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 three 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

Twenty-one members of the class of 2015, and 58 members of the class of 2014, spent the summer of 2013 working for a law firm. (Click here for 2012 employment information.)

Large firm (50+ attorneys) summer 2013 employers included:

  • Baker & Hostetler (Denver)
  • Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck (Denver)
  • Bryan Cave HRO (Denver)
  • Davis Graham & Stubbs (Denver)
  • Fisher & Phillips (Denver)
  • Fulbright & Jaworski (Denver)
  • Gibson Dunn & Crutcher (Denver)
  • Hall & Evans (Denver)
  • Hogan Lovells (Washington, DC)
  • Holland & Hart (Denver)
  • Lathrop & Gage (Denver)
  • Patton Boggs (Denver)
  • Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons (Denver)
  • Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (New York, NY)
  • Snell & Wilmer (Denver)
  • WilmerHale (Washington, DC)

Mid-sized and small firm summer 2013 employers included:

  • Balcomb & Green (Glenwood Springs)
  • Burns, Figa & Will (Denver)
  • Caplan and Earnest (Boulder)
  • Davis & Ceriani (Denver)
  • Foster Graham Milstein & Calisher (Denver)
  • Frascona, Joiner, Goodman and Greenstein (Boulder)
  • Hatch Ray Olsen Sandberg (Denver)
  • Hill & Robbins (Denver)
  • Marsh Fischmann & Breyfogle (Denver)
  • Messner & Reeves (Denver)
  • Otten Johnson Robinson Neff + Ragonetti (Denver)
  • Reilly Pozner (Denver)
  • Sheridan Ross (Denver)
  • Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry (Anchorage, AK)
  • Stern & Curray (Denver)
  • Welborn Sullivan Meck & Tooley (Denver)

Thirty-two percent of 2013 employed graduates (51/159) are working for law firms in private practice nine months after graduation, with 94 percent of these graduates in full-time, long-term positions. Eighteen graduates reported employment at National Law Journal 350 law firms.

48 of these 51 graduates reported full time positions, and 41 reported a salary. The median private practice salary for those reporting was $76,000, and the mean was $92,317. One quarter of graduates reporting salaries earned more than $125,000, while one quarter earned less than $60,000.

Post-graduate employers include:

  • Baker Botts (Houston, TX)
  • Benson & Case (Denver)
  • Burns Figa & Will (Denver)
  • Cooley LLP (Broomfield)
  • Davis & Ceriani (Denver)
  • Dorsey & Whitney (Denver)
  • Faegre Baker Daniels (Denver)
  • Fairfield & Woods, PC (Denver)
  • Feldmann Nagel (Denver)
  • Foley & Mansfield (Oakland, CA)
  • Greenberg Traurig (Denver)
  • Harris Law Firm (Denver)
  • Hernandez & Associates (Denver)
  • Hogan Lovells (Denver)
  • Holland & Hart (Boise, ID)
  • Kilpatrick Townsend (Denver)
  • King & Greisen (Denver)
  • Kissinger & Fellman (Denver)
  • Kolko & Associates (Denver)
  • Lance Astrella, PC (Denver)
  • Lathrop & Gage (Boulder)
  • MacMillan Sobanski & Todd (Fort Collins)
  • Manning & Kass, Elrod, Ramirez, Trester LLP (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Martha Hartney (Boulder)
  • McKenna, Long & Aldridge (Denver)
  • Merchant & Gould (Denver)
  • Miles & Peters (Denver)
  • Outten & Golden LLP (New York, NY)
  • Patton Boggs (Denver)
  • Perkins Coie (Washington, DC)
  • Polsinelli Shughart (Denver)
  • Sheridan Ross (Denver)
  • Silicon Legal Strategy (San Francisco, CA)
  • Sutin Thayer & Browne (Albuquerque, NM)
  • The Bagley Law Firm (Longmont)
  • Waller Lansden Dorch & Davis (Nashville, TN)
  • Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell (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
  • Intellectual property
  • Law firm economics
  • Privacy
  • Solo and small firm practice
  • Succeeding in summer employment
  • Transactional practice

In January, 2014, the CDO sponsored the 3rd Annual JD Pathways, a career conference that brought together 60 students and 80 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; Davis Graham & Stubbs; Dietze & Davis; Greenberg Traurig; Holland & Hart; Miles & Peters; Onsager, Staelin & Guyerson; Patton Boggs; Wellborn, Sullivan, Meck & Tooley; other firms located in Colorado such as Balcomb & Green (Glenwood Springs); 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; 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. Forty OCI employers in the 2013-14 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 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. Eleven members of the class of 2016 obtained summer associate positions with Arnold & Porter, Brownstein Hyatt Farber & Schrek, Century Link, Dorsey & Whitney, Faegre Baker Daniels, Hall & Evans, Hogan Lovells, Jackson Kelly, Kutak Rock, Polsinelli, and Reilly Pozner.