Colorado 1L taking Questions!

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
Aimhigh99
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Re: Colorado 1L taking Questions!

Postby Aimhigh99 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:14 pm

is boulder not splitter friendly? :( :( im talkin low gpa/ high lsat splitter...

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Pufer
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Re: Colorado 1L taking Questions!

Postby Pufer » Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:52 am

the lantern wrote:Would any CU students have input on what the employment outlook looks like for CU grads in the current market? Better/the same/worse than the rest of the country? I'm trying to decide between a few state schools, CU, OSU, and UGA, though I think CU is where I'll end up. Thanks.


We've probably faced the same level of decline in job prospects in this market as any law school in the nation, I'd say. Job market is generally shitty everywhere for new lawyers.

Aimhigh99 wrote:is boulder not splitter friendly? :( :( im talkin low gpa/ high lsat splitter...


CU does seem to place a fairly high value on GPA, consistently ranking in the top-20 on median and 75th percentile GPA (compare CU's GPA stats with, say, Cornell's). This may just be a function of its drawing from a lot of highly grade-inflated schools (read: most undergrad institutions in Colorado), but they're still choosing to go with the high-GPA types even so (it's not like they couldn't set other priorities).

-Pufer

the lantern
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Re: Colorado 1L taking Questions!

Postby the lantern » Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:14 pm

A few questions:

Does Boulder have a good music scene? I am a musician (many instruments + vocals) and I'd like to get back into the swing of things. I assume they do since it is a college town, but the last college I went to didn't really have any local bands (only shitty cover bands that played OAR, Sublime, etc.).

How good is this bus system that my friends are telling me about? Is it good enough that you can live 10-15 minutes away from Boulder and take the bus home from the bars at the end of the night, or is it only for going to certain places at a few times of the day? I've never lived in a place with any form of public transportation so this will be very new to me. Is this bus system good enough/reliable enough that I should try and rent an apartment/house close to a bus route to save money on my commute to/from school/work?

Oh, and I'm looking for apartment/house selection advice in general. I'm going to Boulder in March and going to attempt to find the area where I like to live, then have my friend who lives in Golden actually find a place for us. I have a feeling he is going to want to live close to where he works (in Golden) and I want to live in Boulder (so I can walk/bike to class and walk to restaurants, friends' places, bars, etc). A couple people have told me not to be concerned about commuting from a nearby community, and that I will still have more than enough social opportunity, but I still am concerned about not being accessible to friends/colleagues (from experience, it is a lot easier to make it to extracurriculars, social gatherings, etc. if they are within walking/biking distance). How early do most people move in? Will you all (the law students/communitY) be hanging out over the summer after work or whatever? I'm thinking of moving in sometime in July, but worried that might be too early?

Are there actually jobs available in stuff like American Indian Law and Natural Resources Law? I am incredibly interested in both of those, but I can't help but feel like these must be small niches in the market that are filled by much higher ranked schools (although CU is ranked highly in these specialties).

Thanks!

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KmissP
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Re: Colorado 1L taking Questions!

Postby KmissP » Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:03 pm

The bus system is pretty good. Your CU tuition comes with a bus pass, so no fares to worry about. If you don't want to have a car, one is not necessary between the bus and a bicycle. I frequently walk home from downtown, or catch the bus. Plus you can always catch a cab if you stay out too late for the bus and it's too cold or too far to walk. You can also take the regional buses into D-town to catch music if the Boulder scene doesn't have what you're looking for.

I use http://www.pollstar.com to browse musical offerings for the area. It's pretty comprehensive.

smalltown
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Re: Colorado 1L taking Questions!

Postby smalltown » Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:18 pm

the lantern wrote:
I have a feeling he is going to want to live close to where he works (in Golden) and I want to live in Boulder (so I can walk/bike to class and walk to restaurants, friends' places, bars, etc). A couple people have told me not to be concerned about commuting from a nearby community, and that I will still have more than enough social opportunity, but I still am concerned about not being accessible to friends/colleagues (from experience, it is a lot easier to make it to extracurriculars, social gatherings, etc. if they are within walking/biking distance).

Are there actually jobs available in stuff like American Indian Law and Natural Resources Law? I am incredibly interested in both of those, but I can't help but feel like these must be small niches in the market that are filled by much higher ranked schools (although CU is ranked highly in these specialties).


