December 2023Download This Article (.pdf)
Ginette Chapman started her own business, Legal Edits, LLC, after 15 years of practicing law. She now lives near Durango, where she finds time between editing jobs to explore the San Juan Mountains. In July, she began her first term on the Colorado Lawyer Advisory Board.
Law School: University of Arizona
Lives in: Durango
Works at: Legal Edits, LLC
Practice Area(s): Legal editing and writing
CBA Member Since: February 2023
Describe yourself in five words.
Editing guru and nature enthusiast.
What do you like the most about your practice area?
Many lawyers aren’t comfortable with writing. I lighten their load by helping them with writing and editing so they can focus on the parts of their jobs they like best. I especially enjoy coaching writers so they can express themselves persuasively.
What’s your favorite memory from law school?
Believe it or not, I fondly recall writing my law review note about the reuse of treated sewage effluent. By a strange twist of fate, that note introduced me to my husband, a journalist working on water issues.
What is one of the most positive experiences you’ve had as a lawyer?
Far and away, my favorite law job was clerking for Justice Gregory Hobbs Jr. I loved the excitement and energy of the Colorado Supreme Court and relished the chance to contribute to the state’s jurisprudence.
Who is your favorite writer and why?
Justice Monica Márquez is my favorite legal writer in Colorado. Her opinions sing.
Outside of the law, what are your hobbies?
I love to hike in the high country with our rescue dog, tend my garden, hang out with my 9-year-old daughter, and play word games like Wordle.
What’s your favorite place to escape to in Colorado?
Alpine lakes surrounded by wildflowers.
How do you find work/life balance?
Most afternoons I carve out time to spend with my daughter since that’s my top priority, and then I make up the time after she’s gone to bed. I’m trying to learn to say no to assignments that I simply don’t have time for, but it’s tough.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Delivering a speech to thousands of people at my high school graduation despite being terrified of public speaking.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Early in my practice, a lawyer advised me to never make assumptions. I kept that in mind and was bowled over when I realized just how many unfounded assumptions I was jumping to in my legal work.
What’s the worst advice you’ve ever been given?
You’ll regret moving to Durango.
What advice would you give a new lawyer?
Always save ample time for revising written work products (it takes longer than you think!), and ask a colleague to review your writing.
Why are you a dues-paying member of the CBA?
As a new member, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the wealth of resources available through the CBA, from top-notch CLEs to full access to Colorado Lawyer.