At Colorado Law, seats in most 2L and 3L courses are allocated according to two rounds of “bidding” prior to registration. The purpose of bidding is to increase your chances of getting into the courses you want. Thus, all students are strongly encouraged to participate in bidding so they have as much control as possible over their schedules. In planning your schedule, also keep in mind Colorado Law's graduation requirements.
How Bidding & Registration Works
For a detailed overview of the entire bidding process, see the Law School Bidding Overview Handout.
2Ls/rising 3Ls (3Ls if bidding for Spring) are given 3000 points to allocate towards courses, 1Ls/rising 2Ls (2Ls if bidding for Spring) are given 1500 points, and there are two rounds of bidding which take place in Buff Portal.
In Round One, students allocate points towards individual courses and either make it into a class or onto the waitlist for a class when the round closes. Depending on how many points were allocated and how many points were actually needed to make it into the course or on the waitlist, points may be returned after Round One. Students who have points returned to them can then use those points in Round Two of bidding, at the end of which they will again either make it into a class or on the waitlist for it (returned points can be viewed in the same window as Round One points allocation). At the end of BOTH rounds of bidding, students who chose to bid on courses are officially enrolled in or waitlisted for the classes they bid on, provided they followed the other bidding guidelines.
Once bidding is complete, students are given the ability to add and drop most courses from their schedules on their own. This is called open enrollment. Note that courses which require departmental permission to add or drop are handled through the Registrar's Office such as clinics, advanced clinical practicums, independent legal research credits, and others. Students can go to the Buff Portal to enroll themselves in classes after bidding ends. Click here for more detailed instructions for registration.
Students can find information about a term's overall course schedule as well as individual course offerings in the Academics section of the Law School's website, specifically on the Calendars and Schedules and Courses and Registration pages. Upcoming courses will also be visible and searchable via the Buff Portal.
Bidding & Registration Timeline
The Law Registrar will send out term-specific dates and information relevant to bidding and registration via email. Note that some courses are in the traditional registration and bidding system but have non-traditional schedules or structures. The Law Registrar will keep students informed regarding these courses and any changes that occur to a term's courses or course schedule. The general bidding and registration timeline is as follows:
- Round One bidding begins/closes.
- Round Two bidding begins/closes. Prior to the close of Round Two bidding, you should check Buff Portal to be sure you do not have any holds on registration.
- Open enrollment begins (at which point students can add and drop courses on their own in Buff Portal) and continues until the relevant add/drop deadlines in the following term.
Instructions on How to Bid
- To access your bidding page, go to the Buff Portal and search for "Law School Bidding" and then click on the link "Continue to Law School Bidding Process."
- In the Law Bidding window, select a course from the dropdown menu and enter the bid points you wish to apply to this first course. Hit SAVE.
- Click the "+" button to bid on a new course. Repeat this process until all of your points are spent. Click the "-" sign to remove a course bid. Make sure that you hit SAVE after you bid or remove bids for each course.
- Only bid on one course at a time. If you attempt to add or delete bids for more than one class at once, it will result in errors. To resolve this, delete all bids and enter them all again one by one, hitting save after each entered bid.
- You may adjust your bids at any time during each round of bidding. Your initial bids are not locked in until the close of each round, so there is no competitive advantage to bidding early.
- Each bid must be a unique value. For example, you cannot spend 500 points on two different courses; one bid would need to be 500 and the other 499 or 501.
- If you would have been ensured enrollment based on a bid lower than you actually placed, the difference between the points you bid and the points you needed to ensure enrollment will be reimbursed to your bidding account for use in Round Two.
- You can bid for (and become temporarily enrolled in) up to 21 credits through the bidding process, but pursuant to ABA standards, you may not remain enrolled in more than 18 credits past the drop deadline. Note that after bidding is over if you are waitlisted and a seat opens in a course, if the system "sees" that enrolling you in it will put you over 18 credits total, it will skip over you and enroll the next person on the waitlist. Also note that certain Wintersession or Fall Session courses may not be counted towards the 18 credit cap by the Law School but WILL be counted towards it by the system, so if at any point you need help overriding the cap to enroll in one, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- You can bid for time-conflicted courses, but if you are waitlisted after bidding and a seat opens, the system will not enroll you if you still have that time conflict. Instead, it will skip over you and enroll the next waitlisted student without a conflict.
- Everyone has a unique, randomly-generated tiebreaker number. If two or more students bid the same number of points on a course, your tiebreaker number determines whether you are in the course, or on the waitlist, and in what order.
