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Author Topic: My Review of Colorado  (Read 1820 times)

Stuje1

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My Review of Colorado
« on: March 08, 2006, 09:22:20 PM »
It's time for another installment of "My review of..."  ;D  I just got back from a visit to U of Colorado-Boulder, and had a great time.  Here is my review:

I did not go as part of an admitted students day or anything, just showed up by myself (had called a few weeks ahead).  I received a parking pass to the lot right next to the law school buildings (old and new, they are right next to each other).  I was then matched up with a student who went to the same undergrad as me, very clever and impressive planning on the part of the admission staff.  It was great to talk with someone who had insight as to the comparisons between my undergrad school and town to CU and Boulder. 

The student I was matched up with was very nice and very positive on the school (and very laid back).  We went to two classes together, Property and Criminal Law.   Property was a bit boring and people weren't all that interested, but the prof was intelligent and tried to do the best he could with boring material (and people seem to really like him).   In Criminal law, people were much more interested and had more thoughtful questions.  Obviously a lot of it has to do with the topic.  Both professors were nice and seemed enthused about the material.  Nothing about the classes were "mind blowing" or "completely worthless," just kind of middle of the road, typical law school classes.  Was a fair amount of instant messaging and game playing on the laptops (which seems to be pretty common at most schools) and much more so in property class than Criminal law (crim law was also a smaller class, so that could be a reason as well as the interest of the material).

I ate lunch with my guide at the law school cafeteria for free.  Certainly nothing to brag about there, but this cafeteria will never be used by our class because of the new building.  I'm sure it will be much improved next year.  Plus, there are a number of food options in walking distance (Wendy's, Mcdonald's, Noodles, Piza Hut, etc.).  I didn't opt for a tour, since I won't be spending a minute in Fleming any way.  The new building is come along nicely.  I couldn't go inside, but they are finishing up the outside.  It is Huge!   Looks like at least 4X the size of the old building.  It is going to be super nice.

After speaking with my guide and a bunch of students (granted, they were all his friends, so it is a bit narrow of a perspective), here is how I summarize their opinion of CU: They love the school, love Boulder, love the students, love the environment, love the faculty and staff, hate law school (in general).  Whether or not hating law school is something caused by CU or something about law school in general is debatable (I tend to think it is the latter, as there seems to be a universal hatred of law school itself).   The things they hate about law school are the tough exams, seemingly random grading and non-straightforward approach to teaching the material (i.e. lots of questioning to get to the point, never a direct answer).  These are certainly characteristics of all law schools.  They were also all 1L's, so they were a bit jaded on the experience having just gone through 1st semester hell.   I asked a handful of students what the "worst thing was about going to CU", and they all had trouble with an answer.  After some though, the few responses I got were "the cost" (which is very reasonable compared to others, especially once you get in-state status), "Being around undergrads" and "limited job opportunities in the area" (although feelings on this were mixed).   

Overall, the feeling I got of the student body was "very laid back."   There is a strict B curve, so people seem to be pretty relaxed since there is Cís and Aís are very rare  (almost everyone will fall into the curve).  Definitely seemed "anti-gunner," as the IMs were exchanging like rapid fire when the one gunner at the school was about to speak.    My student guide said there are definitely people who are really into law school and discuss the material after class and study all night, and people are cool with that, and there are definitely others who spend very little time studying and more time having fun, and there is a place at CU for people like that too.  The reading load is supposedly pretty light (appx 15 pgs per class/per night) because there is an emphasis on thinking hard about a few important cases then boggling you down with a heavy load with lots of minor cases.   One unique thing about the academics at CU is that Civ procedure and Property are year long classes.