I may actually be able to help out with some of this stuff because these both pertain to me. I live in Longmont, which takes me about 40 minutes, door-to-door, in the morning, but I also park off-campus because I'm cheap. I could take the bus, if I wanted, but I leave at sporadic times during the week. Oddly enough there aren't that many people who live in Golden and commute to Boulder. The highway between the two is particularly nasty in the winter because it's right at the base of the Rockies and gets real windy. There also isn't much of a halfway place to live between the two, partially because of Rocky Flats and partially because a lot of it is still ag land. One halfway place may be something like far west Arvada or Superior. But you win and your friend loses with Superior, at least driving wise. But I'm able to get to town easily enough for social functions. It's not as easy as living right next to campus, but law students tend to be spread all over town.

I had the same question for one of my professors. There are jobs in Indian Law, but it's obviously quite a niche market, like you said. There are the on-rez jobs where you're working essentially like legal aid. It depends on the size of the tribe, but the Navajos have a large system. see --LinkRemoved--. A lot of firms in Denver have started tribal practice areas because an influx of money has allowed the tribes to get that type of representation. I can't speak to Natural Resource Law as much, but there is always going to be well-paying jobs for people that know their shit in this area. You may just have to wear the black hat, which most people aren't into when they come here. But going into both of these areas takes the realization that neither of the groups you will represent are particularly well-funded. So even if there are jobs, you're not going to be driving a beamer right out of school.

But you aren't going to find a better Indian Law faculty in this country. The people here literally have written the books on modern tribal law. They'll take care of you.

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ozarkhack
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Re: Colorado 1L taking Questions!

Postby ozarkhack » Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:30 pm

To the lantern: If we both get in/attend, we'll have to get together (also w/my SO) and play sometime. Unless we're totally incompatible musically, which might be the case since you call yourself a musician and I mostly just screw around (depending on the audience and # of drinks I'd had, I can fake it pretty well).

To the OP: Living in Colorado ... would you say it is really awesome or totally awesome? I've visited only twice (staying mostly in Golden), and I can't decide. I'm leaning toward totally awesome.

More seriously: As much as I'd like to live close to campus (wherever I wind up) how foolish is it to consider living in Denver? Does anybody do it? Is it a 45min to 1 hour commute? (I have to ask b/c SO might need to for job-proximity purposes. And since she'll pay at least half the bills, she'll likely call that shot.)

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KmissP
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Re: Colorado 1L taking Questions!

Postby KmissP » Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:37 pm

I have been living in Boulder and commuting to Denver, which is the less traffic-y direction to commute. It depends on where in Denver you live, but it's a minimum of 35 minutes each way.

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adora
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Re: Colorado 1L taking Questions!

Postby adora » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:21 pm

Thanks for taking the time to answer questions!

Hmm....where to start?

I just got in and am pretty surprised. With my numbers, I really wasn't expecting it. I'm ridiculously happy and am thinking CU is my top choice...but I doubt I'll get any merit aid and I'm getting nervous about taking on that much debt.

icarter-I see that you applied to and were offered money from Lewis & Clark. I'm in the same boat. What made you choose CU? If you don't mind me asking, did they offer you money?

I've read a bit about their LRAP program, as well as their work-study stuff but am wondering if either of these are feasible options. Do any current students here know people who have done the work-study program? And does anyone know how well their LRAP functions? Really, any information about how students repay the loans and how many students get scholarships, etc., would be great.

What about summer opportunities? Any info on what people have done/plan to do/what most people do would be very much appreciated!

Also: I want to get in on the jamming! I'll bring my fiddle.

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kalvano
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Re: Colorado 1L taking Questions!

Postby kalvano » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:50 pm

For current CU students -

I've been accepted at Wake Forest with decent money, and WL'ed at CU.

In that situation, would you fight to get off the WL, or take the money and run?

I'd love to live in Colorado, but North Carolina is pretty dang nice too.

HELP!

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Pufer
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Re: Colorado 1L taking Questions!

