Sturm College of Law News
The Results Are In! July 2008 Bar Pass Results
October 09, 2008
A Message from Dean Juárez
Please join me in congratulating the graduates of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law (SCOL) who passed the July 2008 Colorado bar examination! Click here for a complete list of those who passed the examination.
The passage rate for SCOL graduates taking the July 2008 bar examination for the first time was 83%. The Colorado Board of Law Examiners reports the following preliminary passage rates for graduates of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law who took the Colorado bar examination in July 2008:
|First Time||178 (83%)||36 (17%)||214|
|Repeat||15 (27%)||40 (73%)||55|
|All||193 (72%)||76 (28%)||269|
The preliminary passage rate for all first-time Colorado bar exam takers was 85%. For a complete list of other law schools’ passage rates, please click here.
Every year a small number of bar takers successfully appeal their failing grade. These July 2008 results are therefore preliminary and subject to revision.
In July 2007, 80% of all DU graduates taking the Colorado bar examination for the first time passed, while 81% of our May 2007 graduates who took the July 2007 bar exam passed. This 81% bar passage rate equaled the passage rate for all who took the July 2007 Colorado bar exam – the first time in many years that DU graduates had matched the overall passage rate. Bar passage rates will fluctuate up or down from year to year. It is heartening, however, to see that passage rates for SCOL graduates continue to improve. The continuing upward trend in the passage rate of our graduates this past July demonstrates that the reforms we have instituted over the past two years at the SCOL, coupled with the hard work of our graduates, have paid off.
These improvements have been achieved through sustained efforts. Shortly after my
arrival at the SCOL in 2006, I informed the law school community that the key to improving our bar passage rate was to use data to identify any factors that explain why some of our graduates were not passing the bar. I focused our bar passage efforts in three areas: (1) admissions, to ensure we are admitting students who are capable of passing the bar; (2) the College of Law’s educational program, to ensure we are providing our students with the knowledge and skills they need to pass the bar; and (3) a post-graduation bar preparation program, to assist our graduates who are about to take the bar exam.
In the fall of 2006 I appointed a faculty Bar Passage Committee and asked the Committee to utilize statistical studies conducted by Professors Sam Kamin and Joyce Sterling to propose a comprehensive bar passage program for consideration by the full faculty. I worked with this Committee, chaired by Professor Jay Brown, to develop a bar passage program that was approved by the entire law faculty in April 2007.
Our Bar Passage Program includes the following:
- Immediate exclusion of students with a grade point average below a 2.0 at the end of any semester, including the first semester of law school.
- An increase in the minimum grade point average from 2.2 to 2.3. Students with a grade point average between 2.0 and 2.3 have two semesters in which to achieve a grade point average of 2.3 or above.
- Students with a grade point average below 2.6 at the end of any semester must meet with the director of the Academic Achievement Program to develop a plan for academic improvement.
- Students with a grade point average above 2.3 but below a 2.6 must:
- Take Intermediate Legal Analysis in the second year.
- With the exception of one course per semester, enroll in courses selected from a list approved by the faculty.
- Take Legal Analysis Strategies in the final semester of law school.
The SCOL has hired two faculty in the Academic Achievement Program (Professors Scott Johns and Susannah Pollvogt) to assist students with bar passage. In addition to teaching the Intermediate Legal Analysis and Legal Analysis Strategies courses, these professors, together with other members of the SCOL faculty, offer a series of bar preparation workshops free of charge to SCOL graduates. The Bar Success Program offers strategic workshops, mock bar exams, individual consultations and timely feedback on writing assignments in the two-month study period immediately prior to the bar examination. Students participating in the Bar Success Program in the summer of 2007 scored an average of four points higher on the essay questions on the bar exam than non-participants.
The Bar Passage Program approved by the faculty also recommended limiting the number of applicants admitted with low LSAT scores, and requiring that such students complete a summer preparation course prior to beginning their first-year studies, steps that we had already implemented for the class entering in the fall of 2007. For the class entering in the fall of 2005, 25% of the class had a LSAT score of 152 or below. For the class entering this fall, 25% of the class had a LSAT score of 155 or below.
Undergraduate grade point averages have also increased significantly. For the class entering in the fall of 2005, 25% of the class had an undergraduate grade point average of 2.89 or below. For the class entering this fall, 25% of the class had an undergraduate grade point average of 3.21 or below.
The SCOL has continued to analyze the performance of our graduates on the bar examination. In the fall of 2007, the Board of Trustees formed a Bar Passage Committee that included alumni representatives. With the assistance of Corona Research, a consulting firm, the Board of Trustees Bar Passage Committee produced additional statistical analyses of the performance of our graduates on the Colorado bar examination. Using data from 2001 to 2007, the Committee provided numerous valuable recommendations that have been incorporated into the College of Law’s Bar Passage Program. Additional work has been undertaken since July 2008 by the Next Steps Committee, a committee that includes law faculty, law staff, members of the Board of Trustees, and alumni.
