University of Colorado Law School

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University of Colorado Law School
Wolf Law Building
Motto Let Your Light Shine
Established 1892
School type Public
Parent endowment $827.64 million[1]
Dean Phil Weiser
Location Boulder, Colorado, USA
40°00′05″N 105°15′45″W / 40.00125°N 105.26239°W / 40.00125; -105.26239Coordinates: 40°00′05″N 105°15′45″W / 40.00125°N 105.26239°W / 40.00125; -105.26239
Enrollment 547[2]
Faculty 77[2]
USNWR ranking 43[3]
Bar pass rate 95% (first time takers)[4]
Website [2]
ABA profile University of Colorado Law School

The University of Colorado Law School is one of the professional graduate schools within the University of Colorado System. It is a public law school, with more than 500 students attending and working toward a Juris Doctor or Master of Law. The Wolf Law Building is located in Boulder, Colorado, and is sited on the south side of the University of Colorado at Boulder campus. The law school houses the William A. Wise Law Library, which is a regional archive for federal government materials and is open to the public. United States Supreme Court Justice Wiley Blount Rutledge graduated from the University of Colorado Law School in 1922.[5]

The University of Colorado Law School consistently ranks as a top law school in U.S. News & World Report rankings (currently ranked 43rd[6]). It is renowned for its influence in the 12-state Rocky Mountain region and for the strength of its environmental law program.[7]


Established in 1892, the University of Colorado Law School is a charter member in the Association of American Law Schools and appeared in 1923 on American Bar Association's first ever publication of approved law schools. Although always located on the greater Boulder campus, the law school has occupied five buildings since its founding. For the first two years of its existence, the school was housed in the Kent building. From 1894 to 1909 the school occupied the Hale Law Building. For the next 50 years, until 1959, the school occupied the Guggenheim Law Building. From 1959 to 2005, the law school occupied the Fleming Law Building. In the fall of 2006, the law school once again moved and now sits in the Wolf Law Building.

The Wolf Law Building[edit]

By the late 1990s, Colorado Law had outgrown its building. In 1997 law students voted to tax themselves with a $1,000 per year tuition differential to help finance the building, but in 2001 the State of Colorado General Assembly rescinded its earmarked funds from the project.[8] Facing the risk of accreditation loss, law students worked with campus leaders and successfully passed a $400 per year fee on all Boulder students to fund capital construction on the Wolf Law Building and three other campus projects.[9] The Wolf Law Building was dedicated on September 8, 2006, by United States Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer. The dedication ceremony represented the end of a long and creative funding process for a public law school.

In addition to student funds, over $13 million in private gifts were donated to support the construction of the new law building. The Wolf family, in honor of Leon and Dora Wolf, were especially generous in their contribution to the new building that now bears the Wolf family name.


Admission to the law school is highly competitive. The school received 3,175 applications for the class of 2014 and matriculated 163 students. The 25th and 75th percentile LSAT scores for entering students are 160 and 165, respectively; the median LSAT is 164. The 25th and 75th percentile GPA for entering students are 3.41 and 3.79, with a median of 3.64.[10]

Job Placement[edit]

Current Employment Statistics[edit]

According to the University of Colorado's 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 70% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation, which ranks 32nd nationally. [11]

Controversial 2009 Employment Statistics[edit]

In October 2009, the journal Law Week Colorado stirred controversy when it reported that only 35% of the school's Class of 2009 had jobs at graduation.[12][13]

Officials from the school assailed the Law Week Colorado article. Former Assistant Dean of the Office of Career Development SuSaNi Harris called Law Week Colorado's report the product of a "miscalculation" and "misunderstanding" and claimed Law Week Colorado "confused 'employed' and 'unemployed.'"[13] Later, Associate Dean Dayna Matthew told Law Week Colorado that the numbers released were "premature" and asserted that the National Association of Legal Professionals (NALP) would release more favorable statistics in February 2010.[13] The reason, Matthew said, was that the NALP discounted graduates who did not report their employment status.[13]

For its part, Law Week Colorado stuck to its original statistics and noted that the University of Colorado had not provided any new statistics.[13]


In 2008, US News & World Report ranked the University of Colorado Law School 32nd in the nation. In 2010, US News & World Report ranked the University of Colorado Law School 38th in the nation. In 2011, the school dropped to 47th, leading the online journal Above the Law to call the school "one of the biggest fallers among the top 50."[14] The school ranks 43rd as of 2014.