Postby Pufer » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:57 am

the lantern wrote:How good is this bus system that my friends are telling me about? Is it good enough that you can live 10-15 minutes away from Boulder and take the bus home from the bars at the end of the night, or is it only for going to certain places at a few times of the day? I've never lived in a place with any form of public transportation so this will be very new to me. Is this bus system good enough/reliable enough that I should try and rent an apartment/house close to a bus route to save money on my commute to/from school/work?


I'll try not to repeat stuff already said.

Bus system is solid. The problem you'll have living outside of Boulder on that front is that the only real bus service is via Park-n-Rides, which are along Highway 36 (except for apartments along S. Boulder Road in Louisville/Lafayette, which have local bus service, but that's likely to take quite a while). You can definitely find loads of nice, cheap places within a 15-20 minute walk of such a stop, but not all that many closer. That said, you could drive to the PnR in two minutes and save yourself a ride, and a 15 minute walk isn't too bad if you'll be drinking.

the lantern wrote:Oh, and I'm looking for apartment/house selection advice in general. I'm going to Boulder in March and going to attempt to find the area where I like to live, then have my friend who lives in Golden actually find a place for us. I have a feeling he is going to want to live close to where he works (in Golden) and I want to live in Boulder (so I can walk/bike to class and walk to restaurants, friends' places, bars, etc). A couple people have told me not to be concerned about commuting from a nearby community, and that I will still have more than enough social opportunity, but I still am concerned about not being accessible to friends/colleagues (from experience, it is a lot easier to make it to extracurriculars, social gatherings, etc. if they are within walking/biking distance). How early do most people move in? Will you all (the law students/communitY) be hanging out over the summer after work or whatever? I'm thinking of moving in sometime in July, but worried that might be too early?


If you want to actually find a place to live within Boulder, you'll definitely want to be at least looking in early-July. It's a college town, after all, which means that shit fills up quick as the school year nears. There's always the chance that you'll luck out, but I'd want to have the paperwork signed by mid-July.

If you move in that early, I'm sure you'll be able to find some law students to hang out. We'll be sure to have a few social events planned throughout the summer that we'd welcome some 1Ls at.

As to commuting in, I live in Louisville and love it. I have less of a commute (straight-shot up 36) than most people who live in town. There is a bit of a disconnect between the Boulder crew and those of us living outside of town, but, then again, there are folks who live in downtown Denver who manage to remain as well connected socially with law types as anyone (and people living in Boulder who you never see at anything, for that matter). If you place a priority on being in touch with everyone, you can definitely make it work.

the lantern wrote:Are there actually jobs available in stuff like American Indian Law and Natural Resources Law? I am incredibly interested in both of those, but I can't help but feel like these must be small niches in the market that are filled by much higher ranked schools (although CU is ranked highly in these specialties).


If you don't care about money, there are definitely jobs in Indian Law (although you might end up working off in the middle of nowhere, someplace). Plenty of jobs in natural resources law (the category can be pretty broad, depending on who defines it) too, only with the potential to actually make some money. Various biglaw firms deal in the area generally, and water law practitioners tend to make out quite well. Wanting to be a water law attorney is a little bit like wanting to be a tax lawyer, though, so you'd probably want to look public interest in that as well, in which case you won't get paid.

If you want to get into either area, they're really specialized enough that you won't have much competition from higher-ranked schools in getting the jobs, if for no other reason than higher-ranked grads generally want to make money (and nobody wants to practice water law).

ozarkhack wrote:More seriously: As much as I'd like to live close to campus (wherever I wind up) how foolish is it to consider living in Denver? Does anybody do it? Is it a 45min to 1 hour commute? (I have to ask b/c SO might need to for job-proximity purposes. And since she'll pay at least half the bills, she'll likely call that shot.)


Loads of people live in Denver (it often seems like nobody on the Law Review actually lives in Boulder). From downtown Denver to campus, you're probably looking 40-50 minutes on the express bus (which is probably quicker than driving during rush hour - the bus takes the carpool lanes while drivers are all sitting in traffic - but likely slower during other times). Of course, you can split the difference and utilize the park-n-rides (or just drive), so long as you don't get too far from 36.

