University of Colorado School of Law Profile, Boulder, Colorado |

University of Colorado School of Law

Rank 36


Wolf Law Building,

401 UCB,

Boulder, CO 80309-0401









Overview 3-4

The University of Colorado Law School is one of the top public law schools in the United States.

  • Established in 1892 in Boulder, Colorado
  • Diverse student body from over 100 undergraduate institutions
  • Highly published faculty
  • State-of-the-art Wolf Law Building (LEED Gold certified)
  • 547 students
  • 9.96:1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • Thriving academic community

A supportive and diverse community of scholars and students in a place that inspires vigorous pursuit of ideas, critical analysis, and civic engagement in order to advance the rule of law in an open, sustainable society.

Maintain and improve Colorado Law as a nationally recognized innovator and leader in the changing legal landscape based on the quality of our scholarship, teaching, and curriculum, all of which deliver a high value to our students and serve our communities.

Welcome to the University of Colorado Law School. We offer a traditional Juris Doctor (JD) program, an option for completing the JD in 2.5 years, eight dual degree and five certificate programs, and a Master of Studies in Law (MSL) program. Tuition rates for all entering students have remained the same for five years.

Student-Faculty Ratio 5


Admission Criteria 6

25th-75th Percentile 156-164 3.37-3.79
Median* 162 3.69

The above LSAT and GPA data pertain to the 2016 entering class.

Director of admissions Kristine M. Jackson
Application deadline March 15

Law School Admissions details based on 2016 data.

*Medians have been calculated by averaging the 25th- and 75th-percentile values released by the law schools and have been rounded up to the nearest whole number for LSAT scores and to the nearest one-hundredth for GPAs.

Admission Statistics 7

Approximate number of applications 3280
Number accepted 1124
Percentage accepted 34.3%

The above admission details are based on 2016 data.

Law School Cost 8

Tuition and fees Full-time: $31,831 per year (in-state)
$38,623 per year (out-of-state)
Room and board $12,906
Books $1,800
Miscellaneous expenses $4,724

Class Ranking and Grades 9

Letter grades within the University's 12-step plus/minus grading system will be reported for all students in the J.D. degree program to the appropriate University administrative office. For each credit hour, the letter grades shall have the credit point value shown in the table in subsection (B) below.

Through the spring of 2012 for J.D. students who matriculated before the Fall 2010 semester, for Law School purposes only, a numerical system of grading shall be used in addition to the University's plus/minus grading system. For J.D. and LL.M. students who matriculate in the Fall 2010 semester or later, only letter grades shall be assigned. Numerical grades, when given, shall be reported to the Law School Registrar for recording and shall be related to the University's plus/minus grading system as shown in the following table:

University Plus/Minus Grade Credit Point Value Law School Numerical Grade
A 4.0 93 and above
A- 3.7 90-92
B+ 3.3 86-89
B 3.0 83-85
B- 2.7 80-82
C+ 2.3 76-79
C 2.0 73-75
C- 1.7 70-72
D+ 1.3 66-69
D 1.0 63-65
D- 0.7 60-62
F 0.0 59 or below

Instructors may raise or lower grades on the basis of classroom performance of any student.

The grade I may be given if the instructor and the Dean's Office determine that (1) an incomplete grade is appropriate because of serious illness of the student or for other equally justifiable reason; or (2) the scope of the work involved in the course is such that it is appropriate to extend the time for its completion beyond the end of the semester.

If the I grade is given, the instructor and the Dean's Office shall determine in writing the appropriate date for completion of the requirements of the course, such period not to extend beyond the end of the next regular (i.e., not summer) term. If the student fails to complete the requirements of the course by the assigned date, the I grade will be converted to an F. If, at the end of the next succeeding regular (i.e., not summer) term, the faculty member has not provided a new grade to the Law School Registrar, the I grade will be automatically converted to an F unless, prior to that time, the instructor and the Dean's Office have agreed that the grade of W (withdrew) is appropriate. The W grade should be given only where the circumstances preventing completion of course requirements are serious, unforeseeable, and beyond the student's control.