This committee, which is also working with Corona Research, has undertaken additional statistical analyses and will use these analyses to make recommendations to the College of Law regarding admissions, financial aid, student advising, and bar passage.
The continued improvement of the performance of DU Law graduates on the bar examination is attributable to the collective efforts of many individuals and groups. In the next few days we will analyze the performance of our graduates who took the July 2008 bar exam to refine our programs. We will continue to work to ensure that all our students are fully prepared to pass the bar examination.
I encourage all students planning to take the February 2009 bar examination to register now for the DU Bar Success Program at http://www.law.du.edu/index.php/barprep. I also encourage any graduates who did not pass the July 2008 bar examination to take advantage of this important resource.
I look forward to congratulating our February 2009 bar takers!
DU Revamps Current Recycling Program
October 02, 2008
The University of Denver has launched anew recycling program that promises to streamline the recycling process. The new program involves the addition of thousands of recycling bins located next to nearly every trash receptacle on the DU campus. This new program is “single stream,” meaning that different recycling materials can be co-mingled in the same bin. The recycling company, Alpine Waste and Recycling, will sort the materials.
A brief summary of what CAN and CANNOT be recycled is outlined below:
|Junk Mail||Food Waste|
|Aluminum Cans||Coffee Cups|
|Plastics (#1-7)||Greasy pizza boxes|
Please do your part and RECYCLE!
Diverse Class Begins: Nine Countries Represented in ENRGP Class of May 2009
September 11, 2008
Denver – Lawyers and environmental and natural resources professionals from nine different countries are members of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy Graduate Program class that started in August.
Don C. Smith, director of the program, said, “The class that has just begun represents one of the most diverse groups of students ever to enter the program. We are delighted with the high caliber of the students and their enthusiasm for the program.”
Students from the following countries began the program in the autumn 2008 semester:
“A key reason that our program is so highly regarded is the consistent attraction of highly capable students from all across the world,” Smith said. “This strengthens the program and illustrates why for many students — both domestic and foreign — the University of Denver program is the preferred place to learn about the challenges and opportunities associated with environmental and natural resources issues in the 21st century.”
DU Law Library gets Grant of Nearly $1 Million
September 05, 2008
Race & Politics: The “Obama Phemomena” conference
September 03, 2008
Scholars descend on law school to debate the ‘Obama Phenomena’
By Chase Squires
August 29, 2008— More than 100 scholars and students from around the country rolled into Denver as the Democratic National Convention was pulling out Aug. 29, ready to dissect Barack Obama’s rise to power and four days of history at the DNC.
At an all-day conference at DU’s Sturm College of Law titled “Obama Phenomena: Facets of a Historic Campaign,” multi-generational, non-partisan panels presented thoughts on the forces at play as a junior senator from the Midwest rose to become the country’s first African-American to earn a major party’s presidential nomination.
Frank Rudy Cooper, co-organizer of the event and associate professor of law at Suffolk University, said he was working with DU associate law Professor Catherine Smith in June when they came up with the idea for a scholarly study of Obama’s rise. He said they were surprised to find how few academics were studying the politics at play.
“What might this all mean,” he asked, as he pondered Obama’s popularity. “That’s what this whole conference is about.”
Smith, who delivered a talk, “Race and the Obama Phenomenon: Change We Can Build On,” said she’s been looking at how race is playing into politics. People tend to move in social groups, identifying themselves by race, gender, sexual orientation or other element, she noted. Obama, she said, is subtly addressing those groups and triggering approval in many of them.
“He’s the Tiger Woods of politics,” said Camille Nelson, professor of law at Saint Louis University, presenting her talk, “Examining Our Post-Racial Selves: Obama as a Balm for What Ails Us.”
She was referring to the African-American golfer who is dominating the largely-white professional golfing tour and winning fans across all races.
Other talks included examinations of the Internet’s role in politics, the role of Obama’s wife, Michelle, tax and race, and the role of religion in politics.
Harvard University law professor and prolific author Randall Kennedy delivered the keynote address, “Barack Obama and the Optimistic Tradition in American Racial Commentary,” probing the attitudes and tone of the Obama candidacy.
Obama, he said, has chosen to look at race relations in America through a positive lens, seeing progress made and envisioning continued improvement. His mission, Kennedy said, is to press beyond those who seek to undercut hope with pessimism, and he radiates that optimism.
“Obviously, he has to believe in his bones that it is possible for him to prevail,” Kennedy said.
Sturm College of Law Dean José R. (Beto) Juárez said recent talk of politicians courting the “New West” plays into not only the Rocky Mountain region’s history of pioneering new lands, but also into how the Obama camp came to Denver to pursue new ways of doing things.
