CU Law Profiles
Alumnus Profile

Katie Roenbaugh

Class of 2007





Trousdale, Kansas

Family Status

Married (to another CU Law Student!)

Undergraduate Institutions and Degrees

Northwestern University, BA in History, 2002

Hobbies, Sports, or Extracurricular Passions

Hiking, snowboarding, cooking, improv comedy, and playing music.

What were you doing before you came to the University of Colorado Law School?

I worked for the Chicago Field Office of the Department of Justice?s Antitrust Division for two years directly after graduating from college. As a paralegal hired through the Outstanding Scholars Program, I worked closely with attorneys in price-fixing, bid-rigging, territorial allocation, civil merger, and global cartel investigations.

What is one interesting, fun, or offbeat thing you have done in your lifetime?

Probably taking improvisational comedy classes at the Second City in Chicago. (The Second City is the leading improv acting/comedy writing school in the nation. Reople like Tina Fey, Chris Farley, Jim Belushi, Bill Murray & Rachel Dratch all trained there).

About Boulder

Where do you live now (e.g., Boulder, Denver, etc.)?


Why did you choose to live there?

My husband spent most of his childhood commuting two hours a day on the subway from home to school, so being close to campus was very important to him from a time-management perspective.

What do you like most about Boulder?

We love the all of the hiking and biking trails, as well as the fact that you can drive ten minutes out of town an be in the mountains.

What do you like least about Boulder?

Not having enough time to enjoy it.

What piece of advice would you give a student about moving to Boulder?

Start looking for places early, keep in mind that the bulk of the apartments in town are typically rented by undergraduates. Landlords love grad students, and you can use this fact to your advantage when negotiating rent.

Favorite Place To Eat Out in Boulder

Southern Sun (in South Boulder)

About CU Law School

What piece of advice would you give a student about surviving being a 1L?

Take at least 30 minutes every day doing something to unwind after class. Once that?s done, start reading again. It?s very important to not get behind, keep up with the reading, and don?t skip class. Professors test on things that you can only know if you went to class.

About Choosing A Law School

Why did you want to go to law school in general?

During my senior year at Northwestern University I assisted with the political asylum trial of an Albanian woman. This trial, and subsequent research, opened my eyes to the hundreds of legitimate asylum seekers struggling to navigate a complex legal process -- many without the help of trained legal counsel. Since then, my list of goals has included gaining the legal expertise to help asylum seekers.

What made you decide to come to the University of Colorado School of Law specifically?

My family is only about a six hour drive away, and it?s nice not to have to hop on a plane to go home for a holiday. Also, we were tired of living in a large city, and wanted something more natural and rural in nature, something less like Chicago, where we were previously. More importantly, though CU has an excellent academic reputation. Its really a diamond in the rough ? we think it?s the best school on the front range ? professors respected in their fields, balanced and interesting students, and finally. . .a new building!

What area of law do you want to practice, and why?

My husband and I are still trying to determine what areas of law interest us the most, because as 1Ls we?ve only been exposed to a few subject areas. When we first applied to law school, we thought that he would pursue a career in intellectual property because he did about two years of computer science at Northwestern and might qualify for the patent bar, and that I would do immigration, natural resources, or international law, since I?ve had some exposure to those fields. But now that we?re at CU-Law and learning about other things, we?re trying not to confine ourselves. The more we know, the more we are interested in.

What piece of advice would you give a prospective student about choosing a law school?

Don?t just choose a law school based upon ranking or a particular specialty, because ultimately your experience at the school will be formed by the people, and not what factors U.S. News and World Report decides to include in its surveys. Choose a law school based upon the school as a whole, who you are as a person, and where you want to settle.

About Financial Assistance

Did you receive any financial aid, private loans, scholarships, or fellowships, and could you describe them?

My husband and I both took out Federal Stafford loans and I received a scholarship from the University.

What advice would you give a prospective student about how to get financial aid or how to understand the system?

Rely heavily upon the financial aid counselors at the law school. They?re a fantastic resource.

About the Law School Curriculum

What first year courses did you have?

Civil Procedure-Waggoner
Legal Writing-Heiny

What was your favorite Law School class? Why?

It?s a tie between Legal Writing and Contracts. Professor Louisa Heiny taught legal writing. Her class was well structured and clear, and the skills I learned in legal writing helped me with all my other classes. For Contracts I had Professor Scott Peppet ? he made a difficult subject understandable and has a great sense of humor.

What student organizations have you been involved with at the Law School?

I joined the Women?s Law Caucus and the Public Interest Student Association. I am not involved as an officer ? but I get a lot out of attending events and just being a member.


Is there anything else you would like to add?

CU Law is the best-kept secret in the first tier. Seriously.

On being a married couple in law school together:
Many people think that it?s hard enough having just one spouse in law school. But if you think about it, you have a built-in study group, your spouse never tires of talking about the law, we challenge and push each other, and it works really well. We couldn?t imagine doing it any other way.