How to Get In: University of Denver Sturm College of Law

What can you do to set yourself apart in your application? Admissions officials have the answers.


First, it produces graduates who are practice-ready and prepared to hit the ground running. This part of our curriculum is all about experiential learning, the most effective way to teach lawyers. With our nationally recognized clinics and legal writing program, one of the largest internship programs in the country, and an ever-growing menu of problem- and simulation-based "capstone" courses, the Sturm College of Law is a leader in training skilled lawyers, who graduate with meaningful and marketable legal experience.

Second, our curriculum includes five substantive areas of specialization, designed to maximize our students' opportunities: International and Comparative Law, Environmental and Natural Resources Law (with an emphasis on renewable energy), Workplace Law, Constitutional Rights and Remedies, and Business and Commercial Law. In each of these growing areas, we provide cutting-edge instruction by leading scholars and practitioners, as well as experiential learning opportunities.

The Location: The Sturm College of Law is perfectly located near downtown Denver, and a robust legal community with strong ties to our school. Students can try cases at the courthouses as part of our clinical program, intern in a variety of settings or work part-time in law offices and at the State Capitol. Affordable housing is located nearby, and downtown Denver is just a short ride away on the light rail line, which has a station two blocks from campus.

Denver is a vibrant city located in a stunningly beautiful part of the country. Here you truly can have the best of both worlds: You can enjoy all of the benefits available in a major metropolitan area and easily escape the city to enjoy the beauty of the Rocky Mountains.

6. What do you look for in recommendation letters? How important is it that the letter's writer has worked regularly with the candidate in an office or school setting?

The committee looks for letters from recommenders that know the applicant very well. We would like to see the recommender be able to speak about their personal experience with the applicant and provide detailed information about their academic abilities, character, leadership skills along with any other information the recommender feels important to include.

7. Can you give a brief description of the life cycle of an application? What's the timeline applicants should expect?

The University of Denver Sturm College of Law begins accepting applications in the middle of September. Our Admissions Committee begins reviewing files in November and then on a rolling basis after that. It usually takes our committee six to eight weeks to make a decision and then seven to 10 days for the decision to be sent to the applicant.

8. Which firms/organizations recruit heavily from your school? Which ones hire the highest percentage of your graduates?

Approximately half of our graduates are employed in private practice. Both regional and national law firms recruit students from the University of Denver. Denver has the second-highest concentration of federal agencies in the United States and each year we see a significant number of our graduates working in federal agencies. A large number of graduates also secure judicial clerkships after graduation. Our Career Development Center provides excellent programming, counseling, and networking opportunities for our students and alumni throughout the year.

9. What are some of the most common mistakes that applicants make that hurt their chances of being accepted?

With our rolling admission process we do not have an official deadline, but many applicants apply too late in our admission cycle. We tend to run out of seats to offer in March, and we usually run out of scholarship money as early as February. The other mistakes that we see most often are applicants not following the application instructions or having typographical errors in their application.

10. Can you describe the archetypal student for your school?

Our students come from a diverse range of backgrounds, so it very difficult to describe a typical student at the University of Denver. As a whole our student body tends to be very involved in not only their academic work at the University, but also in Denver's legal community. Public interest work is also very important to our students, who all complete 50 hours of public service as a graduation requirement.