August/September 2022Download This Article (.pdf)
Hometown: LongmontLaw School: University of Colorado Law SchoolLive in: Snowmass VillageWorks at: Kalamaya | GoschaPractice Areas(s): Family Law and Personal InjuryCBA Member Since: 2007
Ryan Kalamaya is a ski bum in Aspen who moonlights as a trial lawyer and managing partner of a growing firm that specializes in personal injury, criminal defense, and family law. He has a podcast called “Divorce at Altitude” and is the current board chair for Alpine Legal Services.
Why did you become a lawyer?
I realized in college that I wasn’t good enough to become a professional baseball player. I taught for a year at a boarding school in England and traveled around the world before running out of money and applying to law school. I became a lawyer because I enjoy learning new things, working with individuals, and the competitiveness of litigation.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Don Quick, who was the Adams County district attorney, encouraged me to move to the mountains to take a position with the Eagle County DA’s Office. I love practicing law in the mountains.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My greatest professional achievement is starting an ambitious, innovative law firm with my partner, Amy Goscha. My greatest life achievement is getting my wife to marry and have two kids with me.
What do you wish you had learned in law school?
How to manage a law firm.
What technology has transformed your practice?
We leverage auto email campaigns for every matter our firm takes on. Each client receives a series of emails over the first month of our relationship that explains issues such as the attorney-client privilege, litigation hold, and how to keep fees down.
What are the greatest challenges you face in your practice, and how do you manage them?
Mental health. I meditate, journal, and exercise every day.
What’s one of the most positive experiences you’ve had as a lawyer?
Helping a father reunite with his two daughters after becoming estranged during a post-divorce dispute.
Outside of the law, what are your hobbies?
My office is at the base of Aspen Highlands, so I ski—a lot. I also enjoy rafting, mountain biking, and traveling the West in my Sprinter van with my family.
What are you passionate about?
Getting my kids dirty in the outdoors.
What’s your favorite Denver restaurant?
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Double spacing between sentences and Arial font typeface.
What advice would you give a new lawyer?
When in doubt, send that email after a night of sleep and another review.
What’s one thing you know now that you wish you knew in your first year of practice?
Trials are like cigarettes: each one takes a year off your life (hat tip to CBA member Ted Gardenswartz for this gem).
If I had a dime for every time I heard (blank), I’d be a rich person.
“I just want what is fair in my divorce.”