We posed questions to admissions officials at the University of Colorado Law School regarding the application process, what they look for in applicants, and what sets their school apart. These are their responses:
1. What can applicants do to set themselves apart from their peers?
The University of Colorado Law School is an exciting place to study law. We want to enroll students who share our enthusiasm for learning about the law and serving the community. Applicants should assemble an application package that conveys who they are based on individual experiences and attributes.
2. What do you look for in the application essays? What do the essays tell you about a candidate?
At Colorado Law, we are searching for applicants whose backgrounds demonstrate leadership, character, diversity, and a commitment to service. We ask each applicant to use the personal statement to explain how he or she can bring one or more of these qualities to our school. We use the personal statement to get to know the individual, but we also care how well it is written. It should not be a rehash of an applicant's résumé.
3. How important is the applicant's LSAT score? How do you weight it against undergraduate GPA and work experience? Which of these carry the most weight? The least?
Our Admissions Committee takes a holistic approach when reviewing applications. While the LSAT score and the undergraduate GPA are the two most important factors, we take all aspects of the application into consideration before making a decision. Other factors include—but are not limited to—the personal statement, strength of undergraduate school and major, diversity, and work and volunteer experience. We do not use numerical formulas or percentages, but examine each application individually. The Admissions Committee selects students who they believe have the best chance of succeeding at Colorado Law and will make the most positive future impact on the legal profession, their communities, and the larger society.
4. How much does prior work/internship experience weigh into your decision making? What's the typical or expected amount of work experience from an applicant?
Prior work experience weighs favorably in the committee's consideration, although we have no expectations for a minimum amount of work or type of experience. Some Colorado Law students are beginning their second careers, and some recently graduated from college with less work experience. We recognize that some students worked their way through undergraduate school, while others may have had only paid summer employment. We look at the quality of the work or volunteer experience rather at the quantity.
The Colorado Law faculty, students, and alumni are committed to public service, so we like to see some public service in an applicant's background. We ask for a résumé as part of the application package to help us see the individual beyond the numbers. Colorado Law's voluntary Public Service Pledge Program, which began as a student initiative in 2008, recognizes students who have completed 50 hours or more of law-related public service while here. Our students report almost 10,000 hours of public service a year—exemplifying the public service ethic we look for in prospective students.
5. What sets you apart from other schools? What can students gain from your school that they might not be able to find anywhere else?
In addition to the wide variety of courses, an Experiential Learning Program, nine clinics, four research centers, eight dual degrees, four certificate programs, and three LLMs characterize an especially robust curriculum at Colorado Law.
Second, our location at the base of the Rocky Mountains is ideal for promoting a healthy work-life balance in law school and beyond, with countless outdoor activities, nearby cultural and sports activities, and entertainment possibilities.
Third, Colorado Law is nationally renowned for its programs in Environmental & Natural Resources Law, Technology, Entrepreneurial & Intellectual Property Law, and American Indian Law. The offerings in these areas are broad and deep, yet the overall curriculum provides our students with one of the best comprehensive legal educations in the nation.