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Official Magazine of the Denver Bar Association

Meet the Incoming DBA President-Elect, Vice Presidents, and Board of Trustee Members

NANCY COHEN, President-Elect

Please tell us a little about yourself, personally and professionally.

CohenI grew up in New Jersey and came out West to attend college at the University of Denver. I never looked back. My dad was a nuclear physicist and my mom was a speech pathologist. If I wanted any chance of persuading my parents to my way of thinking, I had to learn how to argue in a logical fashion. After I earned my undergrad degree in political science and philosophy, I considered a Masters in Philosophy but my mom wisely suggested that law school was a better choice. I attended DU for law school. I have worked in private law firms except when I was with the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel. In my current practice, I focus on representing lawyers and law firms and commercial litigation.

Jim and I have two children, Daniel and Jessica. As a family, we enjoy biking, hiking, rafting and skiing. We also enjoy traveling and often combine the two, whether it is biking in New Zealand or rafting in Costa Rica. I have hiked all of the 14ers in Colorado and always look forward to the next challenge.

Why do you believe the Bar is important, and how has it helped your career?

My membership and participation with the DBA has allowed me to develop and forge relationships with people whom I trust and call upon for insight and brainstorming on a wide range of topics. I enjoy the opportunity to network and learn from people practicing in various areas of the law, because  they bring different perspectives to lawyering. My involvement in the DBA not only helps me be a better lawyer, it gives me a wide network of names to provide when I am asked for a lawyer referral.

New lawyers have many challenges. The DBA can help in a number of ways, including education courses devoted to new lawyers, access to business tools and resources, networking, and the opportunity to meet colleagues who will become lifelong friends. The DBA also has many great pro bono programs. Participation in any one of these programs is another way of having a sense of pride in being a lawyer.

What advice would you offer to a new lawyer?

My advice to any lawyer is to take risks professionally and personally. I took a risk when I was a second-year lawyer and asked then CBA Ethics Committee Chair, Phil Figa, to appoint me to the committee, which he did. It was one of the best risks I took as a young attorney, because it opened the door to my current practice of representing lawyers and law firms.

If you weren’t practicing law, what career would you have chosen?

If I were not practicing law, I would teach. There is nothing more rewarding than helping people learn and reach their potential.

 

RICHARD M. MURRAY, 1st Vice President

Please tell us a little about yourself, personally and professionally.

MurrayI made my way to Colorado to attend the University of Colorado for college and, like many other people from out of state, fell in love with Colorado and have never left. While at CU, I majored in political science and philosophy, with a minor in business. I had the honor of serving as student body president during my senior year and worked toward the securing of financing for new construction on campus, such as the Wolf Law Building. I then stayed in Boulder to attend law school at CU. Upon graduating, I had the pleasure of serving as a judicial law clerk to the Hon. Nathan B. Coats on the Colorado Supreme Court.

After my one-year clerkship term, I found a wonderful mentor, Mark Fogg, and defended physicians in medical malpractice actions with him for a handful of years. In 2012, I made a switch to Polsinelli PC and practice in the areas of general business, commercial, IP, and construction litigation. I have been married to my wife Elizabeth, a Colorado native and a fellow CU alum, since December 2010. We have a two-and-a-half year old boy, Cayden, and welcomed into our lives a beautiful baby girl, Olivia, on April 8, 2015.

What’s your most memorable legal moment to date?

There have been a lot of memorable moments to date, whether it was winning summary judgment or getting a case dismissed on a motion, helping a client through a very difficult time in his or her life, getting a favorable settlement, or winning an appeal. However, the most memorable legal moment occurred before all of that happened. I would characterize my experience, and what I consider the valuable continuation of my legal education, during the year I clerked for Justice Coats as the most memorable. The entire clerkship year was an experience that I will always cherish. The ability to be behind the scenes on some of the major issues affecting Colorado and being able to build on my legal skill set with such brilliant legal minds was invaluable.

If you weren’t practicing law, what career would you have chosen?

If I had not entered the legal profession, I would have been drawn to the arena of public policy and public service. During college, I focused my studies on political science and political philosophy, with internships with both the U.S. and Colorado House of Representatives. The common nexus between my current career and this other possible path is a dedication to helping others, solving problems, and trying to make society a little bit better than you found it.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

The best advice came to me from Mark Fogg, who taught me that the legal profession is one of the few ways to spend your life where you put the needs and interests of another human being before your own. He taught me that responsiveness, in addition to high quality work, is one of the most important qualities that a client deserves.

What’s your favorite part about practicing in Denver?

Denver is one of those unique places that is large enough to be a city and have all of the attractions, amenities, and services that go along with a metropolitan area, while still maintaining a town-like feel, because it is easy to get around and you run into familiar faces. In addition, the scenic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains is priceless.

 

KEVIN E. McREYNOLDS, 2nd Vice President

McReynoldsPlease tell us a little about yourself, personally and professionally.
I grew up in Arizona and spent a lot of family vacations in Colorado, skiing in the winters and camping in the summers. After detours for college (where I met my wife) and UCLA Law, I finally moved to Denver in 2008.

While at a small firm, I figured out that I loved appellate work and quit to do criminal appeals for the Attorney General. I’ve been with the AG’s office for almost three years. Proving (again) that she’s smarter than me, my wife found her niche faster and left the law to write novels. Her first book “The Corridor,” by A.N. Willis, comes out June 23!

How did you first get involved with the Bar, and how has it helped your career?

