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What Are the Best Criminal Law Schools in Colorado?

Dana E. Brede

So…you’re on the fence about law school, eh?

Studying criminal law is a focus that many law school students choose after they graduate with their Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree in criminology. Criminology courses from Regis University are extremely advantageous for students considering law school because Regis provides criminology students with an extremely well-rounded educational experience. Criminology courses within the Master’s program include (but are not limited to):

  • Contemporary Issues in Criminology
  • Criminal Psychopathology
  • Leadership Principles in Criminology
  • Ethical Conduct and Positions of Power
  • Transnational Crime
  • Contemporary Crime Policy: Current and Future Needs
  • Strategic Planning, Implementation and Evaluation
  • Crime Prediction and Prevention
  • Rapid Decision-Making
  • Research Analysis and Application 

Further, a degree in criminology provides a pivotal springboard for opportunities that have lasting benefits. Making the decision to pursue a degree in criminal law is a very big decision—MONUMENTAL, in fact, for the following reasons:

  • Cost. Let’s be honest, the cost of higher education is a hefty penny. That being said—do not let the cost deter you from pursuing your long-term career goals. Financial aid helps students find resources to make law school more affordable through various scholarships or fellowships, and via federal and private student loan options. For Coloradoans, seeking an in-state American Bar Association (ABA) accredited law degree program is more economical and far less costly than an out-of-state program.
  • Time. Managing time and responsibilities is a challenge for most people BUT adding what could conservatively be considered a demanding course load should be reserved for students that can fully commit. Only you can determine if committing to a full-time law program is a realistic goal. Note: On average a degree in law will take about 3-4 years.

In the state of Colorado, attorneys must be licensed by an American Bar Association (ABA)-accredited professional law degree program. In the State of Colorado, there are only two universities that offer students an ABA-accredited law degree—the University of Colorado-Boulder and the University of Denver1. Further, the reasons for choosing a criminal law program in Colorado are obvious to existing Colorado residents—the majestic mountain views, the beautiful communities, etc… Now…both programs provide opportunities to specialize in the areas of International Law, Environmental and Natural Resources Law, Workplace Law, Constitutional Rights and Remedies, and Corporate and Commercial Law.

The University of Colorado-Boulder offers:

  • A traditional Juris Doctor (J.D.) program as well as an option for completing the J.D. in 2.5 years
  • 8 dual degree programs
  • 5 certificate programs
  • 3 Master of Laws (LLM) programs2

Criminal Law is offered as an area of study. A number of elective and required courses are offered in addition to unique experiential learning opportunities and externships.

For more information on Colorado Law see: http://www.colorado.edu/law/academics

University of Denver offers:

  • A traditional Juris Doctor (J.D.) program
  • Master’s Degree programs
  • 3 Master of Laws (LLM) programs
  • 8 Certificate programs3

DU also offers a number of courses and associations focused on criminal law.

For more information on University of Denver Sturm College of Law see: http://www.law.du.edu/index.php/admissions

At a glance both schools offer similar options for students and whether you decide to pursue a law degree in Colorado or elsewhere, Regis University prides itself on preparing students for the futures that they desire. While I am rather biased to law schools in Colorado due to its accessibility for current Regis students, if studying a degree in law is something you really see yourself exploring—by all means explore in-state and out-of-state options that meet your standards and expectations. It is not too early to consider your next steps after your graduate from Regis.

TIPS:

  • Do your homework on your prospective law school.
  • Compare and contrast course offerings.
  • Schedule a visit to different law schools.
  • Ask a lot of questions.
  • Sit in a class or two and ask yourself, “Could I see myself actively engaging in a course at this institution?”
  • Plan ahead J Give yourself adequate time to prepare for the LSAT. For more information on the LSAT http://www.lsac.org/jd/lsat/about-the-lsat/
  • Pay attention to special dates and application deadlines.

Helpful Resources:
Law School Admission Council: http://www.lsac.org/index
List of Best Criminal Law Programs: http://education-portal.com/articles/Best_Criminal_Law_Programs_List_of_Top_Schools.html

Pursuing a degree in law may not be for everyone and that is perfectly okay. Regis wants to encourage students that the sky is the limit. Set your goals high and go after them!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11

If you would like to learn more about online or on-campus course offerings and curriculum—call 877-820-0581 or request more information today.

I have received some excellent suggestions for this blog. Keep them coming! I am available at your convenience if you would like to e-mail me with topic recommendations or discuss topics related to this blog at dbrede@regis.edu.

1N. A. (2014). Law Schools in Colorado with Program and Course Overviews. Education Portal. Retrieved on October 6, 2014 from http://education-portal.com/law_school_in_colorado.html

2N. A. (2014) Academics. Retrieved on October 6, 2014 from http://www.colorado.edu/law/academics

3N. A. (2014) Academics. Retrieved on October 6, 2014 from http://www.law.du.edu/index.php/academics/degree-options