Sturm College of Law News
Congratulations to Michelle Larson-Krieg, Alice Paul Feminist Jurisprudence Essay Contest winner
November 17, 2008
The Legal Rhetoric and Women and the Law programs of American University Washington College of Law are pleased to announce the winner of the 2008 Alice Paul Feminist Jurisprudence Essay Contest.
Congratulations to Michelle Larson-Krieg, J.D. Candidate, 2009- University of Denver, Sturm College of Law author of “Comparable Worth in Minnesota and Ontario: Implications for U.S. Policy.”
To view winning essays and submit an entry for the 2009 contest visit www.wcl.american.edu/gender/wlp.
Law Professor Eli Wald mentioned in NY Times review of Malcolm Gladwell’s latest
November 03, 2008
Legal Fair for Spanish Speaking Individuals This Saturday!
October 24, 2008
In collaboration with the Colorado Bar Association’s Spanish Language Lawyering Committee and the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Centro San Juan Diego will be hosting a Legal Fair for Spanish-speaking individuals.
The Legal Fair will be held from 12:30 pm until 3:30 pm on Saturday, October 25 at Centro San Juan Diego, located at 2830 Lawrence Street in Denver.
The purpose of the Legal Fair is to empower our Spanish-speaking community with knowledge of their legal rights in an effort to guide individuals through a seemingly overwhelming and complex legal system.
More than 15 topics will be covered by bi-lingual attorneys, such as: immigration, criminal law, civil court, mortgage fraud, child support, work injuries, worker compensation, and many more. The attorneys have graciously volunteered their time and legal talents to provide information on a variety of legal topics as well as to disseminate Spanish legal reference materials in this first of its kind event – one which a great service and support to our Spanish-speaking community is provided.
“Although there will be topics dedicated to the many different issues of immigration, many individuals are also unaware of their legal rights related to the criminal law system, civil courts, mortgage fraud schemes, child support, injuries on the job, and working with city governments”, said Luis Soto, Centro San Juan Diego Executive Director, on the motivation to put together this Legal Fair.
Founded in 2003 by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Centro San Juan Diego is an initiative of the Denver Archdiocese offering pastoral and family care to Hispanic families with a wide range of services including leadership training, pastoral outreach, adult education and family support programs. During 2007 served more than 18,000 individuals and this year already surpassed that number.
Congratulations to Hoffman Cup winners!
October 21, 2008
The final round of the Daniel S. Hoffman Trial Advocacy Competition was a magnificent demonstration of skilled trial advocacy. Congratulations to this year’s winners and other top performers in the Daniel S. Hoffman Trial Advocacy Competition:
- Jed Greenblatt & Sheena Moran
- Claire Soto & John (Trey) Baker
- Theresa Sauer & Alison Davis
- Chad Grell & Matt Dardenne
- Sheena Moran
- Robyn Schaperjahn
Sturm College of Law Receives Diversity Pioneer Award from Council on Legal Education Opportunity
October 14, 2008
In celebration of its 40th Anniversary, CLEO initiated Legacy Justice Fund Awards to recognize persons or organizations whose efforts and activities to advance the cause of diversity within the legal profession are directly in line with those of CLEO. Specifically, the Diversity Pioneer Awards were presented to commemorate the first CLEO Summer Institutes in 1968, and were presented to its original partner institutions. In addition to University of Denver College of Law, UCLA School of Law, Emory University Law School and Harvard Law School received the award.
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.”