Private Practice Careers

To maximize opportunities for Colorado Law students and alumni, our Career Development Office (CDO) stays in close contact with law firms both in Colorado and across the country. Over the last four years, Dean Weiser and other members of the faculty and staff met with more than 200 law firms in Colorado and other states, including California, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington DC, and corresponded with many others. All employer outreach is systematically tracked to ensure timely and efficient follow up.

The CDO also developed a directory of law firms comprised of 2-30 attorneys in Boulder and the Denver metropolitan area. The Directory contains contact information and a list of specialty areas for each firm, all Colorado Law alumni currently employed by the firm, a list of the years in which the firm hired a summer law clerk from Colorado Law, and instances in the recent past when the firm has posted a law clerk opportunity with our school.

By getting to know our students' backgrounds and interests and understanding the needs of private law firm employers, we can serve as effective matchmakers.

Employment

Thirty members of the class of 2017, and 61 members of the class of 2016, spent the summer of 2015 working for a law firm (Click here for 2014 employment information.)

Large firm (50+ attorneys) summer 2015 employers included:

  • Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld (Houston, TX)
  • Arnold & Porter (Denver)
  • Baker & Hostetler (Denver)
  • Ballard Spahr (Denver)
  • Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck (Denver)
  • Bryan Cave HRO (Denver)
  • Cooley (Broomfield, CO)
  • Davis Graham & Stubbs (Denver)
  • Dorsey & Whitney (Denver)
  • Faegre Baker Daniels (Denver)
  • Fennemore Craig (Denver)
  • Fox Rothschild (Denver)
  • Fredericks Peebles & Morgan (Louisville, CO)
  • Hogan Lovells (Denver & Washington, DC)
  • Holland & Hart (Boulder & Denver)
  • Holland & Knight (Denver)
  • Husch Blackwell (Denver)
  • Jackson Kelly (Denver)
  • Kutak Rock (Denver)
  • Lewis Roca Rothgerber (Denver)
  • McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, (Denver)
  • Messner & Reeves (Denver)
  • Polsinelli (Denver)
  • Sherman & Howard (Denver)
  • Snell & Wilmer (Denver)
  • Spencer Fane Britt & Browne (Denver)
  • Steptoe & Johnson (Denver)
  • Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell (Denver)

Mid-sized and small firm summer 2015 employers included:

  • Astrella Law (Denver)
  • Berenbaum Weinshienk (Denver)
  • Berg Hill Greenleaf & Ruscitti (Boulder)
  • Burns Figa & Will (Greenwood Village, CO)
  • Caplan and Earnest (Boulder)
  • Dietze and Davis (Denver)
  • Erise IP (Denver)
  • Frascona, Joiner, Goodman and Greenstein (Boulder)
  • Gard & Bond (Boulder)
  • Hutchinson Black & Cook (Boulder)
  • Inman Flynn Biesterfeld & Brentlinger (Denver)
  • Kaplan Kirsch Rockwell (Denver)
  • Kendall, Koenig & Oelsner (Denver)
  • Marsh Fischmann & Breyfogle (Denver)
  • Modus Law (Boulder)
  • Otis & Peters (Greeley, CO)
  • Reilly Pozner (Denver)
  • Riggs, Abney, Neal, Turpen, Orbison, & Lewis (Denver)
  • Robinson Waters & O'Dorisio (Denver)
  • Sage Law Group (Broomfield, CO)
  • Semple, Farrington, & Everall (Denver)
  • Sheridan Ross (Denver)
  • Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry (Anchorage, AK)
  • Stern & Curray (Denver)
  • Stover & Spitz (Denver)
  • Welborn Sullivan Meck & Tooley (Denver)

Forty percent of 2014 employed graduates (62/154) are working for law firms in private practice ten months after graduation, with 92 percent of these graduates in full-time, long-term positions. Twenty-two graduates reported employment at National Law Journal 350 law firms.

58 of these 62 graduates reported full time positions, and 55 reported a salary. The median private practice salary for those reporting was $85,000, and the mean was $91,354. One quarter of graduates reporting salaries earned more than $115,000, while one quarter earned less than $60,000.

