Sturm College of Law News

HOT OFF THE PRESSES! Read the newest Volume (86.4) of the Denver University Law Review

August 24, 2009

HOT OFF THE PRESSES! Read the newest Volume (86.4) of the Denver University Law Review here


DU Law instructor Scott Johns describes impact of airline seniority systems in mergers

August 17, 2009

Click here for more information.


Congratulations to the New Staff Editors of the Denver University Law Review

August 10, 2009

Congratulations to the New Staff Editors of the Denver University Law Review


University of Denver Hosting Assessment Conference

July 23, 2009

The Sturm College of Law will be hosting a Conference on Assessment this fall, which is the third in a series of “Legal Education at the Crossroads” conferences designed to discuss and address the criticisms of legal education found in the Carnegie Report and the CLEA Best Practices report. The conference will take place at the Sturm College of Law, starting on Friday, September 11, and continuing through Noon on Sunday, September 13. Please click here for more information and to register for the assessment conference.


Charles M. Hobbs, JD’88, Appointed 13th Judicial District Judge

July 22, 2009

Click HERE for the story.


Dragon Boat Festival makes an example out of DU grad

July 21, 2009

Click HERE for the story.


Instructor Scott Johns weighs in on the stresses put on Southwest Airlines’ fleet

July 15, 2009

Instructor Scott Johns describes the rough treatment Southwest Airlines planes undergo with the airlines’ aggressive flight schedule, in the “Denver Post. Please Click Here for More Information


Prof. Kristian Miccio comments on a domestic violence case in this month’s O, the Oprah Magazine

July 15, 2009

Prof. Kristian Miccio is quoted in a story about a horrific domestic violence case in North Carolina in this months “O, the Oprah Magazine”: http://www.oprah.com/article/omagazine/200908-omag-domestic-violence


MSLA Program Co-Sponsors the 2009 Futures Conference

July 08, 2009

The MSLA program co-sponsors the 2009 Futures Conference with the College of Law Practice Management September 24 – 26. International experts will interact with attendees regarding the future of the practice of law. Winners of the 5th Annual InnovAction Awards will present their law practice business innovations. Open to the public. Register online.


Bar Passage Update from Interim Dean Katz

July 07, 2009

Bar Passage Update from Interim Dean Katz

What we have done, and our goals and timetables

We have taken several steps at the College of Law to address the bar passage issue. What follow are some highlights that illustrate the immediate impact of our efforts, as well as steps that will have an impact in the future.

Some steps that appear to have had an immediate impact include:

  • Offering a Bar Success program. This free program is available to all SCOL graduates and is designed to supplement commercial bar courses. So far, the data suggests that this program helps our graduates pass the bar.
  • Identifying and guiding at-risk students. Any student whose law school GPA falls below 2.6 (placing them at risk for failing the bar), is limited in the courses they can take – effectively requiring them to take more bar courses. Such students must also participate in counseling designed to help them with bar passage.

Other steps that will have an impact in the longer term include:

  • Changing the profile of our entering class. Certain pre-admission indicators, specifically LSAT scores and undergraduate GPA, correlate with bar passage. Beginning with the class entering in the fall of 2008, we significantly reduced the number of students we admit whose pre-admission indicators suggest a high risk for bar failure. For example, our 2005 entering class – the class which just completed the July 2008 and February 2009 Bar Exams – included 60 students with pre-admission indicators that suggested a significant risk of bar failure. In comparison, our 2008 entering class – which will take the July 2011 exam – included only 18 students in the risk zone. And as of July 1, our 2009 entering class includes only 10 students in the risk zone.
  • Changing the law school GPA required for good standing. Law school GPA also correlates with bar passage. Beginning with the class that entered in the fall of 2008, we changed the GPA required to maintain good standing at the SCOL. Students whose GPA falls below a 2.0 are simply dismissed. Students whose GPA falls below a 2.3 are given one semester to raise their GPA to a 2.3; if they fail to do so, they are dismissed.

The effects of these latter steps will not likely be seen until the students in those classes take the bar, beginning in July 2011. However, there is cause for optimism. First, based solely on their pre-admission indicators, our statistical consultant predicts that the first class entering under our new program, which will take the bar in July 2011, should pass at a rate of 86%. Second, we are already doing better than our pre-admission indicators would predict. For example, based solely on their pre-admission indicators, our statistical consultant predicted that the class entering in 2005, with 60 risk zone students, would have a pass rate of 77%. Yet this class passed the July 2008 bar at a rate of 84%. In other words, the class entering in 2005 outperformed its expected pass rate by 7%.

Accordingly, between the improved entering class and the other strategies we have adopted, it appears realistic to believe that we can achieve both of our goals for bar passage – a first time pass rate of at least the state median on all exams and a first time pass rate of at least 90% for July exams – by July 2011.

I look forward to continuing to report progress on this important issue.


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