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Legal Externship Program Spring 2018 Updates

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Denver Law’s Legal Externship Program continues to thrive. Overall, our students contributed more than 52,000 hours of work in the field during the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 semesters. These two semesters alone placed students in over 275 externships. Enrollment in our program has grown almost 30% in two years and the demand continues. Thus far this year, we have added 80 new supervisors to our team, and we expect even more to join this summer, typically our busiest season.

These statistics, of course, do not begin to shed light on the robust set of activities and projects our students initiated and supported at their placements, or the number of real people and issues they affected across public and private sectors. From writing certs to the Colorado Supreme Court, drafting legislation at the Capitol, revamping legal technology platforms, delivering presentations at immigration detention centers, and more, our students grew their skills and greatly contributed to the legal needs of the metro-Denver region and beyond.

During our fall and spring semesters, we also hosted several of our Specialty Programs, which offer unique opportunities to bring together students, supervisors, faculty, and placements and provide intensive, tailored instruction and support to our students in both the field and the classroom. For example:

  • Six students joined our Child Advocacy Externship Program, exposing them to the field of child welfare from the perspective of city/county attorney, nonprofit youth lawyer, private guardian ad litem, state agency, and juvenile court. Students wrote civil protection orders, attended meetings with children and social workers, presented in court, and developed recommendations for juvenile courts.
  • The Corporate Apprenticeship Program sent 12 first-time externs to general counsel offices across the region. In the seminar, students learned about the role and function of in-house lawyers, the basics of contract interpretation and review/redlining, retaining and working effectively with outside counsel, special ethical and policy challenges for in-house counsel, including compliance, and diversity and CEO oversight.
  • Our Judicial Diversity Program, run in partnership with our Career and Development Opportunities Office and Judge Roman of the Colorado Court of Appeals, placed seven students with judges in the Colorado Court of Appeals and Colorado Supreme Court in an effort to expand options at the highest courts in our state to students from all backgrounds.
  • Ten 3L students participated in the Semester in Practice (SiP) program, which remains a clear pathway to employment, with nearly every student in the program’s seven-year history securing a position as a lawyer at the SiP placement or at a placement secured via relationships developed because of SiP. For our classroom component, Colorado Supreme Court Justice Monica Marquez joined one session, challenging students to think through complicated real life ethical scenarios. As always, our students gave culminating presentations similar to Ted Talks that discussed a problem and solution related to their placement. Topics ranged from bail reform, to counterfeit, to juror engagement, to electric bills, and more.

As we head towards the summer, we anticipate our largest student enrollment for 2017-2018 and are excited to offer companion seminars designed around many topics, including lawyering in the criminal justice system, gender dynamics in the workplace, litigation skills, critical legal skills, and more. We also look forward to welcoming a new faculty member who will bring particular expertise in alternative legal markets.

Here at Denver Law we are incredibly enthusiastic about helping our students find that perfect fit, where the head, heart, and hands meet. As always, we anticipate continuing to grow our program, to respond to student interests, and to identify placements in growing areas of law practice.