All academic credit previously graded on a "pass-fail" basis, and any new academic credit when so designated by the faculty, shall be graded (until otherwise changed) on a "pass-graded" basis; provided, however, the instructor of any clinical course or trial practice may, with notice prior to the start of the semester, grade such course on the same basis as other courses. "Pass-graded" shall mean that the grade of "pass" will be given when in the judgment of the instructor the quality and quantity of the work is such that on a graded basis such work would be equivalent to at least a C or 75. Should the work not receive a grade of "pass," the work shall be assigned that letter and numerical grade between F or 50 and C- or 74 that the instructor determines is appropriate. (A number grade shall be assigned if the student matriculated before the Fall 2010 semester; otherwise, a letter grade shall be assigned.)

Grade Normalization (Curve)10

Median Grades (through spring 2010, to expire thereafter)

The median grade in all first year courses, and in all sectioned upper division courses, including upper division courses that may be offered in different semesters of the same academic year, shall be 84, plus or minus one point. In all other graded courses and seminars, the recommended median shall be 84, plus or minus one point. The highest recommended grade is 96.

Median Grades (beginning summer 2010, for students who matriculated before Fall 2010 semester and visiting students, to expire after spring 2012)

The median grade in all courses shall be 88, plus or minus one point.

Median Grades (for students who matriculate Fall 2010 semester or later)

The median grade in all courses shall be B+. MSL students will be exempt from the median pursuant to Miscellaneous Rule 38.

Honors 11

This Honor Code (“Code”) is predicated on the premise that the study and teaching of law in an academic setting is an integral part of the legal profession. Students and Faculty engaged in that activity, therefore, do so as members of the legal profession, and they recognize the need to maintain a high level of professional competence and integrity in their work. The purpose of the Honor Code is to foster a commitment to professional ethics and academic integrity.

Awards 13

Barbara B. Leggate Humanitarian Award: Annual award to the staff member selected by the third-year class who has done the most to make the law school a more tolerable and humane place for students. Started as the Humanist Award in 1979 for a faculty member, it was first presented to Dean Don Sears. In 1989, it was reconceived to honor a staff member and then the Class of 2002 renamed the award to honor former registrar and six-time winner Barbara Leggate (retired, 2002).

Clifford Calhoun Public Service Award: Awarded annually to a faculty or staff member who contributes to the public service of the Law School in the spirit and tradition of the contributions Professor Emeritus Clifford Calhoun made during his 29-year Law School career.

Excellence in Teaching Award: Awarded by the student body of the Law School in appreciation of the outstanding and exceptional effort faculty members have made to enhance students' educational experience both inside and outside the classroom.

Gilbert Goldstein Faculty Fellowship: MDC/Richmond American Homes Foundation established the Gilbert Goldstein Fund in recognition of alumnus Gilbert Goldstein's '42 dedication and generosity to the greater Denver legal community, which includes scholarships and fellowships to deserving Colorado Law students and faculty. The Faculty Fellowship provides funding to a faculty member to take two semesters sabbatical from teaching to complete a research project.

Jules Milstein Scholarship Award: Given to Colorado Law faculty (tenured, tenure-track, clinical, library, and research and writing) for a substantial published work that best demonstrates excellence in legal scholarship. It is normally given once a year at the end of the spring semester for a work published at any point in the preceding two calendar years.

Outstanding New Faculty Award: Awarded by the third-year class since 2004 in appreciation of a new faculty member who has shown great service to students and to law school life, both inside and outside the classroom.

Sandgrund Award for Best Consumer Rights Work: Awarded every other year to a faculty member with the best electronic or print published work concerning consumer rights protection, including books, treatises, scholarly articles, bar association, legal periodical, and law review articles. The cash award was created with an endowment from alumnus Ron Sandgrund '82.

Staff Recognition Awards & Program: Every quarter, Colorado Law encourages and rewards the dedication and professionalism of the staff while providing incentives for continued excellence and employee retention. There are six categories for formal awards recognition and one informal recognition category.

