Through the Dean’s Fellowship Program, Colorado Law supports first-year students in finding a meaningful work experience in the summer between their first and second years. The Fellowship provides a stipend of $3,000-$3,750 for qualifying unpaid summer employment (amounts vary depending on location of the work), though students choosing to pursue private sector work often secure paid employment that obviates the need for the fellowship.
Below are answers to questions you may have about the Dean’s Fellowship. If you have any additional questions, please contact Dean Rogers.
I received a Dean’s Fellowship. Now what do I do?
Congratulations on receiving a Fellowship! You were chosen for a Fellowship because of your impressive background, and we are confident that you will have a great summer experience and successful career! The next step is to begin (or continue) your job search. To start, you should meet with our Career Development Office (CDO) advisors at least once per semester. They can work with you on developing your resume and cover letter, strategizing about which skills and experiences to highlight, and finding connections that will advance your job search.
As you narrow your job search, we encourage you to pursue work experience outside the building. The available evidence suggests that students with more work experience during law school secure post-graduate employment more quickly than those without such experience.
Finally, do not be afraid to consult with Dean Rogers. He is here to help.
Once you secure a position, please email Dean Rogers to let us know where you will be working. Before the end of the spring semester, we will respond with information about how to get set up in the payroll to receive your stipend.
Where can I work next summer?
Although Fellows can work for any employer, you will receive the stipend only if you work for approved employers. To qualify as public service, an employer must be a non-profit organization or a governmental agency. Examples of public service employers include the public defender’s office or district attorney’s office. Judges can be terrific mentors and we encourage students to intern/extern for them, but fellowship funding is not available for working with them. You need not limit your search to public sector employers, though, and most private sector/for-profit employers will pay student employees. Working with a professor as a Research Assistant does not qualify.
Do I have to work in public service next summer?
The stipend is intended to support students working in qualifying public sector jobs but if your interests draw you to private sector employers and you are hired for a summer position with a for-profit employer, you likely will be paid for your work.
In order to receive your stipend, you must work at least part of the summer in public service (for a non-profit organization or government agency). However, public service does not have to be the only thing that you do. For example, you could work part-time at a government agency and volunteer part-time for a judge. If you aren’t sure whether an employer qualifies as public service, please talk with Dean Rogers.
What if I don’t know what I want to do next summer?
If you’re still undecided about what area of law you’d like to practice in or what you would like to do next summer, that’s ok! Take advantage of opportunities to learn about different career paths, and talk with the CDO for help deciding what career path you would like to take. Your first summer is a great chance to try out a field of law and to learn more about your own career preferences.
I accepted a job offer. What are my next steps?
Congratulations! Please email Dean Rogers to let us know where you will be working, the dates, and confirm that the position is unpaid and not for school credit. We will follow up toward the end of spring semester with information about how to get set up in the payroll to receive your stipend.
Can I use my stipend for an unpaid internship during the school year?
No, Dean's Fellowship funding is only available for summer work experiences following 1L year. You cannot use your stipend for fall or spring internships.