Welcome to the Colorado Law Project. The Colorado Law Project is a collaborative effort of many University of Denver participants and local community partners. The site is hosted by the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Community partners include the Arapahoe Library District, the Colorado Supreme Court Library, and the Denver Public Library.
The mission of the Colorado Law Project (CLP) is to provide Coloradans with access to reliable legal information. To accomplish this charge the CLP has adopted the following goals:
- To provide a gateway to reliable and freely available online legal information of particular interest or importance to Colorado’s general public;
- To provide comprehensive explanation of included materials and resources in a format and language that is easily understood by both lawyers and non-lawyers alike;
- To provide an effective reference tool for public librarians to use when answering legal reference questions; and,
- To provide educational opportunities for Colorado’s general public and library community.
In Colorado, as in most states, direct access to legal information is limited by a number of factors. Some of those factors include the location of law libraries, access to legal collections and databases, ability to pay for fee based services, the sophistication of the information seeker’s searching ability, and familiarity and understanding of legal information and processes. Because of these barriers and the nature of today’s e-society, many people turn to the Internet for answers. While a great variety of legal information is available online, questions of reliability, accuracy, and currency are prevalent. Additionally, finding pertinent legal information online often requires expert searching or special knowledge to locate resources buried on government websites or otherwise not indexed by search engines like Google.
In addition to the Internet, we’ve found that many people turn to their local public library when seeking legal or legally related information. Indeed, public librarians are often the first human point of contact for people with a legal reference question. In many instances, public librarians are able to help patrons find the information they need. However, sometimes public librarians do not have the necessary tools at their disposal to adequately deal with legal reference requests.
Through this website, we hope to begin addressing both of these needs. By providing a single point of access to reliable and freely available online legal information of particular interest to Coloradans, we hope to provide members of Colorado’s general public with an excellent resource in their search for legal information. For public librarians, we hope this website will serve as a useful tool in assisting patrons with legal reference questions.
Work on this project is made possible through the support and effort of many individuals and organizations. Partners in this project included the University of Denver Westminster Law Library, Sturm College of Law, Library and Information Science Program, and Morgridge College of Education. Community partners included the Denver Public Library, the Arapahoe Library District, and the Colorado Supreme Court Law Library. Initial funding for this project came from a University of Denver Public Good Grant and the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.
University of Denver
- Law Librarian Fellowship program
The University of Denver Law Librarian Fellowship (LLF) program was made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Begun in 2008, the LLF developed a law librarianship specialization for the DU Library and Information Science Program and funded the education of 10 fellowship students. The bulk of the initial work on the Colorado Law Project was completed by LLF Fellows. Without their hard work and dedication this project would not have been possible.
- Morgridge College of Education Library and Information Science Program
Fully accredited by the American Library Association, the Morgridge College of Education Library and Information Science (LIS) Program has developed a distinctive program to serve the rapidly changing needs of library students, information professionals, and information entrepreneurs in the Rocky Mountain region.
- Sturm College of Law
The University of Denver Sturm College of Law (SCOL) is a top 100 law school with nationally ranked programs in environmental and natural resources law, legal writing, clinical training, international law, and tax law. Their curriculum is innovative and global in its perspective, and their faculty members are some of the finest in the nation. SCOL supports the Colorado Law Project (CLP) in several key ways. The CLP site is hosted on the SCOL website, and SCOL employees provide technical and web design assistance for the program.
- Westminster Law Library
Located in the Ricketson Law Building, the Westminster Law Library (WWL) is a full service law library serving the University of Denver Sturm College of Law faculty, staff, students, and alumni. For more information about the Westminster Law Library, please click the link above or call (303) 871-6188.
- Arapahoe Library District
The Arapahoe Library District (ALD) was established in April 1966 to provide public library service to the residents of Arapahoe County. ALD librarians provided vital information in the planning stages and continue to support the Colorado Law Project (CLP) through ongoing review and use of the CLP site. For more information about the Arapahoe Library District, please click the link above or call (303) 542-7279.
- Colorado Supreme Court Library
The Colorado Supreme Court Library (CSCL) supports the research needs of the Colorado Judicial Branch, primarily the Colorado Supreme Court and Colorado Court of Appeals. The CSCL also supports the judges and staff located in the judicial districts and county courts throughout the State of Colorado and is open to members of the Bar and general public. For more information about the Colorado Supreme Court Library, please click the link above or call (303) 837-3720.
- Denver Public Library
For over a century, customers have turned to the Denver Public Library (DPL) for books, programs, and services that entertain, inform, educate, and enlighten. Today, with more than 450 staff members and 23 locations, the Library serves residents citywide. DPL librarians provided vital information in the planning stages of the Colorado Law Project (CLP). For more information about the Denver Public Library, please click the link above or call (720) 865-1111.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.