I mean, I'm a 7-10 minute drive from the law building and a 20-25 minute bus ride from downtown Denver. As far as commuting is concerned, being somewhere in-between is definitely preferable to being either in Denver-proper or Boulder-proper.

adora wrote:I've read a bit about their LRAP program, as well as their work-study stuff but am wondering if either of these are feasible options. Do any current students here know people who have done the work-study program? And does anyone know how well their LRAP functions? Really, any information about how students repay the loans and how many students get scholarships, etc., would be great.


No idea about how much money is in the scholarship coffers this year, but I'd bet it's somewhat comparable to last year (which is to say, there's no huge piles of money; virtually nobody gets a free ride, and $40-50k is about the best you could possibly hope for). If you're surprised that your numbers were good enough to get you in (and you're not a URM), I wouldn't want to bet you're looking at much scholarship money ($5-10k, maybe, if you're lucky). You can get in-state tuition after your first year, though, which is a bit like a $20k scholarship built in already.

Loads of people do work-study, but I don't think I know of anyone who did it during their 1L year (they may not even let you). During both of your summers and your 2L and 3L years, loads of folks do work-study as RAs for professors and at various centers (NRLC, and the like). You don't need to take any summer classes or anything to get summer work-study funds.

CU's LRAP program is young (2007) and doesn't really have any big sources of funding. As far as I'm aware (and please correct me if I'm wrong, anyone), it doles out something in the range of a few tens of thousands of dollars every year. If you look at the aggregate debt load for all CU Law grads since time immemorial, tens of thousands of dollars is nothing.

the lantern wrote:What about summer opportunities? Any info on what people have done/plan to do/what most people do would be very much appreciated!


If you're a URM, big industry and firms in Denver have an excellent summer diversity program where you'll get big piles of money. If you're just some boring old white person, odds are that you won't get big piles of money your 1L summer, if you get paid at all.

1L summer: Most people do something law related, but most people don't get paid (if they do get paid at all, most folks probably earn less than $2k for the summer). A lot of folks take summer school so they can get loans in order to pay their rent. The largest single employer was probably the law school itself, doling out work-study money to folks to work as research assistants for professors. After that, was probably unpaid government clerkships (judicial or otherwise). A few folks did doc review, a few ran around for smaller firms, and a small minority worked at relatively high-paying firm clerkships. A fair number of folks really didn't do anything, or studied abroad.

I worked (for free) at the US Department of Justice, clerking for the Denver Immigration Court.

2L summer: The typical way it works is that a fair number of folks get a summer job through OCI at some firm, and everyone else either gets a judicial clerkship or a firm clerkship, hoping to leverage it into after-graduation employment; most folks (who want to) get paid somehow.

In this economy (very few folks got jobs through OCI, and almost everyone is in about the same position they were this time last year), 2L summers are going to look a lot like 1L summers (and I'm not real sure what 1Ls will be doing, what with us all taking their jobs). I'll consider myself extremely lucky if I end up with a position having any possibility of becoming permanent this summer, much less get paid doing it.

kalvano wrote:For current CU students -

I've been accepted at Wake Forest with decent money, and WL'ed at CU.

In that situation, would you fight to get off the WL, or take the money and run?

I'd love to live in Colorado, but North Carolina is pretty dang nice too.

HELP!


If you want to live the rest of your life in Colorado, maybe wait for CU. If you want to live the rest of your life in North Carolina, maybe go with Wake Forest. Neither school offers enough mobility to where you could easily change your mind later. Visit both areas and schools, if you can. In any event, I wouldn't feel any rush to make a decision until Wake Forest's deadlines are upon you; maybe CU will come through with $$$ (although I wouldn't hold my breath for the money).

-Pufer

the lantern
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Re: Colorado 1L taking Questions!

Postby the lantern » Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:12 pm

I know we won't have much time to ski while school is in session, but how much money should I try to save up if I want to ski a bit (maybe a few times during the year and a bunch over winter break)? I'm working full time right now so I'm going to save up that money ahead of time. I looked at the prices for season passes at a few places (Eldora was $250, something like $65 for a day pass), but I was wondering if there were any student discounts, package deals, etc. I don't need any exact numbers, just a number I should aim for. I thought $300-400 would be enough, but looking at the price of a day pass for Eldora really sent me a dose of reality. In Ohio, our crappy little ski hills cost like $35 a day. Any insight would be appreciated.

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KmissP
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Re: Colorado 1L taking Questions!

