DU’s Sturm College of Law Offers New Professional Part-Time JD Program
New program now offered in convenient hybrid format
The University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law is charting a new course with the launch of a refreshed part-time JD program.
Beginning this fall, students admitted into the Professional Part-Time JD Program can complete all of their required courses in a convenient hybrid format — a combination of online instruction and weekend, on-campus classes. The program is more accessible to students with competing professional or familial commitments.
First-year students enrolled in the new part-time JD program will come to Denver for eight weekends each semester for in-class sessions, with the remaining instruction provided online in an asynchronous format capable of being accessed on each student’s own schedule.
Students are taught by full-time faculty members in a program designed in consultation with a national leader in online legal pedagogy. After completing their first two years of required courses, students can choose from the entire breadth of the Sturm law curriculum, including externships, clinical courses and a wide range of doctrinal classes offered in a variety of formats.
Students also benefit from the law school’s full range of scholarships, financial aid and co-curricular programming, including academic support, professional advising, mentoring, and access to a network of roughly 17,000 Sturm law alumni.
“The University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law has offered a nationally-acclaimed part-time JD program for more than 100 years. Our goal was to make this historic and mission-driven program even more accessible, affordable, and attentive to work-life balance — while, at the same time, preserving its exceptional quality and rigor,” said Bruce Smith, dean of the Sturm College of Law. “I have met the roughly 35 students in our inaugural cohort and look forward to teaching them this fall. Quite frankly, the academic credentials, professional experience and geographic reach of our inaugural class exceeded even our loftiest expectations.”
Students matriculating in fall 2018 come from a broad range of professional backgrounds, including compliance, education, financial services, government contracts, health care, human resources, social work and sports management. Several have advanced degrees in fields ranging from business to engineering to molecular microbiology. While the majority of students live and work in Colorado the convenient, educational format has made it possible for students from as far away as Utah, South Carolina and Texas to attend.
While the previous version of the program was already well-respected and highly rated (No. 14 by U.S. News & World Report), the new hybrid format is already winning over students.
Johnathan Clark, vice president of Workplace Planning and Advice at Fidelity Investments, is one of the students in the inaugural class. He is based out of Salt Lake City, Utah, and says he looked at other part-time law programs but found DU’s law program to be the best fit.
“I always liked the idea of earning a JD but didn’t think that as a working executive that was possible. When I heard about the format, I was excited because it allows me to continue to progress through my career, while at the same time go to law school,” Clark said. “I was accepted to a few other programs, but [Sturm] Law, by far in my opinion, was structured best to fit my schedule.”
Through honing critical thinking skills, learning from Sturm law’s respected faculty and networking with fellow students, Clark sees the Professional Part-Time JD Program as an opportunity to advance his career.
“The credibility of the faculty, their experience and the work that they’ve done is very exciting. We’ve also got a really diverse, unique set of professions and backgrounds in the cohort that will make a program like this, which caters to working professionals, even more valuable.”