Experiential Advantage

Practice-based experiences like these put students in the shoes of practicing lawyers under the tutelage of expert professors and practitioners, providing unparalleled opportunities to develop as a lawyer.

As part of our comprehensive experiential learning approach, Denver Law offers the Experiential Advantage Curriculum (EAC), which allows our students to spend a full year of their law school career in real or simulated legal practice.

The Experiential Advantage Curriculum combines live client clinics, high-quality externships (including the popular Semester in Practice Externship), and legal simulation courses to provide a full year of practice-based learning to every Denver Law student who chooses to participate in this curricular option. Students can take a minimum of 30 credits of experiential learning, and, as part of that 30 credits, may choose a live client experience consisting of either a clinic or externship opportunity.

Under the umbrella of the EAC, the University of Denver Sturm College of Law created the Live Client Guarantee, which provides every Denver Law student with dynamic, hands-on client interactions outside of the classroom via clinics and externships. The Sturm College of Law is one of only 14 law schools in the country that offers this option. By exposing students to complex real-life situations, Denver Law graduates will develop the competencies necessary to enter the workforce with career-focused academic experiences and marketable skills that prepare them to thrive in their early careers.

All Denver Law students must take the 6 credit Lawyering Process program in their first year, which is highly experiential. Following that, students who choose to participate in the EAC will take an additional 24 credit hours of experiential learning courses in their second and third years (and fourth years for part-time students). The result is that at least a third of their law school career – 30 of 90 credits – will consist of practice-based experiential learning opportunities.

This curriculum is optional, not mandatory. With the guidance of faculty advisors and practicing attorney mentors (available to all entering students), we trust our students to make the best selection of experiential and traditional classes to prepare themselves with the skills they will need for their chosen area of practice.

The Experiential Advantage Curriculum builds on our commitment to excellence in experiential learning, which includes our nationally-ranked Clinical Programs, nationally-ranked programs in legal writing and trial advocacy, and one of the largest Legal Externship programs in the country.

At Denver Law, experiential learning isn’t just a buzz phrase but an approach to teaching that’s been a part of our culture for more than a century. Our students are always priority number one, and we are dedicated to providing them with the practical skills they need to succeed in their chosen careers.

Recent Alumni perspectives on experiential learning at Denver Law:

“When I was applying to law school, I spoke with local attorneys about their opinions on the law schools in the region, and whether they had a hiring preference for graduates of any school. Every attorney I spoke with reinforced the positive reputation of Denver Law grads. This reputation stems from Denver Law's commitment to ensuring that all students have opportunities to get as practice ready as possible. After graduation, I will begin my law practice as an associate attorney in the litigation department at Polsinelli Shughart PC, in Denver, Colorado.”

-- Elizabeth Phillips, JD’13, Polsinelli

"Because of the integrated, practical legal education that I received at Denver Law, by the time I sat for the bar exam, I had tried four cases (three to a jury), represented many clients in plea negotiations and filed an appeal with the Court of Appeals. It was because of this experience that I was able to start my own firm after only three years in practice. I cannot say enough about the incredible importance of hands-on learning. DU gets this more than other schools and excels at creating programs to truly educate students in the practice of law, not just the study of it.”

-- Jennifer Longtin, J.D.’11, The Law Office of Jennifer E. Longtin

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Sturm College of Law
University of Denver
2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208