From the city to the mountains of the Roaring Fork Valley, Shoshana Rosenthal followed her love of the outdoors to both the University of Colorado Law School and her current position in Glenwood Springs, where she practices as an associate at Karp Neu Hanlon, P.C.
Tell us a little about your work. What do you do, and what might a “typical” work day look like?
Every day is varied, which keeps me engaged and feeling like I'm constantly learning. On a given day, I work on cases ranging from commercial litigation and land use to municipal law and employment matters. I usually spend my day researching, drafting motions, preparing for hearings or trials, meeting with clients, negotiating settlement agreements, and attending court. Working at a smaller firm has been really nice because I feel like I can really take initiative on cases and get to know the clients and the issues. On a typical day I also like to take long walks and sit by the river.
How did you find your job?
I was living in Denver, and I started to crave the mountains every weekend. I had also been coming to the Roaring Fork Valley regularly to ski and hike. I did my research and tried to speak to attorneys in the valley about good firms and what kind of options may be out here for a two to three year associate. I learned that there are numerous well-established, respected firms from Glenwood Springs to Aspen. I was lucky enough to know a few public defenders in the Glenwood Springs office who introduced me to several attorneys around town. I saw an opening at Karp Neu Hanlon, a firm I had known about for a while, and luckily had a mutual friend (Molly Owens (’13) with one of their associates, Jon Hoisted (’13). I emailed Jon immediately. He was able to put my résumé on the desk of the hiring partner.
How did Colorado Law help you in your job search?
Without Colorado Law, I could not have gotten my foot in the door at Fox Rothschild. I found the position posted on CDOnline, interned there my 2L summer, and spent my first two years after law school working there. I practiced my interview skills during on-campus interviews and took advantage of the resources and guidance the CDO provided in the application process.
When I was ready to move on from Fox, the network of Colorado Law alumni was invaluable. When I decided to start looking, I scheduled a ton of coffees. Meeting fellow alumni face-to-face and just asking them how they have navigated their legal career was so important for me to be confident that I was making the right next step. My closest friends set me up with their colleagues and mentors, who provided guidance and a lot of wisdom. Those meetings turned into more meetings. I was eventually confident that taking this big leap of faith and moving to the mountains was the right move for me.
What skills do you utilize on a daily basis, and how did your experiences or courses at Colorado Law help you develop these skills?
My experience at Colorado Law taught me how to write a legal brief, analyze real-life legal issues, and ski more. I pretty much use all of those skills on a daily basis. It also taught me that a law job is not everything and to enjoy friends and the outdoors.
Please talk a little about “people skills” and relationship building. How have your professional acquaintances (and friends) made a difference in your career?
My friends have made an incredible difference my career. I could not have made it without the support, encouragement, and bourbon drinking that my friends at Colorado Law offered. Also, during my job search, I became amazed at the power of simply meeting a fellow attorney, alumni or not, for coffee or drinks. I really enjoyed hearing from different attorneys about how they carved their own path on their own terms. Each meeting always served a valuable purpose, taught me about the troubles and triumphs that other attorneys experience, and provided me with a little more intel on the Colorado job market.
What advice would you give to current students with respect to finding a career?
Clerk, extern, and take a clinic. You don’t know what kind of job will fit you until you put yourself in a position to know. While attending Colorado Law, I experienced what my career might look like as clerk, as an attorney for a nonprofit, in the public sector, and for a big law firm. Go experience your options. And once you do, there is no harm in moving around a bit. You can’t know until you experience, and law school provides a lot of opportunities to dabble. Finding a job is one thing, and graduating from Colorado Law will open a lot of doors. But finding a career that is satisfying and fulfilling is an entirely different beast, and I would recommend focusing on that first and foremost, and then the job will come easily.
If you were to recommend Colorado Law to a potential law student, what would you say?
Colorado Law is a place for bright, inspired graduate students who care more about the world, our environment, politics, movies, music, and food than their grade in a classroom. Coming to school was not necessarily a burden but (most of the time) a joy. I would see my friends in the hallway who had just come from floating the Grand Canyon, skiing Eldora, running around Chautauqua, playing with their band in Fort Collins, winning a club soccer league championship, and fishing at Wonderland Lake. Not only did CU provide the necessary tools to start my legal career, I was constantly surrounded by smart, intellectual, fun, serious and playful classmates. Friends for life! Reason enough to attend Colorado Law.
Why did you choose Colorado Law?
For the few years I was living in Denver before I applied to law school, Boulder had always enchanted me. I loved escaping the city for a weekend, going on hikes, and eating delicious sandwiches on Pearl Street. It was a place where I could see myself living. Also, at a luncheon for prospective students, former Colorado Law Professor Paul Ohm chatted with me about the strength of Colorado Law's intellectual property program. I later determined that he was right. When I was accepted to Colorado Law, it was a no brainer.