Sturm College of Law News

DU Law Bar Pass Rate Hits an All Time High of 91% & Ranks 53rd in Super Lawyer Graduates

November 20, 2009

Upon Further Review: DU Bar Passage Hits Its Highest Rate In Modern Times

Leaders at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law were beyond pleased when the initial results of the July 2009 Bar Exam passage rates were released in October.

And then, those results got better, moving higher when appeals of those who just missed passage were complete. In the final tally, released Nov. 17, DU’s passage rate hit 91 percent, the highest DU passage rate in modern times. The new passage rate should be posted on the Colorado Supreme Court’s Web site soon.

For a program that saw a passage rate dip below 60 percent just a few years ago in a February exam, the rate completes a turnaround that interim Dean Martin Katz believes is just the beginning.

“We’ve gotten good news followed by better news,” Katz says. “The entire faculty has taken the bar passage rate quite seriously and recognized that we wanted to do something about it. There is a renewed emphasis on taking steps to improve.”

In addition to the success of DU’s newest lawyers, the graduating class of 2009, the law school is relishing another dose of good news. The national magazine Super Lawyers’ newest law school rankings, issued this month, rank DU at number 53 in the country, and the highest ranked law school in Colorado. (See the rankings here.)

Katz says the high ranking is gratifying because Super Lawyers rates what’s really important: how successful DU law graduates are in their careers after school.

“We’re doing something right,” Katz says.

Achieving the new high in bar passage didn’t come by accident, he says. Katz and the faculty have worked for two years on building the passage rate, both by boosting admission standards to admit only students who have the best chance of succeeding in law school and passing the bar, but also by creating an entire program dedicated to passage.

Lecturer Scott Johns is director of the DU Bar Success Program. He says that while students are challenged throughout their years to learn their craft, they are also provided with intensive counseling and bar passage programs after they walk across the stage and accept a diploma.

Students are encouraged to devote the two months between graduation and the July bar exam to study and test preparation. Off campus, they are encouraged to avoid full-time work and dedicate themselves to study. And on campus, faculty conduct classes and lectures multiple times each week, followed by mock exams, writing assignments and personal coaching and reviews of student writing.

“A lot of it is building their confidence,” Johns says. “Students learn to think, ‘I can solve problems. I’ve got a good strategy for solving them and a good strategy for writing them down.’


DU Law student takes home Best Oral Advocate award in National Moot Court Competition

November 19, 2009

Team Captain Nicholas Mahrt and Colleen Kelley, both 3Ls, and Rob Palmer and Kelley Dziedzic, both 2Ls, competed in the inaugural Navy JAG Corps National Moot Court Competition at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida on November 12-14. The competition involved appellate advocacy in military justice and constitutional law in front of judges that included the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the highest military law court in the United States. Our students competed against teams from Harvard University, Yale University, Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law, Duke, Georgetown and George Washington University.

The DU Law team argued in three separate opportunities on day one in the preliminary round, and despite an outstanding performance, was not amongst the eight quarterfinalists (23 teams argued on day one). Nevertheless, Nicholas Mahrt received the award for Best Oral Advocate, presented by Deputy Judge Advocate General Rear Admiral Nanette DeRenzi, the second-highest ranking Naval Officer in the Navy JAG Corps.

Congratulations to the Moot Court team and their coach, Christopher Jung!


DU Law’s Environmental Clinic assists with suit protecting Valley Forge deer

November 16, 2009

Click HERE for the full story.

See story from DU Today.


Prof. John Soma comments on anti-trust laws and the health insurance industry

November 12, 2009

Read the full story HERE.


Hoffman Cup “lawyers” excel in moot court competition

November 10, 2009

Read full article here.


Renewable Energy: Legal Challenges and Solutions For the Green Economy Webinar

November 10, 2009

Renewable Energy: Legal Challenges and Solutions For the Green Economy

A webinar sponsored by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Environmental Law

Cosponsored by the

  • ABA Section of Business Law
  • ABA Section of Utility, Communications & Transportation Law
  • ABA Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law

Hosted by the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Denver, Colorado

November 20, 2009
10:00 am – 12:00 Noon (Mountain time)

Over the past decade, a growing number of states have promoted the development of renewable energy. More than half have adopted renewable portfolio standards. The federal government also has promulgated policies and adopted measures to promote investments in renewable energy, including through tax policy, federal energy grants, and regulation of interstate transmission of electricity.

Especially in the wake of the 2008 spike in global oil prices, followed by the devastating effects of the recession on the U.S. economy, congressional leaders and the Obama Administration believe that expanding renewable energy investments can create needed jobs, help end America’s dependence on foreign oil, and combat the effects of global warming. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), signed into law in February 2009, provides over $60 billion for renewable energy initiatives and “green” jobs. In addition, among energy and climate change-related bills, Congress has begun considering legislation intended to expand clean energy programs, adopt national renewable energy standards, and tackle greenhouse gas emissions.

This webinar features experts from federal and state government and the private sector at the center of the national debate on renewable energy. The discussions are intended to stimulate broad-based dialogue about the unprecedented opportunities for development of the emerging “green” economy and the legal challenges that our nation must both anticipate and overcome in this process. They also will serve as the foundation for a White paper containing recommendations for further action that can be advanced by stakeholders at all levels, including the American Bar Association.

10:00 am – Program Goals and Speaker Introductions
Howard Kenison, Lindquist Vennum P.L.L.P., Denver, CO
Federico Cheever, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, Denver, CO

10:20 am – Keynote Speaker
Matt Futch, Utilities Program Manager, Governor’s Energy Office (GEO), State of Colorado, Denver, CO
Facilitating Renewable Energy – A Colorado State Perspective

10:45 am – Renewable Energy Technologies: Legal Issues

Moderators:
Federico Cheever, Denver, CO
Howard Kenison, Denver, CO

Speakers:
David Hurlbut, Senior Analyst, Market & Policy Impact Analysis Group, Strategic Energy Analysis Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO

John A. Herrick, Senior Counsel, Brownstein Hyatt Farber & Schreck, Denver, CO

Frank Prager, Vice President for Environmental Policy, Xcel Energy Inc., Denver, CO

Is renewable technology advancement outstripping the regulatory regime? The speakers will address the significant advancements in commercially viable renewable technologies with a constructive and discerning eye on current regulatory challenges. Our panelists also examine concrete policies and measures that can be adopted in the near term to facilitate deployment of promising alternative energy technologies. Speakers representing state government and the private sector will delineate challenges and opportunities driven by market demand and by President Obama’s renewable energy mandate.

11:45 pm – Question and Answer Session

12:00 Noon – Webinar Concludes


DU Law Review hosts Cyber Civil Rights symposium

November 09, 2009

For more information, including a speaker and topic list, please click here.

Date and time to remember: Nov. 20th, from 9:00-4:30


Prof. Jay Brown comments on oil and gas investment fraud case

November 03, 2009

To read the full story, click HERE.


DU Law alumnus Chip Mellor, JD’77 named “Legal Rebel” by ABA

November 02, 2009

Click HERE to read the full story.


School Closure, October 29, 2009

October 29, 2009

Due to inclement weather, the Sturm College of Law will be closed today. Please check here for further information.

Thank you.

Regards,
Martin Katz

Interim Dean and Associate Professor
University of Denver Sturm College of Law


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