Journals 13

Colorado Law is home to three nationally respected, student-run law journals.

The University of Colorado Law Review is our oldest journal of legal scholarship (published as the Rocky Mountain Law Review from 1928-1962). It publishes four times per year on all topics of legal importance.

The Colorado Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law Review is a biannual publication, which was founded in 1989-90 and was formerly the Colorado Journal of International Environmental Law and Policy. It publishes articles related to natural resources, energy, and environmental law and policy, and aspires to feature an article or note discussing environmental issues with international implications in each issue.

The Colorado Technology Law Journal, formerly the Journal on Telecommunications and High Technology Law, is our newest journal, founded in 2001. CTLJ has since established a position among the elite national technology and telecommunications law journals.

Moot Court 14

Students compete in moot court competitions to develop skills in appellate brief writing and oral argument, and gain valuable trial practice experience. The Dean's Fund and endowments provide financial assistance to support student participation in these competitions. Colorado Law teams have consistently been extremely competitive in their competitions. Students may earn academic credit for their participation. Selection of teams varies by competition and from year to year, depending on student interest. The competition program is managed by a select group of students comprising the Barristers' Council. Barristers' selects competitions, provides opportunities for various specialty legal interests and gives interested 3Ls leadership opportunities.

Students seeking credit for participation in external mock trial competitions are required to prepare for such competition by completing law school courses in Evidence (three hours) and Trial Advocacy (two hours). Completion of Intersession Trial Advocacy satisfies the second requirement, as does completion of any other law school course called Trial Advocacy. Completion of the five-hour course Evidence and Trial Practice satisfies both requirements.

Colorado Law Internal Competitions

  • Jim R. Carrigan Cup
  • Rothgerber Moot Court Competition
  • Reilly-Pozner Challenge
  • Colorado Appellate Advocacy Competition
  • Colorado Cup
  • CU-DU Hogan Lovells Cup
  • Transactional and Non-Traditional Try-Outs
  • ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition
  • Child Welfare & Adoption Law Moot Court Competition
  • Constance Baker Motley National Moot Court Competition
  • Edward L. Bryant, Jr. National Health Law Transactional Moot Court Competition
  • Hispanic National Bar Association's Annual Moot Court Competition
  • Inter-American Sustainable Development Moot Court Competition
  • Mardi Gras Invitational Sports Law Competition
  • National Invitational Trial Tournament of Champions
  • National Moot Court Competition
  • National Student Trial Advocacy Competition
  • The National Trial Competition
  • National Telecommunications Moot Court Competition
  • Native American Law Students Association Moot Court Competition
  • National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition
  • Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition
  • Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition
  • SIU National Health Law Moot Court Competition

Clinical Programs 15

Since 1948, Colorado Law has provided legal clinics to students and the community. By handling actual cases, students make the transition from legal theory to legal practice. We take pride in the fact that our clinics provide free legal services to many community members who could not otherwise hire an attorney. Clinics play a large role in achieving our values of civic engagement and social responsibility.

American Indian Law Clinic – As one of the first American Indian Law clinics in the nation, students gain faculty-supervised experience providing legal assistance in a variety of matters, including tribal sovereignty, child welfare, preservation of tribal identity, employment discrimination, public benefits, preservation of Native lands, and more.

Civil Practice Clinic – Students represent low-income clients in family law, social security disability, and immigration asylum cases.

Criminal Defense Clinic – Starting in 1948, as the first criminal defense clinic in the nation, students are taught basic criminal practice skills and represent clients in actual cases, from beginning to end, in municipal and county courts in Boulder County.

Criminal and Immigration Defense Clinic - Students represent indigent clients charged with misdemeanor and municipal offenses in Boulder and Jefferson Counties.

Entrepreneurial Law Clinic – Students work with local entrepreneurs, providing transactional legal services for the formation and development of small businesses in Colorado.

