Published: Sept. 20, 2023 By
Douglas Beltran

Colorado Law’s student body comes from a variety of backgrounds, bringing their own professional and lived experience to the university’s diverse, collaborative community. This fall, we are excited to spotlight some of our students through a series of Q&As.  

For our first spotlight, we sat down with 2L Douglas Beltman to learn more about his background, goals, and time here at Colorado Law so far.  

Meet the class of 2025’s Douglas Beltman!  

Why did you choose to pursue a JD?  

DB: It was a difficult decision. I had retired a while back and was enjoying it, but I felt like I still have a lot of "juice" and wanted to do more. I tried dabbling in a few different things but missed more meaningful work. I thought that combining a JD with my background as a scientific expert might be really interesting and help me re-engage in doing substantive work on behalf of the environment.   

What has been your favorite part of law school so far?  

DB: The people, definitely. My fellow students have been very welcoming and inclusive, even though it's probably a bit awkward for them at times since I'm so much older. The professors are also fantastic, both as teachers and as people. I've been very impressed with how serious they take teaching and how skilled they are at it. Overall, I love the community aspect at Colorado Law.  

What is your proudest accomplishment (does not have to be something that happened during your time here/related to law school)?  

DB: Proudest? Hard one to answer. I’m really proud of my daughter and the person she is. I also would say solo through-hiking the Appalachian Trail. That experience changed my life - It led to a re-evaluation of priorities, and I left a career in research chemistry to go into environmental science. I'm really glad I did.  

What was your profession prior to coming to Colorado Law?  

DB: I was an environmental scientist with a consulting company. We worked primarily for government agencies on pollution litigation cases and on environmental policy issues. 

What do you hope to do with your degree once you graduate?  

DB: After graduation, I hope to help environmental nonprofit organizations leave our planet in better shape for future generations of humans and non-humans.  

What are some opportunities you have taken advantage of here at Colorado Law?  

DB: The Career Development Office is really informative and helpful, and they helped me land a summer internship last year with the Sierra Club. I'm currently taking advantage of the wide range of environmental law classes. I'm not really much into clubs or societies.  

What are some of your hobbies outside of work/school? 

DB: Hiking. Being with family and friends. Reading. Puttering around in the backyard. Music.