significant toll on the availability of law clerks for judges, particularly in the state district courts. These jobs are extremely valuable not just for judges, who need help researching and drafting their rulings, but also to our recent graduates. Clerkships provide excellent training in legal analysis and advocacy, as well as first-rate mentoring and networking opportunities. In response, and with the support of our Alumni Council, Denver Law has established the DU Judicial Fellows Program. The Judicial Fellows Program pays recent graduates of the Sturm College of Law to work for local judges in participating state district courts, providing 20 hours of legal research and writing per week for a term of up to one year. The Fellows are compensated by the Sturm College of Law, proceeds from the DU Law Stars event and other generous donors, and the courts are charged nothing.
The Judicial Fellows Program has proven to be an effective springboard to further legal employment for participating graduates. For the class of 2013, there were 29 new graduates who were employed as Judicial Fellows. Of those Judicial Fellows, 83% left early for full time employment. Out of this group, 46% left the Fellowship early to work in full time, long term, bar required jobs, 29% left their positions early to serve as Judicial Law Clerks, and 25% left early to full time, long term, JD (law degree) Advantage positions.
For the class of 2012, one quarter of the class of new graduates who had judicial clerkships as of 9 months after graduation started out as Judicial Fellows. And overall, 14 class of 2012 Fellows eventually parlayed these positions into judicial clerkships. Moreover, about 72% of class of 2012 Fellows left their positions early to accept other professional jobs and 85% of those jobs were full time legal positions. These results demonstrate that the Judicial Fellows program provides an excellent stepping stone that helps new graduates transition into the legal profession.
For more information on the Judicial Fellows Program, including eligibility, hiring timelines, and application assistance, please contact Andrea Montague, Career Consultant, at 303.871.6392, firstname.lastname@example.org or Judy Stein, Career Consultant, 303.871.6341, email@example.com.
Denver City Attorney’s Office Postgraduate Fellow Program. Through this fellowship program, which started in the fall of 2013, recent JD graduates of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, apply to work full-time for one year in the Denver City Attorney’s Office (“DCAO”). This program provides meaningful work experience to the Fellow in one of the following sections of the DCAO, depending on the needs of the office:
- Human Services Legal
- Airport Legal Services
- Municipal Operations
- Prosecution and Code Enforcement
DCAO Postgraduate Fellows are paid through a combination of funding from the DCAO and Denver Law. For more information on the program including eligibility, hiring timelines, and application assistance, please contact Eric Bono, Assistant Dean for Career Opportunities, at 303.871.6478, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Colorado Attorney General’s Fellowship Program. In the summer of 2013, Denver Law partnered with the Colorado Attorney General’s Office to co-sponsor a postgraduate fellow position through the Colorado Attorney General’s Fellowship Program. As stated on the Attorney General’s website:
The Attorney General’s Fellowship Program provides opportunities for new attorneys to gain practical experience in the public sector while enjoying the personal satisfaction of serving the residents of Colorado and its many state agency clients. The work at the Colorado Attorney General’s Office encompasses criminal prosecution, consumer protection, civil rights, torts, contracts, eminent domain, administrative law, environmental law, violence prevention programs, and much more.
Through the Fellowship Program, new attorneys enrich their legal experience, broaden their exposure to the public sector, and assume substantial individual responsibility for their work. In addition to exposure to state agencies, Fellows may become integral members of trial teams. They also receive training and supervision in particular practice areas to enhance proficiency and develop skills while in the program.
The Colorado Attorney General’s Office fills these positions through a competitive application process. Successful candidates should demonstrate: interest in public service; history of academic achievement; participation in law journals and law school competitions; legal, professional, or personal experience related to the mission of the Office of the Colorado Attorney General; and participation in extracurricular activities.
For more information on the program including eligibility, hiring timelines, and application assistance, please contact Eric Bono, Assistant Dean for Career Opportunities, at 303.871.6478, email@example.com.
Native American Rights Fund Fellowship. Since 2011, Denver Law has funded one postgraduate Fellow position each year with the Native American Rights Fund (“NARF”). NARF Fellows work full time in the organization’s Boulder, CO office for a twelve week period, and have the opportunity to gain experience with legal issues affecting Indian tribes, organizations and individuals nationwide. For more information on the program including eligibility, hiring timelines, and application assistance, please contact Eric Bono, Assistant Dean for Career Opportunities, at 303.871.6478, firstname.lastname@example.org.