Denver Law Offers Diversity Fellowship for Lawyering Process Teaching Position

June 19, 2015

The posting for the position described below is found on the DU jobsite here.

NYTimes Room For Debate on “How Fluid is Racial Identity?” features Nancy Leong

June 17, 2015

Our society, writes Denver Law associate professor Nancy Leong, “values racial identities differently in different circumstances.” Leong joins a group of academics and commentators discussing issues presented by the example of Rachel Dolezal, enmeshed in a controversy about her racial identity. Professor Leong concludes that, “So long as different racial identities have different values, the racially fluid will have an incentive to present themselves in the way most favorable under the circumstances.”

In the same forum, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Kierscht Professor of Law at the University of Iowa and a recent speaker at Denver Law, writes about the social construction of race. “Like race, racial identity can be fluid,” she explains. “How one perceives her racial identity can shift with experience and time, and not simply for those who are multiracial. These shifts in racial identity can end in categories that our society, which insists on the rigidity of race, has not even yet defined.” But, she continues, “the social, political and economic meanings of race, or rather belonging to particular racial groups, have not been fluid.” They run so deeply that “[m]ore than 50 years ago, Congress enacted the most comprehensive antidiscrimination legislation in history, the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Half a century later in 2015, the same gaps in racial inequality remain or have grown deeper.”

See the discussion in its entirety here.

Chancellor Chopp reports on the “State of Inclusive Excellence at the University of Denver”

June 08, 2015

DU Chancellor Rebecca Chopp issued an update today on the university’s efforts during the past several years to achieve greater diversity and make DU a more inclusive environment. “Building a stronger culture of inclusive excellence at the University of Denver is a shared vision and a shared responsibility,” wrote Chancellor Chopp. “As we build upon the progress others have helped us to achieve, we must also recognize that there will always be more to do—and that we must continue to advocate for and create positive change.” Her update lists and links to reports and statements tracing steps taken and recommendations and commitments made in 2014 and 2015 and includes the announcements that Dr. Liliana Rodriguez has been appointed the new Vice Chancellor for Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence and that Dr. Frank Tuitt has been named Senior Advisor to the Chancellor and Provost on Diversity and Inclusion.

June 2015 Edition of IACA Newsletter

June 04, 2015

Link (PDF) »

Legal Aid Jobs Await Law School Graduates

June 02, 2015

Please click the link below for an interesting article about legal aid jobs.

More Info »

LSAC rates Denver Law First Place in the Diversity Matters Awards

May 30, 2015

Denver Law took first place in the 2015 Diversity Matters competition sponsored by the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC). Yvonne Cherena-Pacheco, Associate Director of Admissions, and Iain Davis, Assistant Dean of Admissions (see photo below), accepted the award at the LSAC Annual Meeting and Educational Conference, held May 27 to 30, 2015, in Coronado, California. The First Place Diversity Matters Award recognizes Denver Law’s pipeline efforts, which include the law school’s active partnership with the Denver Urban Debate League and the annual Denver Law Pipeline Conference. See more about the Diversity Matters Award here and here.

DU Law’s Jessup Team Performed Exceptionally at International Rounds in D.C.

April 27, 2015


The University of Denver Sturm College of Law’s Jessup International Law Moot Court Team has just returned from the International Rounds of the competition in Washington, D.C., where 127 finalist teams competed for the Jessup Cup. Now in its 56th year, the Jessup competition is the world’s largest moot court competition, with participants from over 600 law schools from over 80 countries. The competition is a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice. This year’s issues dealt with legal questions mirroring those arising from the Crimean secession, as well as treaty interpretation. The team members are: J. Matt Thornton (Captain, 3L), Alex Jennings (3L), Maral Shoaei (2L), and Philip Nickerson (2L).


The DU Jessup Team performed extremely well, advancing out of the preliminary rounds for the first time in six years. Only the top 32 seated teams advanced and of those 32, the team was ranked in 8th place overall and was undefeated in the preliminary rounds. Only 5 United States teams advanced out of the preliminary rounds this year. Alex Jennings placed as the 28th best oralist and Philip Nickerson placed 86th, out of over 500 oralists. At the Go Nationals Dress Ball (a costume party where teams dress in something related to their home country), the team members went as miners and were the hit of the party. The team is coached by Denver Law alumna and adjunct professor, Megan Matthews (JD’11), with valuable assistance from Coach Emeritus John Powell (JD’88) and alumna Molly McNab (JD’11).


