I've applied to both the University of Colorado and the University of Denver. I have yet to recieve answers from any schools that I applied to, but Colorado and Denver are definitely my top two choices (I want to practice in or around Denver after I graduate).
Anyways, because my apps are done I'm just wondering if anyone has any advice (pros and cons) etc about Colorado vs. Denver? I know that I may not ultimately have a decision to make between the two, but I'm hoping to have the option of choosing between the two schools and I would just like to hear what other current or prospective students have to say about the two schools. Thanks!
Wait to see where you get in.
I think it boils down to a few issues:
For the first. CU is ranked considerably higher. They are also much more selective. They also have a smaller class size (those are probably all related). But, DU has a very large alumni base. I have heard as high as 60% of attorneys in Denver are DU grads. That is probably due to the fact that their classes are twice as large, but iat is still the situation regardless of the reason. I have looked on MANY law firm sites in Denver and it seems to me that there are just as many CU and DU attorneys at each firm. The only notable thing I see in my anecdotal research is that almost without fail DU attorneys at top firms are in the top 10% of the class, while that is not always the case with CU grads. So it seems, again anecdotally, that you can place lower in your class at CU and still have similar job prospects. But, I think for job placement they are almost equal. Each gets a nod for a different reason: DU for the # of alumni; CU for the ability to place in top firms without having to be ranked as high in the class.
The second thing is location. CU, to me, offers almost zero advantages in regards to location. I have heard many people claim that if you like the outdoors CU is a much better option, but that seems naive. CU is in the foothills, but DU is about 15-25 minutes from them. Also, Denver probably has some of the best recreation trails in the country. So it isn't difficult to do outdoor activities. Other than that, CU doesn't offer much. Boulder is a college town, is relatively close to Denver but definitely not considered a metro town, and is not very close to Denver networking activities if you consider a law students tight schedule and travel budget issues. Just like recreation for Denver, CU isn't prohibitively far from Denver, but it is an inconvenience to travel to Denver. And Denver is much more of a ride from CU than the mountains are from DU. Denver is a fantastic city, Boulder is rather removed from it. I can't substantiate this, but I have heard that surprisingly Boulder is expensive, sometimes more expensive than Denver for an apartment search.
Third is preference. This, obviously, is entirely up to you. If you want to teach Boulder might be a better option. If you want to practice and live in Denver, I think DU might get the nod (slightly). I think ranking does hold weight, but I think it is for a specific group that this applies to. I think Denver is an extremely strong school IN THE REGION, and because of that fact it places well in Denver. I think that if you want to take the degree elsewhere, which you implied you didn't, you would be better off going to CU.
The fourth and very important factor is cost. DU is more expensive. CU also gives the ability to have in state tuition for your second and third year if you don't get it automatically. This is the equivalent of a 12,000 dollar a year scholarship at Denver for you second and third year. That makes it hard to want to pay DU's tuition prices. While people are much more likely to get a scholarship at DU, I would say CU comes with a built in scholarship second and third year. People would "probably" be more competitive at DU and more likely to place within the top of their class, but I also think 90% of people who attend DU think this and it becomes more competitive as a result. I don't know which is more expensive from a cost of living standpoint, but I think they are probably close to the same. (The new lightrail at Denver is a great addition, and quite economical).
Those are my quick thoughts. Those are the things I am struggling with if I get accepted to both. I have no idea which school I would attend. I am really hoping I will have to make the choice. Both are fine options, in my opinion.
You seem like you love conspiracy theories. I always smirk when I see people who don't post their stats. Especially because that is the whole point of LSN. Why not just wait until your cycle is over before posting stats. Acceptances without stats don't mean much. I hope adcomms have more to do during the day than to check applicants with profiles on LSN.