Now for the best part, when I get to talk about how BEAUTIFUL everything is there....The mountains, the whole campus, the town, the new law building (will be), the girls!  nothing disappointed me in Boulder.  The scenery is great.  Big mountains in the near distant view and the flatiron mountains right there in Boulder.  I took a hike (I am the furthest thing from an outdoorsy person, I played guitar most of my life) and thought it was beautiful.  Everyone had dogs (very dog friendly town, can take them all over and seems like everyone has one).  Later I walked around the undergraduate campus.  Even though all the law students I spoke with said they avoid the undergrads and their campus at all costs (don't even really attend CU sporting events, but they will go to some pro stuff in Denver), I thought it was great and would probably spend time there if I went to CU.   The law school is right on the edge of the UG campus, and is about a 5-15 minute walk to the center of the UG campus.  The UG campus is very big, but close together.  The whole campus is essentially its own little mini-town....there are no real streets (just little ones to get to parking lots), no stores or restaurants in the campus and everything is done in the same style building.  It is great walking around.   There are just students everywhere, hanging out.  There are lots of big green fields, ponds (with geese!...although the poop everywhere was a little disturbing) and the buildings (in their red, brick style) was just amazing.  It didn't hurt that the weather was perfect (70 degrees in early March)....it is supposed to be really great weather there year round (at least much better than madison).  While walking around the campus, it didnít take long for me to notice the abundance of attractive females on campus.   Madison certainly has its fair share, and I wasn't sure if CU could beat it, but Wow!  The whole feel of the student body wasn't as "hippie" as the stereotype sometimes is.   Students looked like they could be in any midwest city, and I actually saw a decent amount of pierced women....not obsessively pierced punks or biker chics or anything, but a lip ring here, eyebrow ring there, etc.       

The downtown area is awesome.  There is a smaller area right by the campus where lots of undergrads live, called "the hill."  There are a couple of blocks of stores/restaurants there, and it is pretty cool area.  But the best part is the Pearl Street mall.  It is completely closed off to cars (unlike Madison's state street which lets buses, taxis, etc in).  It is extremely clean and nice.  It has a "resorty" feel to it, which I am sure is no accident as there are a lot of wealthy people in Boulder.  There are some very nice looking restaurants and shops (some look very trendy and straight out of a big city), as well as more collegial type places.  There are no real chain places in this area, but all those places (target, chilis, Ihop, etc) are just a 5 minute drive away.   Boulder has everything within a small radius.     

So in conclusion, Boulder is a great place; I really enjoyed my visit!   The school is relaxed, the profs seem nice/intelligent, the staff is friendly, the new building will rock, Boulder is a beautiful place with tons to do and tuition is cheap (once you get in-state).  Saying all that, I'm not positive that the "mountain-west" is the right place for me, as there is certainly a different feel living in that area.  I have moved from the East to the midwest before though, so who knows.   IU-Bloomington and CU are two amazing places, and I don't envy myself for having to make a decision.  It's on to BC next week, and I don't think it'll make things any easier for me.  Let me know if you have any specific questions or want me to discuss anything further, I'd be happy to do it.   
         
On a side note, a little hole-in-the-wall pizza place called Fatty Js has some of the best pizza I've ever had (and that's saying a lot), and they had a very hot delivery girl too  ;) (although, it is not like there is a lack of good looking women in that city)
8) Boston College
;D Colorado $, Wisconsin, OSU $, Indiana $, Case $$, Tulane $$$, Davis, Iowa, Hastings, UWashington
:-\ GW, WUSTL, Emory, WashLee, BostonU, Ariz, Minnesota
>:( Gtown, Mich, Nwestern, UIUC, Berk

spud1987

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Re: My Review of Colorado
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2006, 09:45:04 PM »
Thanks for the great review!  I have a couple of questions I was wondering if you found anything out about job prospects?  According to USNEWS the starting salaries are suprisingly low, especially because Denver is quite a big legal market and its the best school in CO.

mae8

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Re: My Review of Colorado
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2006, 10:01:33 PM »
How did students generally feel about their job prospects?

Sorry about asking the same question, oops. That said, having grown up in colorado and spent some time on the boulder campus i can definitely attest to the generally awesome campus. Great outdoor activites for anyone interested in that, and the winters really arent as bad as I've heard people assume when considering colorado. Glad to see you got in out of state with your numbers, makes me feel a bit better about my chances, congrats.
Emory '09

tsteadman

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Re: My Review of Colorado
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2006, 10:24:04 PM »
I don't know that much about law jobs specifically. In my experience all Colorado jobs pay a litle lower than the national average, even in Denver.  First, the cost of living isn't as high as it is in other big cities.  Secondly I've heard that some places pay less because Colorado is such a nice place to live that people don't need other incentives (like pay) to move here.


