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University of Denver Sturm College of Law

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Denver Law School

With sound academics and a great location, the University of Denver Sturm College of Law gives students the best of both worlds. It is not a "T-14" school; but it is a great option for those who want to practice in Colorado.

Admissions & tuition

Admissions standards at the University of Denver Law School are not known to be terribly high. Roughly 31% (989 out of 3,140) of applicants were granted admission last year. For those who matriculated, the 25th to 75th percentile GPA range was 3.15-3.55 and the range for the LSAT was 156-161-with medians hovering around 3.46 and 159, respectively.

Denver also accepts students on a part-time basis; and the school does so with more relaxed admissions standards. In 2008, the GPA range for part-time admits was 3.02 to 3.53, while the LSAT range was 153 to 157. Overall, 61% of applicants were accepted. 

As far as tuition is concerned, the University of Denver Law School is not the cheapest school-though it is not bad compared to most private schools. Full-time students paid $35,460 in tuition for 2009-2010, while part-timers paid $26,004. Room & board hovers around $10,000 on average; and book costs, combined with miscellaneous fees typically amount to $6,000 or more. Total cost-of-attendance is somewhere around $52,700 for full-time students and $42,700 for part-timers.

Financial aid comes in handy for many Denver students. More than 29% of students received a grant of some size last year, according to USNews. Grants ranged from $10,000 to $17,600 for the 25th to 75th percentile, and the median was $15,000. Still, 85% of students needed to borrow money in order to finance their educations; and the average debt for Denver Law School graduates is over $96,500.

Employment prospects

Denver Law School

Although Denver's bar passage rate has improved significantly in recent years (with 88% passage in July 2010), more than 30% of its graduates are unemployed at the time-of-graduation. Surely, this is a cause for concern among prospective students; to be fair, however, nearly 94% of graduates are employed within nine months of graduation.

Of those Denver graduates who did find work, 51% entered private practice; 18% went to work for the Government; 14% went into business; 9% found judicial clerkships; and 4% went into public interest. Those who entered the private sector made the most, with a median starting salary of $62,000.  Graduates working in public interest fields earned $48,000 to start.

Academics

The University of Denver Law School has made appearances on several of the USNews' specialty rankings lists. The school ranked among the top-40 in Clinical Training, top-25 in International Law, top-20 in Tax Law, and top-15 in both Legal Writing and Environmental Law. Undoubtedly, these programs allow students to concentrate their studies in ways that students at other schools simply cannot.

There are several other ways for Denver students to make the most of their academic experience. The school offers an expansive experiential learning program comprised of clerkships, externships, clinical opportunities, a public-service requirement, and a strong trial advocacy program. What's more, the law school facilities at Denver are only five years old, allowing students the opportunity to study in a tech-ready building with more than sufficient study space. Also notable is the fact that the building is America's first 'green' law school building, having been constructed under the standards of the U.S. Green Building Council.

Quality of life

The University of Denver Sturm College of Law scores big points for quality-of-life. Denver truly is a fun and exciting city. The bars, the restaurants, the music, it's all fantastic in Denver. The real reason so many people love Denver, however, is its location, which gives Denverites access to some of the world's most beautiful natural playgrounds. Biking, hiking, running, skiing, kayaking, snowboarding…the opportunities are endless; Colorado is a truly diverse state, and is nothing short of fantastic for those who love to get out and play. 

Synopsis

Without a doubt, Denver scores points for its academic program and for the quality-of-life it offers. And, while employment prospects could be more stable and tuition could be lower, the University of Denver Law School should on the short list of any student looking to work in Colorado after graduation.

Quick reference

University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Retrieved August 1, 2014
U.S. News Ranking: 77
LSAT Median: 159
GPA Median: 3.51
Multiple LSAT scores: Higher score accepted 
Application Deadline: 5/30
Application fee: $60
Entering class size: 302
2009-2010 Yearly Tuition: $35,460 (Full-time) $26,004 (Part-time)
Bar passage rate: 74.8%
Percent of graduates employed 9 months after graduation: 94%
Median private sector starting salary: $62,000 (Class of 2007, 57% reporting)