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University of Denver Sturm College of Law Records

Identifier: U057


Collection contains the records of the College of Law at University of Denver since 1892, including the history of Westminster Law School which merged with University of Denver in 1952. The college has been known as the Sturm College of Law since 2004. Collection includes administrative records, publications, student activities and more.


  • 1892-


Biographical / Historical

The University of Denver College of Law opened its doors in 1892, pioneering legal education on America's frontier. The law school initially adopted an apprenticeship model of legal education, recruiting attorneys in Denver to teach students the nuts and bolts of the practice of law. Students gained insight from their practitioner professors; aside from the rigors of classroom study, students also observed courtroom proceedings. This approach to teaching students by employing in-the-field methods remains at the heart of DU Law. The College was renamed Sturm College of Law in September 2004.

A pioneer amidst pioneers, the College of Law opened the doors to its Legal Aid Dispensary in 1904, thus creating the first clinical program in the nation and the precursor to DU Law's Student Law Office (SLO). A frontrunner in serving Denver's indigent populations, the Dispensary saw several incarnations before it evolved into the law school's present day clinical programs. The Westminster College of Law (founded in 1912) merged with the University of Denver College of Law in 1957. Westminster provided the only evening program of law study from Kansas City to the Pacific Coast. Evolving accreditation standards eventually required too large a budget for the strictly part-time institution, and the school merged with the University of Denver. Terms of the merger included naming the law library the Westminster Law Library, and the development of an evening program at the College of Law.


112.0 Linear Feet (131 containers)

Scope and Contents

The collection contains administrative records, legal research, alumni materials, publications issued by the school and records of professional organizations active at the school. Documents the founding and operation of the University of Denver law school, the activities of its faculty, students and alumni, and the evolution of legal education in the Rocky Mountain West.


The collection is organized in 9 series: History, Alumni Records, Programs, Publications, Professional Organizations, Administrative Records, Memorabilia, Photographs, Career Services. Series are largely unarranged.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

2150 East Evans Avenue
Denver CO 80208
(303) 871-3428