Joel M. Pratt
December 2020Download This Article (.pdf)
Hometown: Denver, ColoradoLaw School: University of Michigan Law School Live in: Colorado SpringsWorks at: Dailey Law, P.C. Practice Areas(s): Appellate, Family, Juvenile, and Guardianship/ProbateCBA Member Since: 2015
Joel Pratt was born and raised in Colorado and has lived all over the Front Range. In the office, you can find him writing and researching legal issues, investigating his cases, and advocating for parents; outside of the office, you can find him exploring local hiking trails or playing music. This is his first year as a member of the Colorado Lawyer advisory board.
What inspired your enthusiasm for Colorado Lawyer?
I have always been inspired by great writing and writers. I am humbled to join the board of a publication that provides CBA members with clear, well-written articles about the law and the community.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Take the work seriously, but never take yourself too seriously.
What is one of the most positive experiences you’ve had as a lawyer?
One of my very first clients still sends me a holiday card every year because of the work I started for her. From her, I learned that my skills could improve people’s lives. That is and always has been the reason I do this and the most positive experience of lawyering.
What do you like the most about your practice area?
The people I meet through the cases, be they clients, professionals, or other attorneys doing the same work.
What do you wish you had learned in law school?
So many things, from the business side of practicing to the nuts and bolts of being a real-life lawyer. But primarily, I wish that law schools better emphasized that this profession is only one part of a person’s identity and personal success.
Who is your favorite writer and why?
Tough question. Ta-Nehisi Coates has probably provided me the most insight into experiences I do not share, and his writing voice is unique and powerful.
What organizations are you involved in?
I serve on the board of the El Paso County Bar Association, and I volunteer as an attorney with the Teen Court diversion program. I take cases through the El Paso County District Court’s pro bono program, the Justice Center, the CBA Appellate Pro Bono Program, and the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center.
What is your favorite thing to cook?
Breakfast! Nothing like bacon, eggs, and potatoes.
What kind of legal matter do you find most rewarding or personally satisfying?
I love the intellectual challenge of researching, issue-spotting, drafting, editing, re-editing, and re-re-editing appellate briefs. I am rewarded by submitting a high-quality product that helps my client and of which I can be proud.
What advice would you give a new lawyer?
Find a mentor and actually listen to that person, even (and especially) when you think you don’t agree.
If you weren’t a lawyer, you’d be?
Finally getting a good night’s sleep.