Jaustin

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Re: My Review of Colorado
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2006, 10:34:25 PM »
Great review.  I don't think I'll make it out there so I that was very helpful.  I am also disturbed by the relatively low starting salary issue. 
God, Country, Notre Dame

segundo

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Re: My Review of Colorado
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2006, 10:41:30 PM »
Did you ask your tour guide about the chick who is suing the law school for letting her in without warning her that she was underqualified?
BC class of 06'
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Attending Fall 2006: Wake Forest

Stuje1

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Re: My Review of Colorado
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2006, 11:38:32 PM »
I have a couple of questions I was wondering if you found anything out about job prospects? 
How did students generally feel about their job prospects?

I didn't find out all that much about job prospects.   My laid back guide seemed to think they were very good, for what that's worth.  His view was, so long as you are not the last person in your class, and you don't need a $125K, BIGLAW job, everyone will be fine, and the top kids can get the big jobs....but that is not very scientific evidence.   I have heard mixed things about CU students not being as competitive in Denver as they would like.   Same is true here in Wisc where the less prestigious Marquette dominates over UW in Milwaukee.  But, I don't think most UW grads want to go to Milwaukee, but a lot of CU grads do want to go to Denver.  My guide said that Denver is much more receptive of CU grads than Milwaukee is of UW grads.  Tstead posted some good points that might be the reason for the lower salaries.

When everyone says the salaries are low, which schools are you comparing it to?  Big city schools?  Just curious.

Glad to see you got in out of state with your numbers, makes me feel a bit better about my chances, congrats.

Thanks!  Not only did I get in though, I also recieved scholarship $...so maybe things are looking even brighter for you now than you thought.


Did you ask your tour guide about the chick who is suing the law school for letting her in without warning her that she was underqualified?

No....I am not sure what you are talking about...but sounds interesting!  Do tell!

8) Boston College
;D Colorado $, Wisconsin, OSU $, Indiana $, Case $$, Tulane $$$, Davis, Iowa, Hastings, UWashington
:-\ GW, WUSTL, Emory, WashLee, BostonU, Ariz, Minnesota
>:( Gtown, Mich, Nwestern, UIUC, Berk

tsteadman

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Re: My Review of Colorado
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2006, 12:10:53 AM »
That is interesting, but I am skeptical of whether this is true or not.  The letter seems a little over the top, i.e. Don't say hello to me.

I live in a very conservative part of Colorado (Colorado Springs) and I attend a CU system school, and I haven't heard anything about it.  This is the sort of thing that some talk show host usually makes a big deal about around here...for that matter I'm suprised Rush or O'Reilly haven't picked up on it yet, if it is true. 

I'll keep you posted if I hear anything...

segundo

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Re: My Review of Colorado
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2006, 09:10:24 AM »
That is interesting, but I am skeptical of whether this is true or not.  The letter seems a little over the top, i.e. Don't say hello to me.

I live in a very conservative part of Colorado (Colorado Springs) and I attend a CU system school, and I haven't heard anything about it.  This is the sort of thing that some talk show host usually makes a big deal about around here...for that matter I'm suprised Rush or O'Reilly haven't picked up on it yet, if it is true. 

I'll keep you posted if I hear anything...


It is 100% true. The student sent her emails to the entire class. The Dean responded several times and the emails were posted on several Colorado law student blogs before it was forcibly removed. The Dean basically begs the girl to come see her and to stop sending out their communications to the entire class. It has been very embarrassing for Colorado as they already have a difficult time attracting diversity applicants.
BC class of 06'
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3.4 G.P.A.
162 (June)
166 (October)

Attending Fall 2006: Wake Forest

snowbird

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Re: My Review of Colorado
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2006, 04:46:09 PM »
Thanks for the review. I was there a few weeks ago, I made similar observations. It seems like a cool school, and it's always sunny down there no matter how cold it is. Would you pick CU with a scholarship over a higher ranked school with no scholarship? That's my debate now. It seems CU grads tend to stay in the region.
going to University of Washington (with some $) in the fall!