Kickball. Really. The YLD was scraping together a team for a tournament and I showed up. I met some great people, which led to a pro bono case that ended up in front of the 10th Circuit. That experience and meeting appellate lawyers through the YLD ultimately put me in my current job.

The bar has done a lot for me, and I’ve stayed involved to help other attorneys experience the same kinds of personal and professional benefits I’ve enjoyed.

What advice would you offer to a new lawyer?

Try things outside your comfort zone as often as you can. You’ll learn a lot more and gain confidence to take on new challenges.

If you weren’t practicing law, what would you do?

Start a brewery—though I’m not sure if Denver already has its fill of quirky microbreweries run by enthusiastic homebrewers!

 

SARAH CLARK, Board of Trustees

Please tell us a little about yourself, personally and professionally.

ClarkI’m a Colorado native and University of Colorado Law School grad. I grew up in Littleton and spent nearly every winter weekend of my life at Ski Cooper in Leadville, where I was on the volunteer ski patrol for nearly two decades. My husband Seth and I have lived in Edgewater since 2006, and I served on the Edgewater City Council from 2009 to 2011.

How did you first get involved with the Bar, and how has it helped your career?

The Colorado Bar Association Leadership Training program was my launching pad to Bar involvement and led to my role as a DBA representative to the Board of Governors. I’ve gained so much by serving on the Board of Governors on behalf of the DBA. In addition to learning about and participating in the governance of the Bar, I’ve met so many incredible colleagues. It’s this participation and these relationships that have enhanced my day-to-day practice by deepening my commitment to the community and the profession.

What advice would you offer to a new lawyer?

Develop a habit of community involvement. Whether it’s participating in Bar activities, taking a pro bono case, being an active law school alum, or volunteering for a community nonprofit, these experiences are so rewarding, and it’s impossible to find the time without deliberate effort.

If you weren’t practicing law, what would you do?

I’d be a civil engineer. I love the law because it’s the glue that holds society together. Civil engineering is kind of like that too. I’ve always imagined that I’d enjoy being responsible for designing and constructing the roads, bridges, railways, and water and utility systems that keep society connected and operational.

 

MARGRIT LENT PARKER, Board of Trustees

Please tell us a little about yourself, personally and professionally.

ParkerI am a California kid who came to Colorado for college, and stayed for my now-husband, who is a Fort Collins native. I attended CSU for its animal and equine science programs, because my original plan was to go to veterinary school. After college, I spent a year in Kentucky on a horse farm and at an equine veterinary hospital. I loved every minute of it, but at some point during that year, my focus turned to law school. After I returned from Kentucky, I spent most of a year working for the National Western Stock Show, then another year at a law firm before I started at CU Law in 2005. And now, here I am! I work at Childs McCune, and my husband and I live in the Firestone area with a few acres and horses.

How did you first get involved with the Bar, and how has it helped your career?

I first got involved with the local bar during law school as the law student liaison to the CBA YLD. I also participated in the CWBA and the ABA Law Student Division during law school, attending multiple conferences. Being involved in bar associations helped me integrate into the legal profession, get to know other lawyers, and understand the more global issues facing the legal profession. I continue to be involved because of the dedication of the bars and their members to improve the legal profession and the legal system. Attending conferences and working on projects keeps me inspired to be a lawyer, especially on the days when work is tough and stressful.

What advice would you offer to a new lawyer?

Stay connected with other lawyers. It doesn’t matter how. It can be as simple as developing relationships with lawyers in your law firm, getting involved in a bar association committee, joining one of Colorado’s several Inns of Court, or signing up for the state mentoring program (Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program).

If you weren’t practicing law, what would you do?

I would be working outside with much less desk time, perhaps running a horse farm or some other equestrian facility. Or run a dude ranch up in the mountains. Or run a guest lodge in my favorite place in Michigan, where my family visits every summer. Or develop a gig like Rick Steves and travel the world. Or—there are so many things this world has to offer!

 

SHANNON STEVENSON, Board of Trustees

Please tell us a little  about yourself, personally and professionally.

StevensonI’m originally from Alabama, but left to attend undergrad and law school at Duke University in North Carolina. This makes me a huge college football fan (War Eagle!) and a huge college basketball fan (Go Duke!).  After law school, I moved out to Denver for a clerkship on the Tenth Circuit. I expected that it would be a great year in Colorado, but after a few months, I easily decided I was never leaving. After the clerkship, I started in the Trial Group at Davis Graham & Stubbs, where I’ve been thrilled to practice ever since. I grew up as a general litigator and trial lawyer, but recently have focused my practice on state and federal appeals. I have been blessed to be married to my husband, Todd, for sixteen years, and to have two precious boys, Ben (9) and Wyatt (6).

How did you first get involved with the Bar, and how has it helped your career?

As an associate, I became involved with the Colorado Women’s Bar Association, and eventually grew to serve as a board member, and then the President in 2013–14. Through those roles, I had the opportunity to work with representatives of the Denver and Colorado Bar Associations. During this past year, I served as a representative from the DBA to the CBA’s Board of Governors. For a trial lawyer, the bar associations are invaluable in building a professional network. Most of my referrals come from other lawyers, and the bar associations have given me a great platform to let others know my practice area and to build strong professional relationships. Involvement with the bar also has the great benefit of reinforcing the tremendous privileges and responsibilities of being a member of this great profession.

What advice would you offer to a new lawyer?

Keep your sense of humor, and try to remember that even the biggest crises will make for great stories and learning experiences a few months (or years) down the road.

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