Postby KmissP » Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:18 pm

the lantern wrote:I know we won't have much time to ski while school is in session, but how much money should I try to save up if I want to ski a bit (maybe a few times during the year and a bunch over winter break)? I'm working full time right now so I'm going to save up that money ahead of time. I looked at the prices for season passes at a few places (Eldora was $250, something like $65 for a day pass), but I was wondering if there were any student discounts, package deals, etc. Like I said, I know there won't be time for a lot of this but I am just trying to figure out how much money I need to save up ahead of time. Any insight would be appreciated.


Oh boy! I'm your girl!

College season pass to Eldora: $140
Steamboat 5-pack (available if you have Eldora pass): $150 (BANG!)
Wells Fargo Copper/Winter Park College 2-for-1: $200 each (must have 2 people)

Other places have college passes, too, but this is what I've done for the past 3 or 4 years. In general, if there's no snow at Eldora, you can hit Winter Park or Copper. Additionally, since your student ID also functions as a bus pass, you can bus it up to Eldora and have a couple of beers then bus home. YAY! I have some lines on cheap lodging in Steamboat, especially if you get a few folks together.

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KmissP
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Re: Colorado 1L taking Questions!

Postby KmissP » Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:19 pm

Early season deals:
Loveland has fully transferrable 4-packs for $120.
Copper has 4-packs for $120-ish.
WP is $130-ish.
Mid-season Copper and WP and Steamboat offer the Pow-pow Platter: 3 lift tickets (for any of the 3) for $99.
--LinkRemoved--



Edit to add link and fix Pow-pow price..

the lantern
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Re: Colorado 1L taking Questions!

Postby the lantern » Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:22 pm

Wow that sounds absolutely amazing. Thanks :)

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traehekat
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Re: Colorado 1L taking Questions!

Postby traehekat » Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:02 pm

Thanks for the info KmissP, that's awesome. I have never been skiing or snowboarding in my life but it has always been something I have wanted to do.

the lantern
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Re: Colorado 1L taking Questions!

Postby the lantern » Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:31 pm

I haven't been skiing in about 5-6 years, but I used to go at least once a week (although it was at the rinky dink hills we have in Ohio). If Colorado is going to be my new home, I'm definitely going to become a much better skier, and I would actually like to try snowboarding sometime, although it doesn't seem like it would be as much fun as skiing :) I'm sure we will all have ample time to hit the slopes over our three years!

jms1987
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Re: Colorado 1L taking Questions!

Postby jms1987 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:02 am

the lantern wrote:I haven't been skiing in about 5-6 years, but I used to go at least once a week (although it was at the rinky dink hills we have in Ohio). If Colorado is going to be my new home, I'm definitely going to become a much better skier, and I would actually like to try snowboarding sometime, although it doesn't seem like it would be as much fun as skiing :) I'm sure we will all have ample time to hit the slopes over our three years!


Perfect North ftl.
I want to go west and ski/snowmobile so bad.

soulive05
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Re: Colorado 1L taking Questions!

Postby soulive05 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:55 am

Could anyone suggest some alternatives to craigslist for rentals? Also, am i crazy by hoping to find a townhouse with at least a small yard for 1200-1400 somewhat close to campus?

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Pufer
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Re: Colorado 1L taking Questions!

Postby Pufer » Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:46 am

soulive05 wrote:Could anyone suggest some alternatives to craigslist for rentals? Also, am i crazy by hoping to find a townhouse with at least a small yard for 1200-1400 somewhat close to campus?


Craigslist really is about the best bet (short of just stumbling upon something while wandering around). If you're not seeing much to your liking right now, it's worth remembering two things: first, no matter what rental market you're in, there isn't anything going on at the beginning of February; second, the huge bulk of renters in Boulder are associated with CU in some way, which means that stuff only really comes available during the summer (and then is snatched up by mid-July).

That said, there's an online board set up by the law school during the summer for folks to advertise places or for roommates, and you can try cruising some of the individual Boulder rental company websites, but craigslist is still your best bet (short of hoofing it looking for "For Rent" signs). Housing Helpers - often promoted as an alternative - is generally a waste of time (and you can find all of their stuff on craigslist, anyway).

