By staying involved with Colorado Law, alumni enrich the experience of students and help to build a stronger Colorado legal community.
Startup Colorado engages students and alums with an entrepreneurial spirit. White House Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra spoke at the launch of Startup Colorado.
The American Indian Law Program benefits greatly from a relationship with alumni staff attorneys at the Native American Rights Fund. "The staff and attorneys of NARF have been generous with their time and expertise, and I'm certain that the time I've spent learning from them will make me a better attorney." - Matt Samelson ('11)
"It’s so important to find a mentor in your field. You may not be assigned a mentor so you actually have to seek one out. The best way to do that is to look up CU grads that have been practicing for a couple years and just ask to meet for coffee. Most lawyers are incredibly busy, but they’re usually willing to help."
“I’ve worked on interesting, big cases in my career, and they’ve all been special to me because I’ve been helping people. Some of the victories that stand out to me are the smallest cases. The work that’s the most meaningful for me is the work that has a direct influence on people."
"The work you do is not about finishing an assignment, it’s about looking ahead to the next steps to reach client goals. Helping a client get to a finish line rather than finding obstacles to success are key components for success."
“Having a law degree is like having a PhD in how the country actually works; it can be very empowering, but to harness that potential you should be open to opportunities beyond the traditional career paths for young attorneys.” - John Entsminger ('99)
"Never squander an opportunity that comes your way. Do the best you can at whatever you are doing, be it a research project, internship, summer associate job, or otherwise. The legal community is a small one, and you never know who will see your work and what that might lead to."
"The things you want, or think you want out of a law degree, may change. Career paths may change. The value of critical thinking skills, ability to read, and seeing a variety of possible situations and outcomes will be useful no matter what you do."
"Be prepared for a rapidly changing environment of how to practice law. Be flexible and creative in making career choices, as many more law school graduates are now branching into non-traditional legal roles. Most of all, follow your heart and approach all of your post-law-school endeavors with passion and tenacity."
"Practical experience is the best teacher, even if difficult or unpleasant at the time. Whichever area of the law you select, it is important to seek out challenging experiences. And, always be bigger than the moment."
"You can’t get enough experience writing and public speaking. Traditional course work helps you learn to analyze issues critically, but you wind up learning the subjects that matter to your practice as you go along. Being able to communicate in writing and verbally is necessary for all practice areas and requires practice to master."
"Remember to be respectful, regardless of which position you attain. Work hard, because nothing can overcome the value of hard work. Most importantly, let your integrity be your guide. If you do these things, whatever job you end up in, you’ll be fine. And if a job doesn’t line up with your integrity, it’s not only wise but necessary to find a different one that does."
"Be aware of how important the relationships you are making in law school will be down the line. In the not too distant future, your classmates will be co-workers and some may be the judges before whom you stand, and, not just your fellow students, but your professors as well."
"Don’t be afraid to take risks early in your career. From a practical perspective, potentially risky opportunities that don’t pan out are more easily absorbed early on in your career rather than later."
"Be open to a variety of career possibilities. If someone had told me during law school that I was going to do securities and capital markets work, I probably would have told them they were crazy, and now guess what I’m doing?"
"It’s important to do work that you can feel passionate about. If you’re not excited about the job you have, but you need to keep it because you need the money, find an outside activity that you can pour your passions into."
"Although it may take some time, make sure you end up thoroughly enjoying whatever job you take. There’s nothing better than looking forward to going to work as much as you look forward to taking time off."
"Integrity and character are very important. There are a lot of brilliant law students and lawyers out there, but the things that separate a great lawyer from everyone else are integrity, character, and professionalism."
"Keep an open mind and an open heart, align your efforts with whatever is 'true north' for you, work incredibly hard and do the right thing by the people you meet. If you do those things, your career and your life will end up finding a happy equilibrium for you and those you care about."
"The beauty of a law degree is that it can lead you to many different careers in the same profession. In less than 20 years I've worked as a law clerk, as a public prosecutor, in a small firm, in a big firm, and as a public official."
"Develop your social skills as well as your analytical and writing skills, because your ability to understand and relate well to people is a necessary tool for landing a job, being successful with colleagues and clients, attracting clients, and persuading judges and juries."
"Do not limit yourself to the traditional jobs in the law, i.e., law firms. There are other very interesting jobs that a law degree opens up for you–executive positions in the health industry, for example."