“There really is the opportunity here to do new and different things,” he said. “That’s what this conference is about — this idea that we don’t have to fit into the old paradigms. We have broken molds out here for a long time.”
Greenwood Press Publishes Topical Book by DU Law Professor Robert Hardaway
September 02, 2008
Longtime election law scholar and expert in the inner workings of the American electoral system, University of Denver Sturm College of Law Professor Robert Hardaway knows all too well the procedural problems associated with this system, including those associated with the advent of computerized voting. His seminal book, Crisis at the Polls: An Electoral Reform Handbook, zeroes in on events in United States electoral history, revealing an intricate and startling web of systemic failures that lie at the heart of the democratic electoral process.
Professor Hardaway teaches Civil Procedure, Evidence and Preventative Law at the University of Denver College Sturm College of Law. A frequent contributor to national and major regional newspapers and an occasional media commentator, he is also the author of No Price Too High: Victimless Crimes and the Ninth Amendment (Praeger, 2003) and The Electoral College and the Constitution: The Case for Preserving Federalism (Praeger 1994), among other works.
Latin American Ambassadors Visit DU
September 02, 2008
DENVER – Ten Latin American ambassadors to the U.S. visited the University of Denver last week and discussed resource allocation, energy security, environmental stewardship, and sustainable development.
The “Latin America Business Forum,” organized by the Inter-American Economic Council, took place in conjunction with the 2008 Democratic Convention in Denver.
The ambassadors, who were joined by a large crowd, heard senior advisors from the presidential campaign of U.S. Senator Barack Obama speak about Mr. Obama’s perspectives on U.S.-Latin American relations.
Ambassadors attending the event were:
H.E. Federico A. Humbert Arias (Panama);
H.E. D. Arturo Sarukhán Casamitjana (Mexico);
H.E. Felipe Ortiz de Cevallos (Perú);
H.E. Carlos Alberto Gianelli Derois (Uruguary);
H.E. F. Tomas Dueñas (Costa Rica);
H.E. Flavio Darío Espinal (Dominican Republic);
H.E. Mariano Fernández (Chile);
H.E. Luis Benigno Gallegos (Ecuador);
H.E. Bernardo Alvarez Herrera (Venezuela);
H.E. Antonio Aguiar Patriota (Brazil); and
H.E. Francisco Villagrán (Guatamala)
Each ambassador spoke about challenges and opportunities, particularly with respect to natural resource development, in his country. U.S. Congressman Gene Green of Texas also addressed the meeting regarding the ties between Latin American energy producers and the U.S.
Don C. Smith, director of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy graduate program, was one of the individuals invited to attend the business forum.
Distant train at the depot - The Denver Post
September 02, 2008
University of Denver Sturm College of Law’s “Obama Phenomena” conference mentioned in the Denver Post.
DU Law Hosts the Colorado Court of Appeals
August 19, 2008
During the week of the Democratic National Convention – August 25-27 – the Colorado Court of Appeals will hear formal oral arguments at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. “We’re centrally located in the midst of DNC activities,” says Polly Brock, deputy clerk of the Colorado Court of Appeals. “In order to make it more convenient for counsel and judges to maintain their regular oral argument calendar, the Court of Appeals will hear formal oral arguments in the moot court room at the Sturm College of Law. We are very grateful to the law school for the use of their facilities.” The Court of Appeals will also utilize the facilities at DU’s School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management for law clerk training.
August 29 - DU Law hosts “Obama Phenomena” post-DNC conference
August 07, 2008
Nationally known scholars examines Democratic nominee’s explosive rise to prominence
DENVER— Scholars from around the country will gather at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law one day after the Democratic National Convention wraps up to examine the rapid rise and grassroots campaign of history-making Democratic nominee Barack Obama.
The day-long event Aug. 29, “Obama Phenomena: Facets of a Historic Campaign,” will examine the cultural wave that has lifted Obama from first-term senator to the first African-American major-party presidential nominee. A diverse, intergenerational collection of scholars will examine the meaning of Obama’s candidacy, looking at aspects including race, gender, and religion. In addition, panels will discuss the changing nature of campaign organization and Obama’s potential impact on affirmative action law, election law and U.S. foreign policy.
Harvard law professor and controversial author Randall Kennedy will deliver the keynote address at 12:30 p.m., “Barack Obama and the Optimistic Tradition in American Racial Commentary.”
Other panels, beginning at 8:30 a.m., include: “From Domain Names to Video Games: The Rise of the Internet in Presidential Politics;” “Obama’s Strategies, Changing the Status Quo;” “Race and the Obama Phenomenon: Change We Can Build On;” and “Predicting the Supreme Court in an Obama or McCain Presidency.”
Scholars from universities in at least 13 states are expected to descend on DU for the event, which offers fertile ground for journalists seeking commentary and analysis of a news-filled four days in Denver. A full schedule of topics and list of experts scheduled to attend, as well as registration information, is online here »