As to your desired place, while it sorta' depends on what you mean by "somewhat close to campus," you're probably being fairly optimistic. Adjacent to the law school (within reasonable walking distance), there really aren't all that many townhouses to begin with, and most decent ones are almost certainly north of that price range, even if you can find one. You're going to have to be fairly lucky to get a townhouse with a private yard, within walking distance of campus, for under $1400 (even if such things exist - I'm having a really hard time picturing any place that fits that description for any price).

A bit farther away (North Boulder or Louisville/Superior along 36) and you'll be able to find a townhouse in that range, but there really aren't all that many townhouses around Boulder that have private yards. Decks and/or small courtyards, maybe, but you'd have a hard time coming up with a grassy parcel all to yourself in that price range. In reality, you'd probably have an easier time finding a full-on house with a yard in that price range at the periphery of Boulder than you would finding a townhouse so equipped (short of heading off into Gunbarrel, north Louisville, or Lafayette, which would really start to stretch the "somewhat close to campus").

-Pufer

soulive05
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Re: Colorado 1L taking Questions!

Postby soulive05 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:58 pm

Thanks Pufer. Neither my wife or I have spent any time in the area, so I was just curious. A house with a yard would be preferred, but I thought a townhouse may be cheaper. I'd hate to force my dog to be an apartment dog again. Being in/near Boulder would be ideal, but I'm also open to the possibility of Louisville or Lafayette. And relatively close would be within 10 miles or so, so I could still bike to school.

And I know now is a terrible time to look for rentals. My wife and I will be heading to Boulder in March to look around though. I'm looking forward to it, as it's likely where we'll end up. I'll keep my eye on Craigslist once classes end.

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icarter
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Re: Colorado 1L taking Questions!

Postby icarter » Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:43 am

adora wrote:Thanks for taking the time to answer questions!

Hmm....where to start?

I just got in and am pretty surprised. With my numbers, I really wasn't expecting it. I'm ridiculously happy and am thinking CU is my top choice...but I doubt I'll get any merit aid and I'm getting nervous about taking on that much debt.

icarter-I see that you applied to and were offered money from Lewis & Clark. I'm in the same boat. What made you choose CU? If you don't mind me asking, did they offer you money?

I've read a bit about their LRAP program, as well as their work-study stuff but am wondering if either of these are feasible options. Do any current students here know people who have done the work-study program? And does anyone know how well their LRAP functions? Really, any information about how students repay the loans and how many students get scholarships, etc., would be great.

What about summer opportunities? Any info on what people have done/plan to do/what most people do would be very much appreciated!

Also: I want to get in on the jamming! I'll bring my fiddle.



So sorry for the late response! CU did offer money however only 2-3 weeks prior to orientation and long after I had committed so it wasn't a factor in my decision. There were a lot of things that impacted my decision. I went to undergrad in Oregon and was looking for a change. I thought I wanted to focus on Environmental/Natural Resource Law and if I was certain of that and knew that I wanted to stay in the Pacific NW, Lewis and Clark would have been a good choice however being unsure and wanting more flexibility in the job market, CU was a big advantage.

Summer opportunities are a bit tighter than previous years (from what I understand). That being said, if you work hard you'll likely find something that suits you. I have friends doing judicial internships, working for firms, studying abroad, and some have jobs within the government. Jobs are out there, just most are not paid and they are a bit harder to get than previously.

I'd be happy to answer any other questions and sorry again about the delay!!

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adora
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Re: Colorado 1L taking Questions!

Postby adora » Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:00 pm

Thank you so much, icarter and pufer, for answering the questions! I really appreciate it. icarter, I'm in a similar boat-thinking I want to go into natural resources/envt stuff (pretty sure), but know that I may want to do other things. My family is in the Colorado/Nebraska area, so I'd like to practice around here. I think. The bottom line is that I don't know whether or not I'd like Portland, but I know I love Colorado.

Anyway...I'm visiting Colorado in mid-February (super excited!) and am thinking about visiting some apartment complexes to get an idea of what to expect when I start seriously looking for a place in Juneish. Any advice on which places to look at and which to avoid? I'm not sure yet how I feel about living in a big complex. In my current city, I've generally been drawn to old houses broken into apartments. They tend to be cheaper and have more character. What is the sense in Boulder- What types of places tend to be better deals? Are there lots of of old, cute houses with reasonable rent?