Restricted Access for Final Exams Period

April 24, 2015

From April 28 – May 15, 2015, access to the library is restricted to DU Law students, faculty and staff and those with legitimate legal research needs. You will need to swipe your DU identification card in the card reader at the front door if you want to enter the library during restricted hours. If you forget your card or the card reader does not accept it, please knock on the door so that a library employee can assist you. For more information, visit the Library Hours page.

Catherine Smith to prospective law students: “Develop a strong sense of self to get the job done.”

April 11, 2015

Speaking at the 2015 National Diversity Pre-Law Conference & Law Fair on April 11, 2015 in Washington, D.C., Denver Law’s Catherine Smith offered attendees insight into the law school classroom. “Get comfortable with feedback and critique,” she told the prospective law students. “Develop a strong sense of self.” Saying she wished to demystify the classroom and the role of law professors, Smith counseled students that, “There is no endpoint. You can always learn more.” Be patient as a law student, she added. “Give yourself time to develop and acclimate.” Watch Dean Smith’s Keynote Address here.

Interview with Douglas Mincher

April 01, 2015

Douglas Mincher The MSLA office recently had the opportunity to speak with one of our alumni, Mr. Douglas Mincher. Doug was recently named Clerk of Court for the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which has has appellate jurisdiction over federal cases originating in the states of Alabama, Florida and Georgia. His new duties include leading operations for the Clerk’s Office and supervising staff for all non-judicial functions in the court.

Mincher earned his MSJA in 1989-1990 and when asked what guided his decision to pursue this degree Mr. Mincher stated,

I was originally considering a career in law during my undergrad years when a professor asked me to intern with the Court Administrator’s Office in the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas in Youngstown, Ohio. During this internship I learned the basics of how a court functioned. I found it very interesting and decided that post graduate study was the only way someone was going to hire me. I asked that same professor what program he recommended and he didn’t hesitate – DU. So, my wife and our two little kids moved to Denver for the year.

Mincher went on to state that,

I know the degree helped me in my initial hiring – it had to since I had almost no experience. I was hired in 1991 as the Assistant Court Administrator with the King County District Court in Seattle, Washington. After that, it was always a combination of experience, reputation, and education. You are not going to progress in a career in the courts without that combination. Actually, that’s probably true in any career.

Mincher credits his success to first and foremost to “the world’s greatest wife,” stating that “I married waaaay above my pay grade. Another reason is that I always had judges around that wanted their court to run better. Judges Linda Jacke and David Admire in Seattle, Judges Deborah Greene and Catherine Malicki in Atlanta come to mind. It’s always easier when the judges want to improve the operation.”

Mincher states that the most important lesson he has learned throughout his career is that of patience.

You’ll find an area that you want to change quickly and for the better, but you must be patient and explore all the ramification of making that change. I always keep Donald Rumsfeld’s quote in mind, ‘There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.’ It’s that last one that can get you in trouble.

Mincher’s favorite part about working in the courts is streamlining processes. He enjoys watching how a task is completed, then pondering the options to make it easier on staff, or more efficient, or more helpful to a judge, etc. If the options involve using technology, even better. He believes that funding is the largest issue facing today’s courts and is passionate about facilitating improvement within the courts. His favorite aspects of his job is promoting: “watching someone you hired develop into an excellent clerk or manager is fun too.”

When asked what advice he would give to those who aspire to accomplish what he has he stated “in a broad sense, you need to find your niche. Mine happens to be managing in the court environment. I find it attractive because you need a diverse skill set – IT, accounting, HR, security, facilities, case management, record management, procurement, etc. It’s a job where no two days are alike and that makes it interesting.”

Finally, when asked of any particular areas of study he would encourage us to include in the reassessing and development of our MSLA curriculum, Mincher stated that “the most difficult area for me to learn was accounting. I managed in the King County Court and the Municipal Court of Atlanta, both of which had millions in revenue from traffic fines flowing through each year. You need to understand financial controls inside and out or you’ll be on the news – and not in a good way.”

The MSLA office thanks Mr. Mincher for his time, and congratulates him on his recent promotion!

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