Hi 303 -
I studied abroad in South Africa. I did it more for personal experience than for career preperation. Several of my study abroad classmates were interested in doing humanitarian/international work, and they sought those experiences out. But most of my classmates were there to learn about a new culture. The classes I took were all comparative law classes, and were incredibily interesting and helped put US Law in perspective. You can do a study abroad with any ABA approved school. DU transfers the credtis as P/F; thus, you can have a very low stress summer.
As for OCI screening... DU does not do any screening, its the employers that do the screening. Most of the firms will say something like "ideal candidate will have xx, xx and be in the top x%." So they dont actually say you CANT apply, but they are explicit about what they are looking for. Some said top 10%, some said top 25% or top third, and many said something like "solid academic performance." I can't actually tell you what the grade breakdown is because most students keep their grades to themselves. Thus, I have no idea where my classmates that got OCI jobs actually stand. I'd guess that there were not many offers to people below the top third of the class. Some things that seem to help: work experience, hard science background (for IP), ties to Denver (clear desire to stay), law review/journal, moot court, etc.
The vast majority of firms that do OCI are those looking to fill spots in Denver. The national firms are hiring for their Denver branch office, I do not think you could interview and say you wanted to go to New York or something. There are a decent amount of regional and mid sized firms and they seemed to be more flexible on their grade expectations.
Your DU v. CU question - I dont think that one or the other is preferred in the Denver market. I have heard that something like nearly 60% of all lawyers in the Denver area are DU grads, so there is obviously a lot of support for DU. CU has a much smaller class, but I am sure they have a "stick together" mentality. As for OCI opportunities... I did a lot of research on the firms in Denver and I think that every large and mid sized firm in Denver came to campus. As for the raw numbers hired, I have zero idea.
In terms of non-OCI jobs (which is going to be the vast majority of graduates), students generally do internships throughout the year to make connections and get experience. In my opinion, law school is what you make of it. If you approach your education with enthusiasm and put in the effort, you will have many opportunities.
Hopefully that helps! Feel free to ask more Qs.