I'm still not entirely sold on living in Boulder (as opposed to a neighboring town), but after reading stuff on this forum, I'm leaning towards Boulder.

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Pufer
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Re: Colorado 1L taking Questions!

Postby Pufer » Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:52 am

adora wrote:Any advice on which places to look at and which to avoid?


The general advice given out is to avoid the hill, which is dominated by undergrads/frats and can get rather loud and rowdy at times (including the occasional full-out riot, complete with burning cars and attacking cops with bricks). It's evidently not as bad as it used to be, but the advice generally stands (unless you dig that type of atmosphere).

Short of that, you could probably just drive around Boulder checking neighborhoods out. Boulder is not big (so it would be quite easy to just wander around and run into various apartments), but here are a lot of areas with different vibes around town/the area.

adora wrote:I'm not sure yet how I feel about living in a big complex. In my current city, I've generally been drawn to old houses broken into apartments. They tend to be cheaper and have more character.


Boulder requires that 50% of the conversion cost of any property into rental property needs to be given to the city for affordable housing projects throughout the county (which students aren't generally eligible for). This means that if you wanted to spend, say, $500k converting an old house into apartments, you'd have to first give $250k to the city just to get the permits (or reserve 20% of your rental property for the city at a substantially-below-market rate).

Because of this - as you would expect - virtually nobody is willing to convert existing properties into subdivided apartments. Some exist, but not very many, certainly not outside of the hill (and, given their rarity, they're not all that cheap and are generally pretty run-down from what I've seen - Boulder is big on selling fucked up old joints as having "character").

There are, however, a lot of old houses that are set up for roommates (to the extent that you often rent your room direct from a landlord rather than going in on a place with a preset bunch of compadres) if that does anything for you.

adora wrote:What is the sense in Boulder- What types of places tend to be better deals? Are there lots of of old, cute houses with reasonable rent?


Largely depends on what you mean by "reasonable." IMHO, unless you're living with roommates, not much is particularly reasonable about Boulder rental prices. Virtually nothing in Boulder is priced consistent with rental prices anywhere else within a 50 mile radius (which is worth keeping in mind if you'll be relying on financial aid - your anticipated cost of living is calculated using Colorado averages, not Boulder averages - check out how many apartments on Boulder's craigslist that cost less than the $577/mo including the cost of utilities that they give you).

In general, rental houses (built 1960-1980) and places on the hill tend to be the best deals in town per square foot. Above that are older apartment complexes that haven't been remodeled recently, found just about everywhere around town, followed by remodeled apartment complexes/rental condos, then newer apartment complexes, followed by lofts/new construction apartments.

Nice, cute, older houses will probably be north of any reasonable rent definition you'll want to come up with (given Boulder property prices, most objectively nice houses are owner-occupied). Scroungier, older houses of varying degrees of crappiness can be reasonable, and will mostly be found directly north of campus (start in the Goss-Grove neighborhood, then work out in concentric circles). Honestly, I think you'd have better luck with apartments/condos than hoping for a great little rental house.

adora wrote:I'm still not entirely sold on living in Boulder (as opposed to a neighboring town), but after reading stuff on this forum, I'm leaning towards Boulder.


I live in an apartment complex seven minutes from the law school in Louisville. There exists an apartment complex in Boulder containing buildings identical to the ones in my complex, built within a year of the construction of my building. An apartment identical to mine in the Boulder complex costs just under $400 more per month than mine does. Google Maps estimates the travel time from this other complex in Boulder to the law school to be an identical seven minutes.

I will happily grant that the other complex generally has nicer carpeting than my complex does (a sort of brownish-grayish tall frieze as opposed to my boring beige textured saxony), but is that - and the Boulder zip code - really worth $400 with no commute time savings? I guess it could be for you (and I don't mean to disparage that in any way), but I think that it really is worth noting the difference made simply by traversing the few miles of open space around Boulder.

-Pufer

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icarter
Posts: 128
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Re: Colorado 1L taking Questions!

Postby icarter » Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:02 am

Pufer wrote:
adora wrote:Any advice on which places to look at and which to avoid?


