September 2023Download This Article (.pdf)
Hometown: DenverLaw School: University of Wyoming College of Law Live in: ArvadaWorks at: Project SafeguardPractice Areas(s): Representing victims of gender-based violence in civil cases—mainly domestic relations and civil protection ordersCBA Member Since: 2008
Describe yourself in five words.
Describe yourself in five words.
Determined, empathetic, curious, generous, thoughtful.
Why did you become a lawyer?
I actually didn’t want to be a lawyer—I was considering graduate school, and someone suggested that law school would open all kinds of doors and be a great place to learn a new way of thinking. So I decided to go, and I ended up loving the law!
What’s one of the most positive experiences you’ve had as a lawyer?
I’ve spent my career representing victims of gender-based violence in civil cases, and I’ve seen my clients revictimized, humiliated, and shamed by the very system that was created to bring them justice. Finding the positive in a world that deeply misunderstands domestic and sexual violence can be challenging, even when a case is won. So it’s somewhat surprising that one of the most positive experiences I’ve had recently was in a case we lost. The presiding magistrate granted a motion to dismiss a permanent protection order despite our request to keep it in place. However, this magistrate treated our client with dignity—even thanked her for her bravery. He honored the difficulty of his decision and thoughtfully walked through each factor in the statute and thoroughly explained his reasonings. That was a win for us, and for our client, who left trusting the system and believing that if she had to return, she would be treated respectfully and fairly.
Outside of the law, what are your hobbies?
Even as summer has drawn to a close, it’s difficult not to mention gardening first. We replaced our front lawn with all native plants and shrubs, and even this time of year we have a great and colorful showing. I also enjoy cycling, reading, cooking, and cross-country skiing in the winter.
What’s your favorite place to escape to in Colorado?
Twin Lakes. My husband, son, and I enjoy kayaking in the lakes at the base of Mt. Elbert—it’s peaceful and refreshing.
What’s your dream career?
Owning a cheese shop!
What’s your favorite thing to cook?
My current favorite thing to cook is pancakes with my kiddo on Sunday mornings because we have so much fun together. He loves to help measure ingredients, stir, and of course, lick the spoon.
Who’s your favorite writer and why?
When it comes to fiction, I love to escape with a Jodi Picoult or Christopher Moore novel.
How do you find work/life balance?
Balance is a journey, not a destination. It takes continued work. I try not to bite off too much at work, while also being fully present while there, so that I can leave at the end of the day and be fully present with my family. I’m lucky that I work for an organization that values balance, because victim advocacy can easily lead to burnout. I’m trusted to set boundaries around my time and technology, and I challenge those I supervise to do the same. As the legal director, I’m motivated to lead by example because I want a healthy and energetic team!