Sturm College of Law News
Law School “Boot Camp” Gives Future Lawyers a Head Start
August 07, 2008
By CHASE SQUIRES
They came from around the country on their summer vacation, to be worked almost to death.
And the more than 30 attendees at the American Bar Association’s Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) summer program actually applied to be part of what many called a “boot camp” atmosphere, cramming months of legal knowledge into six weeks.
The CLEO program, founded in the wake of the Civil Rights movement, held its first summer program at the University of Denver school of law in 1968. Forty years later, it returned to the Sturm College of Law for the first time, after decades of being held at a rotating list of law schools. CLEO is aimed at helping a diverse field of students, including minorities, economically disadvantaged and non-traditional students returning to school after years away. It’s designed to sharpen their skills and prepare them as they enter law school in the fall. In many cases, law schools offer admission on the condition the student take part in a CLEO summer program.
“We’re talking about a boot camp,” said Wayne Fowler, a 44-year-old father from Texas who spent his first career as an engineer. “It’s not intended to be easy, it’s intended to force you into the structure you’re going to need when you get to law school. It’s not play.”
Another CLEO student, Omar Martinez, got terrific grades at the University of Florida, where he graduated this year with dual degrees in political science and sociology. But his law school entrance exams exposed a potential weakness. The recent émigré from Cuba only learned to speak English five years ago, and his writing skills lag.
“I really wanted to come here to learn to write better, to learn the skills I’ll need in law school,” said the Indiana University-bound freshman. “I’m the first one in my family to even go to college.”
Already, Martinez has big plans, including developing legal centers in Puerto Rico, and establishing a legal aid program on Cuba with the daughter of Cuban president Raul Castro.
Sturm Dean José R. (Beto) Juárez congratulated the class as they wrapped up their term July 25, noting that simply surviving the weeks of intense drilling should give them the confidence, and the knowledge base, they’ll need to survive their first year of law school, wherever they go.
“You have worked really, really hard, and you have passed the test,” he said. “You all are the future of the legal profession. I look forward to welcoming you to the bar. You are going to go on to do amazing things.”
Allana Forte-Branch went through CLEO last year, after running her own office supply store in Barbados for seven years. She had decided to pursue her dream of becoming a lawyer (“Running an office supply store isn’t that exciting,” she noted), but going back to school had her concerned.
“Law school is always a shock, but CLEO makes it less of a shock,” she said, fresh from completing her first year at Stetson Law School in St. Petersburg, Fla.
To show how much she believes in the program, Forte-Branch was back this summer as a teaching assistant.
The CLEO program, held in 2008 at the University of Denver and the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, moves the locations of its summer programs each year. Since its inception, some 8,000 students have been through the program.
Sound the “Retreat”: Historic Lodge Donated to Sturm College of Law
August 07, 2008
In a bittersweet ceremony that ties the past to the future, the University of Denver Sturm College of Law this summer officially accepted the donation of the historic Spruce Lodge II mountaintop retreat from the estate the late Robert B. Yegge.
As commemoration speaker Ken Goss told the assembled crowd June 28, the dedication was an event “decades in the making,” a story that dates back to the 1930s.
Yegge, a beloved instructor who led the University of Denver school of law as dean from 1965-1977 and again as acting dean in 1997 and 1998, used his family’s mountaintop property as a retreat, conference center and vacation home for years before his passing in 2006.
But the story really goes back to his father’s earliest days as a lawyer, and even as a law student at DU. Ronald Van Kirk Yegge found a cabin in the woods to study in the Jefferson County mountains southwest of Denver. It was in 1930 when a neighbor asked the newly-minted lawyer to represent him on a criminal case, in payment, the senior Yegge accepted a nearby mountaintop, now officially recognized on government maps as Yegge Peak.
Following graduation from the University of Denver College of Law in 1959, the younger Yegge, Robert, began to use the mountaintop property and a home there known as Spruce Lodge as he built his law practice. In 1964, according to a history of the property, his father presented him with the land through an ancient transfer practice called a “livery of seizing.” The ceremony involves passing a part of the property, in the form of sod or twigs from the land, to the recipient.
Time passed as Yegge built his ties to DU, frequently hosting events at the lodge. When it burned to the ground in 1980, he rebuilt it with the help of friends, reopening the facility as Spruce Lodge II.
On June 28, with friends and colleagues from the Sturm College of Law assembled, the university accepted his estate’s donation of the center through, fittingly, a livery of seizure.
“This day has been in the planning for decades,” Goss, Yegge’s longtime friend, said at the ceremony. “Bob’s parents, Ronald and Fairy, and later Bob, always believed that a fitting transition for this beautiful place would be from his family to the law school.”
Goss, who served as co-personal representative with Jack Hanley for the estate, thanked Greg and Betty Standley, Barbara Huff, and a host of dedicated volunteers who prepared the property for transfer and laid the legal work for the transition, including legal counsel Steve Flansburg.
“Steve has helped us navigate through some extraordinarily challenging situations,” he said. “I know if Bob were here today, in classic Yegge fashion, he would say to you, ‘You done good, kid.’”
Dean José (Beto) Juárez welcomes the gift and expects it to remain a fitting tribute to Yegge’s legacy and to his family.
