March 2021Download This Article (.pdf)
Hometown: Des Moines, IowaLaw School: University of Miami School of LawLive in: DenverWorks at: R3 Mediation, LLCPractice Areas(s): Alternative dispute resolution (arbitration, facilitation, and mediation), specializing in employment, family, business, and torts mattersCBA Member Since: 1999
Robin Rossenfeld owns a mediation and arbitration practice in Denver. She is a section representative for the CBA Board of Governors Executive Council, as well as a member of the ADR, Family Law, Labor and Employment, and Solo and Small Firm Sections.
Why did you become a lawyer?
To make a difference.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
From my mother: You can do anything with a law degree (and, if you look at my career, you will see I’ve definitely done a lot of things with my JD).
What’s the worst advice you’ve ever been given?
From the “boy, have times changed” file: When I was finishing law school and a two-year internship with the Dade County State Attorney’s Office, a female judge said to me, “Why do you want to be a litigator? Litigation is no job for a woman.” (I never followed that advice and spent many years enjoying litigation!)
What is your favorite memory from law school?
My law school plays. The first was a student-written parody of the law school experience. The second was The Murder of the Reasonable Man or The Top Twenty Percent Solution. You get the idea. For that production, I was not only a cast member, but also the producer, lyricist, choreographer, and rehearsal pianist.
Who is your favorite writer and why?
Jane Austen is one of them. I reread her books every few years and I always get something new from them. I even cried when I visited her grave in Winchester Cathedral. Another author I love is Robertson Davies. His use of language just blows my mind, and his stories are so much fun. I heard him give a lecture about a year before he died, and his process was fascinating.
What is your favorite place you’ve traveled to?
I love Great Britain. I went to university there my junior year and traveled to a lot of places Americans did not visit in those days. On a later trip I went to Portmeirion, which has a beautiful set of gardens overlooking the Irish Sea. It’s also where they filmed the 1960s TV classic (one of my favorite shows) The Prisoner. I really must love the place because my dishes are Portmeirion china.
What’s the most random job you’ve ever had?
I worked as an office temp during the summer and winter breaks when I was in college. Over three years, I got to do everything from file clerk to office manager to marking punch cards for key operators (do you remember those days before PCs?), and my favorite of all, elevator operator.
What advice would you give a new lawyer?
It isn’t a sin to admit you don’t know everything. Listen. Ask questions. Have patience. Don’t make assumptions. Forgive yourself your missteps. Take your work, but not yourself, seriously. Most of all, have fun!
What is one thing you know now that you wish you would have known in your first year of practice?
That my mother was right—you CAN do anything with a law degree!