The Specialization Initiative

Through its specialization initiative, Denver Law is focusing on five areas of subject matter expertise to achieve excellence in our scholarship and to differentiate our graduates from the competition. Each area of specialization will be a place for the following:

  • interactions among faculty, alumni, students and the legal community
  • service to the broader community
  • broad and deep curriculum development
  • excellent and relevant faculty scholarship
  • dissemination of our expertise and participation in discussions on important topics of the day
  • a clinical offering and other opportunities for experiential education and integration of the three Carnegie apprenticeships (doctrine, skills and professional identity)

This focus will enhance the national reputation of each specialty area at the school (and the school as a whole) through its scholarship and the quality of its graduates. It will also ensure that resources are dedicated in the most judicious manner.

The five areas of subject matter expertise in our Specialization Initiative are designed to achieve excellence by matching our core strengths with emerging needs in legal practice and community growth. These five areas are:

Environmental and Natural Resources Law: This nationally ranked program has a number of strengths from which to build, including numerous curricular offerings of topical, universal relevance. It will leverage the Environmental Law Clinic, Water Law Review and Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute, as well as the law school’s strong relationships with community partners, such as the Colorado School of Mines and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

International and Comparative Law: This established, internationally-recognized program will maintain a distinctive center of learning and expertise as it prepares students for leadership in both public and private settings. The program will expand its offerings through joint programs with the Josef Korbel School of International Studies and the Daniels College of Business.

Workplace Law: This specialization area focuses on the growing field of employment and labor law. It offers a variety of learning opportunities such as a speakers’ series, a faculty reading group and a capstone course. Its advisory board will inform the curriculum and assist with programming and teaching. We will also explore synergies between this program and the Daniels College of Business.

Commercial & Business Law: This new center covers a wide range of subjects, including corporate governance, securities, banking and bankruptcy. The program will also offer courses tailored to the field, such as upper-level writing with a commercial focus and Accounting for Lawyers. This program will benefit from partnerships with the Daniels College of Business, including joint degree and certificate programs.

Constitutional Rights & Remedies: The scope of federal constitutional rights has been at the core of many legal issues, including racial justice, housing, employment and other areas. This center recognizes that a lawyer working in this area, or for any of the numerous government agencies, must learn to navigate the hurdles and procedures inherent in constitutional claims.

These areas are further supported by additional investments in the Student Law Office (or Clinic), a hallmark of the Denver Law education for more than 100 years. The Clinic enriches these specialty areas and supports the Modern Learning Initiative. For example, our Civil Rights Clinic supports the Constitutional Rights & Remedies Program, and our new transactional Community Economic Development Clinic supports the Commercial & Business Law Program. Clinic faculty will collaborate with other law school faculty and establish interdisciplinary relationships with other units at the University of Denver.

One Response to “The Specialization Initiative”

  1. It’s a shame more people won’t read this, we need more people like you blogging about this.

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