Post-graduate employers include:

  • Astrella Law (Denver)
  • Baker & Hostetler (Denver)
  • Balcomb & Green (Glenwood Springs, CO)
  • Berg Hill Greenleaf & Ruscitti (Boulder)
  • Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck (Denver)
  • Bryan Cave HRO (Denver)
  • Burns Figa & Will (Denver)
  • Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft (New York, NY)
  • Data Law Group (Denver)
  • Davis Graham & Stubbs (Denver)
  • Faegre Baker Daniels (Denver)
  • Fisher & Phillips (Denver)
  • Frascona, Joiner, Goodman and Greenstein (Boulder)
  • Fredericks Peebles & Morgan (Louisville, CO)
  • Garfield & Hecht (Aspen, CO)
  • Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher (Denver)
  • Hershey Decker (Littleton, CO)
  • Hogan Lovells (Denver & Colorado Springs)
  • Holland & Hart (Denver)
  • Kendall, Koenig & Oelsner (Boulder)
  • Lathrop & Gage (Denver)
  • Marsh Fischmann & Breyfogle (Denver)
  • Messner & Reeves (Denver)
  • Otten Johnson Robinson Neff + Ragonetti (Denver)
  • Porzak Browning & Bushong (Boulder)
  • Sheridan Ross (Denver)
  • Shumway, Van & Hansen (Salt Lake City, UT)
  • Stern & Curray (Denver)
  • Welborn Sullivan Meck & Tooley (Denver)
  • Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr (Washington, DC)
  • Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicken (New York, NY
  • Wood Smith Henning & Berman (Denver)

Programming

Recent CDO programs have highlighted career options in the private practice of law and provided students with information on topics related to private law firms, such as:

  • Bankruptcy
  • Civil litigation
  • Compliance
  • Energy law
  • Family law
  • General practice
  • Health law
  • Intellectual property
  • Law firm economics
  • Privacy
  • Real Estate
  • Solo and small firm practice
  • Succeeding in summer employment
  • Transactional practice

In January, 2015, the CDO sponsored the 4th Annual JD Pathways, a career conference that brought together 99 students and 78 attorneys, over half of whom work for private law firms. The CDO also sponsors three program series to allow students additional opportunities to meet and learn from private practitioners:

  • Career Perspective Series: Speakers have included representatives of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck; Burns, Figa & Will; Polsinelli; and Pryor Johnson Carney Karr Nixon, as well as members of the judiciary with private practice backgrounds.
  • Hot Jobs: Speakers have included representatives of firms in Boulder and Denver such as Alderman Bernstein; Beatty & Wozniak; Cianco Cianco Brown; Davis Graham & Stubbs; Dietze & Davis; Fairfield and Woods; Greenberg Traurig; Holland & Hart; Marsh Fischmann & Breyfogle; Onsager, Staelin & Guyerson; Patton Boggs; Sheridan Ross; and Wellborn, Sullivan, Meck & Tooley; other firms located in Colorado such as Balcomb & Green (Glenwood Springs); Law of the Rockies (Gunnison); Liley, Rogers and Martell (Fort Collins); Myatt Brandes & Gast (Fort Collins); and firms from other parts of the country such as McGinnis, Lochridge & Kilgore in Austin and Houston, Texas.
  • Wednesday Morning Coffees: Speakers have included representatives of Condit Csajaghy in Denver; Ciancio Ciancio Brown P.C. in Broomfield; Faegre Baker Daniels in Denver; Fowler, Schimberg & Flanagan in Denver; Hunton & Williams in Dallas; Johnson & Repucci in Boulder; Joesph Law Firm in Aurora; Kennedy Childs in Denver; and Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton in Denver.

We also host approximately 70 employers each academic year through our fall and spring On-Campus Interview (OCI) programs. Thirty-nine OCI employers in the 2014-15 academic year represented private law firms. At least 23 first- and second-year students obtained paid summer employment at law firms through the OCI process, and many others secured internships during the academic year.

Diverse 1Ls at Colorado Law have the opportunity to obtain summer clerk positions at Denver-area law firms through the Colorado Pledge to Diversity Program. Twelve members of the class of 2017 obtained summer associate positions with Berenbaum Weinshienk; Dorsey & Whitney; Faegre Baker Daniels; Holland & Knight; Jackson Kelly; Kutak Rock; McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter; Messner & Reeves; and Reilly Pozner.