“Spruce Lodge II was the site where Dean Yegge gathered with faculty and staff to plan the future of the College of Law,” he said. “All of us at the Sturm College of Law look forward to continuing Dean Yegge’s tradition of visionary work at Yegge Peak – even while building fellowship and having fun.”
“This Yegge Peak and Spruce Lodge II will be an important part of the college of law for many generations to come,” Goss said before inviting the assembled crowd to toast “our beloved friend, Bob Yegge.”
DU Law Hosts CLEO Summer Institute
July 25, 2008
When DU Law was selected to host the national Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) Summer Institute this year, in many ways, the program was returning home. CLEO, now a renowned and multi-faced program that reaches out to law student hopefuls from diverse backgrounds, originally stemmed from the Ford Foundation Grant started by Dean Emeritus Robert Yegge many years ago. The American Bar Association eventually took the program over and in 1968 founded CLEO as a non-profit project of the ABA Fund for Justice and Education.
The CLEO Summer Institute, a six-week pre-law program held at rotating law school campuses across the country, is the core of CLEO’s programming. Graduating college seniors and recent graduates from diverse backgrounds either interested in or slated to attend law school, participate in a mini-semester of legal courses taught by experienced instructors. Students attend classes, guest speaker lectures and participate in networking events with local law firms and state and federal courts during their six week stay. At the end of the institute, students are given a final exam and evaluated and issued a final grade. “We are honored to host the prestigious CLEO Summer Institute at DU Law,” said Forrest Stanford, associate dean for administration and multi-cultural affairs. “It further solidifies the law school’s commitment to diversity.”
The institute is designed to prepare participants to be more competitive law students by introducing them to rigorous legal curriculum while acclimating them to the law school environment. Nearly all CLEO graduates eventually matriculate into law schools across the country and go on to enjoy successful legal careers.
Friday, July 25 marked the “graduation” of the DU Law CLEO Summer Institute. The law school held a ceremony and luncheon during which Dean Juárez spoke to the class and participants received certificates of completion.
DU hosted the 2nd Annual Colloquium on Current Scholarship in Labor and Employment Law
July 21, 2008
The University of Denver Sturm College of Law, together with the University of Colorado Law School, hosted the 2007 Colloquium on Current Scholarship in Labor and Employment Law.
The Colloquium started at Marquette Law School in 2006 as a response to the perceived need for a forum in which scholars in this field could share and receive feedback on their work. The 2006 Colloquium was a success, both for the event and for DU. Five DU Employment Law faculty presented at that event. As a result of this impressive showing, we were able to persuade the conference organizers to allow us to host the Second Annual Colloquium in September 2007.
The 2007 Colloquium at DU was a resounding success, drawing roughly 80 labor and employment scholars from around the country and throughout the world (as far away as Melbourne, Australia). A number of local employment lawyers joined, as well. Roughly 65 papers were presented over two days, including presentations by DU Professors Rachel Arnow-Richman, Christine Cimini, Roberto Corrada, Marty Katz, and Nantiya Ruan. All were well-received.
A schedule of presentations, abstracts of the presentations, and other information about the Colloquium, is available at http://www.colorado.edu/law/laborandemployment/.
Prof. Elliott and three local attorneys featured at Seminario de Capacitacion Juridica I
July 16, 2008
Professor Valeria Elliott and three local attorneys will be the featured presenters at the Seminario de Capacitacion Juridica I this week in Guatemala City, Guatemala City. The seminar is designed to train and educate the Consuls of Guatemala in the United States on U.S. laws with a particular focus on immigration, labor and criminal law. The conference presenters include Valeria Elliott, Director of Latin American Initiatives at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Deputy State Public Defender and DU Alumnus Hans Meyer, Adjunct Professor David Simmons, and Leticia Pena of the National Labor Relations Board.
Online Registration available for Cross-Cultural Immersion for the Law Profession (Mexico)
June 30, 2008
Online Registration is now available for Cross-Cultural Immersion for the Law Profession (Mexico).
Please see the web site for more information about this program.
Online Registration available for Ski CLE 2009 - Keystone, CO
June 30, 2008
Online Registration for Ski CLE 2009 is now available.
Please see the web site for more information about this program.
DU Law Professor Emeritus Christopher Munch passed away June 20
June 20, 2008
Sturm College of Law & Morgridge College of Education receive grant of nearly $1 million
June 17, 2008
The Sturm College of Law and the Morgridge College of Education received a grant of nearly $1 million from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The grant will bring law library fellows to the law school for two years and will permit the Westminster Law Library to work on outreach programs in Colorado with the Colorado Supreme Court.
From the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) website:
“The University of Denver will develop and integrate into its curriculum significant course offerings in law librarianship, and recruit and educate ten new law librarians through a comprehensive law librarianship program specifically designed to provide students with the general competencies, specialized subject training, and extensive practical experience necessary to be successful in this field. The project will also provide extensive on-site training, field mentoring, and public outreach to populations currently underserved by the legal information community.”
“This is a wonderful example of interdisciplinary collaboration,” said Dean Beto Juárez. “I am grateful to JoAnna Patrick and Stacey Bowers, and to Morgridge Dean Ginger Maloney and Professor Sylvia Hall-Ellis. It is their hard work that made this grant possible.”
Sports and Entertainment Law Journal: Spring 2008 Volume is available now!
June 12, 2008
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