Official Magazine of the Denver Bar Association

10 Questions with New Board of Trustees Member J. Ryann Peyton

1. What are five adjectives that you would ascribe to yourself?
Tenacious. Collaborative. Innovative. Thoughtful. Resilient.

2. Why did you become a lawyer?
I thought it would help me become an FBI agent.

3. What has been your favorite DBA event and why?
I love the Barristers Benefit Ball because I get to see my very buttoned-up colleagues let loose on the dance floor! I also enjoy celebrating the imperative work of MVL.

4. Why did you want to lead the Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program (CAMP)?
My approach to being a lawyer has always encompassed not only the practice of law but also the duty to take care of the profession. I spent the first eight years of my career focusing solely on the “practice” part of lawyering. I wanted an opportunity to focus my time and efforts on taking care of the profession. Leading the CAMP program has provided me with a means of improving the practice and the profession of law in Colorado while paying it forward to the next generation of young lawyers who want nothing more than to find success in practice.

5. What has been one of the biggest challenges that you have had to overcome?
I have struggled most of my life with social anxiety disorder, and it is a challenge I continue to work to overcome. I could have chosen a career more suitable for people who struggle to talk to other people. Instead, I chose a profession based on human interaction. I chose to be a litigator, and I chose to allow myself the opportunity to be a leader within the legal profession. These choices have certainly come with the panic attacks, frustration and general “what did I get myself into?” thoughts one might expect; but at the end of the day, I am a stronger and more fulfilled person than I would be if I had chosen to take the easy road.

6. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
There are two pieces of advice that I try to incorporate into my life: “Work hard in silence. Let success be your noise.” “Every pizza is a personal pizza if you try hard enough and believe in yourself.”

7. What are your hobbies outside of the law?
With a five-year-old son at home, my free time is limited. But on most weekends, you can find me skiing, fly fishing or paddling.

8. If you could have dinner with any historical figure, with whom would it be and why?
John F. Kennedy. I am fascinated by his ability to lead and inspire. I’d love to learn how to generate a collective vision and empower people to see their role in achieving that vision the way he motivated people to take responsibility for creating a better America. I’d also like to know whether he would have still chosen the office of president if he knew how everything would end. I’d ask him if the opportunity to do good at the highest level was worth the sacrifice.

9. If you could change anything about Denver, what would it be?
Water. I grew up in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” and I sometimes miss lake life.

10. If you weren’t a lawyer, you’d be:
A ski bum. D

Hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Lives in: Denver.
Lives with: My wife, Sara, our son, Archer, and our English bulldog, Doobie.
Works at: Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program (CAMP).
Practices in: Doesn’t practice anymore but previously practiced in family law and civil rights.
Law school: University of St. Thomas School of Law.

Editor’s Note: Do you know a DBA member who should be featured? Email nominations to Jessica Volz at jvolz@cobar.org.


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