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Legal Externship Program 2021 Highlights

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Sturm College of Law

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Legal Externship Program 2021 Highlights

Greetings from Denver Law’s Legal Externship Program! As we collectively still find ourselves navigating the pandemic and the “return to campus,” we are excited to report that the Sturm College of Law’s Legal Externship Program continues to grow and find creative ways to support our students. Last academic year alone, we hosted 612 externships, which includes working with 460 different students and 385 supervisors.

Despite the uncertainty of last year, we continue to see a strong connection with externships and post graduate employment. Indeed, 20 to 30 percent of students of our students are hired directly by a former externship site upon graduation. We also saw an uptick in paid externships! Last year, over 31 percent of students received pay – our highest since first allowing paid externships in August 2016. Further, our summer stipend pool for unpaid public sector positions continues, awarding approximately 50 students for their work in summer 2021. This program has expanded since the creation of paid externships to help ensure students are still able to choose placements not solely based on economic need, instead focusing on those that align best with their goals, values, and interests. Similarly, this fall, in partnership with Denver Law’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion we launched a parking stipend program for unpaid externs, helping to curb the costs of working.

Finally, this fall we welcomed two visiting assistant professors of the practice. Prof. Colleen Scarola returned to oversee much of our private sector fieldwork and reinvigorate the Cannabis Externship Program that she established a few years ago – the first of its kind in the country. Prof. LaQunya Baker brings her expertise in criminal defense and small firm practice and helps lead the Lorenzo Márquez Judicial Diversity Externship Program, which places 2L/3L students with justices and judges on the Colorado Supreme Court and Colorado Court of Appeals each spring.

Our team remains eager and ready to support students – and supervisors – whether they work in person, remotely, or in a hybrid of the two. We look forward to continuing our efforts at Denver Law!

Faculty Highlights

Associate Dean and Professor of the Practice Alexi Freeman

Awards & Appointments

  • Outstanding Mentor, 2020-2021, Student Bar Association
  • Outstanding Administrator Award, 2020-2021, Student Bar Association
  • Appointed as member of the 2021-2021 CLEA Clinical Conference Committee


  • "Laying the Framework for Transformative Change: What Law Schools Can Do Now to Promote Anti-Racism," Rutgers Race and the Law Review (with Erika Sisneros Kelley) (forthcoming Fall 2021).

Selected Presentations

  • Plenary panelist, “Racial Justice in the Classroom and in Practice,” 2021 CLEA New Clinicians Conference (May 18, 2021).
  • Plenary panelist, “Are We (Almost) There Yet? Clinical Programs and the Academy as Anti-Racist Institutions,”  2021 AALS Clinical Conference (April 30, 2021).
  • Co-panelist, “Pathways to Clinical Teaching,”  American Constitution Society (April 7, 2021).
  • Co-panelist, “Supervising Law Students Virtually – Keys to Success,” 2021 NALP Annual Education Conference (March 25, 2021).
  • Presenter, CLE, Office of Alternate Defense Counsel: Litigating Emerging Adolescence on Post-Conviction (May 19, 2021).
  • Co-panelist, “Discussion on Social Justice,” 2021 Ms. JD Annual Conference (March 12, 2021).
  • Keynote speaker, “Closing Keynote,”  DU Civil Rights Summit (March 5, 2021).
  • Keynote speaker, Fireside Chat with Colorado Attorney General (February 26, 2021).
  • Co-panelist, "Supervising Remote Interns," ABA Center for Pro Bono (January 11, 2021).
  • Co-panelist, “Calling Out and Leaning In to Racial and Class Inequities in Experiential Learning Opportunities,” AALS 2021 Conference (January 6, 2021).
  • Co-panelist, “Movement Lawyering: Virtual Experiential Learning in Service of Grassroots Organizations” (with Lindsey Webb), Legal Writing Institute One-Day Workshop-California Western School of Law (December 9, 2020).
  • Presenter, “Just Listen: Storytelling Series,” Center for Legal Inclusiveness (October 28, 2020).
  • Plenary-panelist, "Toward an Anti-Racist Future," Externships 10 Conference (October 21, 2020).
  • Co-panelist, “Promoting Inclusive Externship Environments: Strategies for Supporting Historically Marginalized Students in the Field,”  Externships 10 Conference (October 21, 2020).

Visiting Assistant Professor of the Practice LaQunya Baker


  • Board of Trustees, First Judicial Bar Association
  • Board of Governors, Colorado Bar Association
  • Sam Cary Bar Association, President of the Young Lawyers Division


Visiting Assistant Professor of the Practice Colleen Scarola


  • Attendee, CLIO Cloud Conference (October 2021).