Juvenile and Family Law Clinic – Students handle a full range of legal matters related to youth and families, including representing low income clients in public actions, like child welfare and juvenile justice cases, or private actions, like divorce and child custody matters.

Natural Resources and Environmental Law Clinic – Students represent public interest clients in environmental litigation related to federal public land protection. Students learn about expert testimony and witness preparation, analysis of detailed scientific and environmental data, and submission of complex legal briefs.

Technology Law and Policy Clinic – Students advocate in the public interest concerning technology issues in front of regulatory entities, courts, legislatures, and standard setting bodies.

Sustainable Community Development Clinic - Engage in economic development projects, both on behalf of clients and on behalf of the public interest, with a goal of increasing social justice and social enterprise in a range of substantive areas including land use, housing, local food, and healthy communities.

Placement Facts 16

Starting Salaries (2015 Graduates Employed Full-Time)

Private sector (25th-75th percentile) $55,750 - $110,000
Median in the private sector $76,500
Median in public service $55,750

Employment Details

Graduates known to be employed at graduation 53.5%
Graduates known to be employed ten months after graduation 81.1%

Areas of Legal Practice

Graduates Employed In Percentage
Law Firms 28.9%
Business and Industry 13.8%
Government 13.8%
Public Interest Organizations 15.1%
Judicial Clerkships 24.3%
Academia 3.9%
Unknown 0%

Externships/Internships 17-18

The Colorado Law externship program is offered year-round (Fall, Spring and Summer semesters). Students may only extern at government or non-profit organizations and agencies. Students may work in all three branches of the government, including state and federal judicial chambers, executive agencies, and congressional offices. Students may also extern with nonprofit organizations. Externship sponsors are not limited to agencies and organizations that have sponsored externs in the past. Sponsoring organizations must have an identified attorney supervisor in order to receive externship approval.

Externship Program Description Agreement documents must be received by the first day of classes in the semester for which externship credit is sought. Externship enrollment, if the placement is approved, will appear on a student's schedule after attending a mandatory Orientation session.

  • U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • National Labor Relations Board
  • Colorado Dept. of Labor and Employment/ Industrial Claim Appeals Office
  • Various City Attorney’s Offices (e.g., Arvada, Boulder, Denver, Greeley, Jackson Hole)
  • Children’s Hospital of Colorado
  • Denver Museum of Nature and Sciences
  • Office of the University Counsel, University of Colorado
  • Various labor & employment law firms employing Colorado Law students in paid work, both part-time during the school year and full-time during summers.

Student Organizations 19

  • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
  • Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA)
  • Barristers' Council
  • Black Law Students Association (BLSA)
  • Cannabis Law League
  • Christian Legal Society
  • Class of 2017 Board
  • Class of 2018 Board
  • Colorado Law Student Parents Group
  • Colorado Natural Resources, Energy, & Environmental Law Review
  • Colorado Technology Law Journal
  • Committee for Inclusiveness and Diversity
  • Construction and Real Estate Law Association (CRELA)
  • Criminal Prosecution Society (CPS)
  • Doman Society of International Law
  • Environmental Law Society (ELS)
  • Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies
  • Food Law Group
  • Health Law Society
  • If/When/How
  • Immigration Law and Policy Society
  • Intellectual Property Association
  • Jewish Law Students Association (JLSA)
  • Juvenile and Family Law Club
  • Korey Wise Innocence Project
  • Latino Law Student Association (LLSA)
  • Legal Alternative Dispute Resolution (LADR)
  • Military Law Society (MLS)
  • National Lawyers Guild (NLG)
  • Native American Law Students Association (NALSA)
  • OUTLaw
  • Public Interest Students Association (PISA)
  • Silicon Flatirons Students Group
  • Society for Work, Employment, and Labor Law at CU (SWELL CU)
  • Spanish Speaking Law Students Association
  • Sports and Entertainment Law Students Association (SELSA)
  • Student Bar Association (SBA)
  • Tax Law Association
  • University of Colorado Law Review
  • Women's Law Caucus (WLC)