Dual Degree and Certificate Programs at the University of Colorado Law School[edit]

  • Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration (JD/MBA)
  • Juris Doctor/Master of Public Affairs (JD/MPA)
  • Juris Doctor/Master of Science, Telecommunications (JD/MST)
  • Juris Doctor/Master in Environmental Studies (JD/ENVS)
  • Juris Doctor/Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Studies (JD/PhD)
  • Juris Doctor/Doctor of Medicine (JD/MD)
  • Juris Doctor/Master of Urban and Regional Planning (JD/MURP)
  • Juris Doctor/Bachelor of Laws Canada (JD/LLB)
  • Tax Emphasis Program
  • American Indian Law Certificate
  • Juvenile and Family Law Certificate
  • Entrepreneurial Law Certificate

Experiential Learning at the University of Colorado Law School[edit]

Publications at the University of Colorado Law School[edit]

Noted Alumni[edit]

Centers at the University of Colorado Law School[edit]

Energy and Environmental Security Initiative[edit]

Established in 2003, Energy and Environmental Security Initiative (EESI) is an interdisciplinary Research & Policy Institute. The fundamental mission of EESI is to serve as an interdisciplinary research and policy center concerning the development and crafting of State policies, U.S. energy policies, and global responses to the world's energy crisis; and to facilitate the attainment of a global sustainable energy future through the innovative use of laws, policies and technology solutions.

Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment[edit]

The The Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment is dedicated to informing and influencing natural resources law and policy. The Center fosters practical and effective solutions to resource problems through its extensive research program, outreach activities, and educational programs for law students and the general public.[19]

The Byron R. White Center[edit]

Named after Former Supreme Court Justice and University of Colorado alum, The Byron R. White Center seeks to enhance the study and teaching of Constitutional law and to stimulate public debate and understanding of our constitutional system. The Center sponsors public lectures and symposia, encourages Colorado faculty and student scholarship in constitutional law.[20]

The Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship[edit]

It is the goal of The Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship to elevate the debate around technology policy issues, facilitate networking, the development of "human capital" and the promotion of entrepreneurship in the Colorado technology community and to inspire student interest in technology law and entrepreneurship. These goals are achieved through hosting nine yearly seminars and an annual symposium, supporting for the Entrepreneurial Law Clinic and developing student interest and involvement in the technology sector.[21]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "University of Colorado Endowment Survey". Sustainable Endowments Institute. 2009. Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  2. ^ a b University of Colorado Law School ABA Data
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "University of Colorado Endowment Survey". Sustainable Endowments Institute. 2009. Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  5. ^ Wiley B. Rutledge, 1943-1949 « The Supreme Court Historical Society
  6. ^ U.S. News Rankings Leaked? This Happens Every Year. « Above the Law: A Legal Tabloid - News and Colorful Commentary on Law Firms and the Legal Profession
  7. ^ Colorado Law :: Facts & Figures
  8. ^ Spencer, Jim. CU Students Pay for State Stinginess. The Denver Post. Sept. 8, 2006.
  9. ^ Marthea Davis, CU Making History In Legal Education, NBA News Brief.
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  12. ^ Ashby Jones (10/22/09) Absolutely Wretched’: One Prof’s Take on the State of Legal Ed Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 9-30-10.
  13. ^ a b c d e Debra Cassens Weiss (10/28/09) Law School Says Stats on Jobless Grads Were Wrong; Publication Differs ABA Law Journal. Retrieved 9-30-10.
  14. ^ David Lat (3/14/11) The 2012 U.S. News Law School Rankings Are Out! Above the Law. Retrieved 3/15/11.
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