- First round winners will not be displaced by second round bids, even if those bids are higher. For example, even if a seat in a course could be secured with only 25 points in the first round, your second round bid of 30 points will not displace any first round winners.
- You cannot become enrolled/wait listed for two sections of the same course. You can bid for multiple/separate sections during Round One of bidding, though. If you do so and both sections are open (meaning neither fills up to capacity), the system will accept your bids for the section you bid the highest number of points on. If you bid for both sections during Round One, however, and the system sees an option (based on your bids) of accepting your bids for an open course or placing them on a wait list for another, you will end up in the section that has open seats (regardless of how many points you place on the other). Also, if bids are accepted for a section of a course you bid for in Round One and you bid on another section of that course during Round Two, the Round Two bids will not be accepted. However, you have the option during Round Two of canceling the bids you placed on the section during Round One (forfeiting your seat in that section or your position on the wait list for it), and then placing those and any other points you have remaining on the other section. (You do this using the "CU Print/Cancel Bid result" option on the bottom left of your Buff Portal screen, beneath the "View/Submit/Change Bid" option). Again, however, you can never skip past other students who bid on a section during Round One of bidding in Round Two, no matter if you bid more points in Round Two than students bid in Round One.
- If you have any holds on your registration, the system will allow you to bid. ... BUT, if a hold is still there at the end of Round Two, you will lose all winnings, and you will not be enrolled or waitlisted in any courses you bid on. Check your account for holds and get them removed or you will not be able to take classes.
- 3Ls: If you want to guarantee that you outbid all rising 2L bids for a particular course, you will need to bid, at the minimum, 1501 points for that course. This ensures that you will be in competition only with other 3Ls for that course.
- Remember that if you spent all your points on one course in Round One but get points reimbursed, you may bid those reimbursed points in Round Two. If you spent all your points in Round One and do not get any reimbursed (because you needed all those points to get into a course or on its waitlist), you cannot bid in the Round Two.
- Though it is advantageous to participate in both rounds of bidding, if you do not enter any bids by the end of the first round, you can still enter bids during the second.
- Be mindful of historic waitlist lengths in formulating your bidding strategy. Historical data is available for review in the form of term-specific bidding reports showing waitlist lengths after Round One (posted under "Instructions & Historical Information" on the Courses and Registration page of the Law School's website). A key to understanding these bidding reports is below. Note that historical bidding and waitlist information should be used for rough strategizing only, as the popularity of courses may depend on numerous factors not reflected on the reports, e.g., which professors were teaching which courses that term, how many sections of a course were being offered, what time the courses were offered, etc. Every semester's course calendar is different and every semester students have different priorities and preferences when it comes to arranging their individual course schedules. Not all waitlisted courses are still full by the time classes actually start each term-- so if you end up on a waitlist, stay patient.
Key to Round One Bidding Results Reports:
|Enrl Cap||Bids||Acc||Wait||Max Bid||Min Bid||2925- 2633||2632- 2340||2339- 2047||2046- 1754||1753- 1461||1460- 1168||1167- 875||874- 582||581- 289||288- 0|
- Enrl Cap: Number of students allowed in the course (12)
- Bids: Total number of bids received for the course this round (25 students bid on it)
- Acc: Number of bids accepted (12 students made it into the course)
- Wait: Number of students on the waitlist (13 students were waitlisted after Round One)
- Max Bid: Highest bid received for this course (2925 points)
- Min Bid: Lowest bid received for this course (3 students bid between 0-288 point range-remember a bid must be at least one point to gain entry to a class)
- # - #: Range of bids and number of bids that fall into those ranges (One student bid in the range of 2633 to 2925 points, Four students bid from 582 to 874 points, etc.)
- Periodically monitor your transcript. Be sure your credits are correct; that you are on track to meeting the minimum credit requirements for graduation; and that all your credits will apply toward graduation. The Law School Rules requires 89 credits to earn a J.D. and 92 credits for Certificates. Various other requirements apply for dual degrees.
- Course requirements after 1L year: Legal Ethics, Evidence, Seminar (any course numbered 8000-8999), and Experiential Learning for students who started in Fall 2016 or later.
- Consider earning credits with Journals, Competitions, nonlaw courses, Study Abroad, Externships, Independent Legal Research, and Courtroom Observation Courses; however, please be mindful of the caps placed on certain types of credits, including the 14-credit limit for courses without a significant classroom component (under Miscellaneous Rule 36 of the Law School Rules).
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