The general advice given out is to avoid the hill, which is dominated by undergrads/frats and can get rather loud and rowdy at times (including the occasional full-out riot, complete with burning cars and attacking cops with bricks). It's evidently not as bad as it used to be, but the advice generally stands (unless you dig that type of atmosphere).

Short of that, you could probably just drive around Boulder checking neighborhoods out. Boulder is not big (so it would be quite easy to just wander around and run into various apartments), but here are a lot of areas with different vibes around town/the area.

adora wrote:I'm not sure yet how I feel about living in a big complex. In my current city, I've generally been drawn to old houses broken into apartments. They tend to be cheaper and have more character.


Boulder requires that 50% of the conversion cost of any property into rental property needs to be given to the city for affordable housing projects throughout the county (which students aren't generally eligible for). This means that if you wanted to spend, say, $500k converting an old house into apartments, you'd have to first give $250k to the city just to get the permits (or reserve 20% of your rental property for the city at a substantially-below-market rate).

Because of this - as you would expect - virtually nobody is willing to convert existing properties into subdivided apartments. Some exist, but not very many, certainly not outside of the hill (and, given their rarity, they're not all that cheap and are generally pretty run-down from what I've seen - Boulder is big on selling fucked up old joints as having "character").

There are, however, a lot of old houses that are set up for roommates (to the extent that you often rent your room direct from a landlord rather than going in on a place with a preset bunch of compadres) if that does anything for you.

adora wrote:What is the sense in Boulder- What types of places tend to be better deals? Are there lots of of old, cute houses with reasonable rent?


Largely depends on what you mean by "reasonable." IMHO, unless you're living with roommates, not much is particularly reasonable about Boulder rental prices. Virtually nothing in Boulder is priced consistent with rental prices anywhere else within a 50 mile radius (which is worth keeping in mind if you'll be relying on financial aid - your anticipated cost of living is calculated using Colorado averages, not Boulder averages - check out how many apartments on Boulder's craigslist that cost less than the $577/mo including the cost of utilities that they give you).

In general, rental houses (built 1960-1980) and places on the hill tend to be the best deals in town per square foot. Above that are older apartment complexes that haven't been remodeled recently, found just about everywhere around town, followed by remodeled apartment complexes/rental condos, then newer apartment complexes, followed by lofts/new construction apartments.

Nice, cute, older houses will probably be north of any reasonable rent definition you'll want to come up with (given Boulder property prices, most objectively nice houses are owner-occupied). Scroungier, older houses of varying degrees of crappiness can be reasonable, and will mostly be found directly north of campus (start in the Goss-Grove neighborhood, then work out in concentric circles). Honestly, I think you'd have better luck with apartments/condos than hoping for a great little rental house.

adora wrote:I'm still not entirely sold on living in Boulder (as opposed to a neighboring town), but after reading stuff on this forum, I'm leaning towards Boulder.


I live in an apartment complex seven minutes from the law school in Louisville. There exists an apartment complex in Boulder containing buildings identical to the ones in my complex, built within a year of the construction of my building. An apartment identical to mine in the Boulder complex costs just under $400 more per month than mine does. Google Maps estimates the travel time from this other complex in Boulder to the law school to be an identical seven minutes.

I will happily grant that the other complex generally has nicer carpeting than my complex does (a sort of brownish-grayish tall frieze as opposed to my boring beige textured saxony), but is that - and the Boulder zip code - really worth $400 with no commute time savings? I guess it could be for you (and I don't mean to disparage that in any way), but I think that it really is worth noting the difference made simply by traversing the few miles of open space around Boulder.

-Pufer


As usual, I can't compete with the detail and depth of Pufer's knowledge. I will say that I found a perfect place downtown Boulder that I am renting for 950 a month, fully furnished, including utilities that is 3 blocks to downtown and a 8-10 minute walk to campus. That being said, I lucked out and am paying more than most.

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KmissP
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Re: Colorado 1L taking Questions!

Postby KmissP » Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:04 am

As a Boulder resident, I can vouch for the accuracy of these reports.
If you want an idea of what you'll be looking at for rents, simply check out the rentals on Craigslist, and remember that if you look to start a lease at either the end of May or end of July, there will be more places available than there are now, but they'll be approximately the same price.
$950 still isn't bad for a non-roommate situation, especially downtown.




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