We posed questions to admissions officials at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law 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?
Applicants should use every part of our application to provide as much information about their backgrounds as possible. It can be hard to say what exactly will make an applicant stand out in our application pool. It could be strong academics, work experience, significant personal accomplishments, leadership roles, a commitment to community service or other activities that show initiative, growth, and maturity. Applicants should try to provide us with as much information as possible in a clear and concise manner.
2. What do you look for in the application essays? What do the essays tell you about a candidate?
Keeping in mind the fact that your LSAT score and undergraduate GPA are only a part of what the Admissions Committee will consider, applicants should use the personal statement as an opportunity to explain to the committee why you should be selected for admission to the Sturm College of Law. Topics that the committee may consider helpful in evaluating an applicant's qualifications may include:
• Significant personal experiences beyond what may be reflected in your transcripts and on your résumé
• Characteristics and experiences that you will bring to the Sturm College of Law and the legal profession that distinguish you from other applicants
• Long-range career plans and goals that you intend to pursue with your law degree
• The intellectual contribution you will make to the classroom
3. How important is the applicant's LSAT score? How do you weigh it against undergraduate GPA and work/internship experience? Which of these carry the most weight? The least?
While the LSAT is an important factor in our review process, the University of Denver uses a holistic review process. LSAT score, GPA and transcripts, résumé, personal statement and letters of recommendation are all considered when the Admissions Committee reviews applications. We do not use any formulas, indexes or point systems. Through our review process we seek to admit applicants with strong academics that will make valuable contributions to the University's tradition of scholarship and service and who will inspire confidence in the bar.
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?
Since the committee uses a holistic review process there is no specific weight given to prior work or internship experience. While the committee finds work experience to be a compelling factor when reviewing applications, the committee does not expect an applicant to have previous work experience.
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?
The Faculty: The Sturm College of Law has a large and growing faculty, increasing our already impressive faculty-student ratio. Members of our faculty come from a variety of backgrounds, and almost all have practiced law, allowing them to teach based on experience. Most are recognized as national experts and leaders in their fields. And most importantly, they are dedicated to teaching. They incorporate the latest research on effective teaching methods and take advantage of the state-of-the-art technology that is available in all of our classrooms.
In addition to our full-time faculty, our students also benefit from the expertise and wisdom of some of the leading practitioners in the region. Our adjunct list includes the Attorney General of Colorado, the Solicitor General of Colorado, a Colorado Supreme Court Justice, the Chief Judge of the United States District Court, the former Speaker of the Colorado Assembly and the former President of the Colorado Senate.
The Curriculum: Our curriculum reflects our two priorities: