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Finding a skilled lawyer, like finding a great doctor, is usually something of a chore. After all, situations that require an attorney are rarely stress-free—you’re about to buy a house, sell your company, or get a divorce. And unfortunately, the myriad subspecialties of law mean that the attorney who put together your will probably can’t help you when your small business gets hit with a lawsuit.
So we did the busywork for you: We sent out ballots to thousands of metro-Denver attorneys and asked for their recommendations in various categories of law, from bankruptcy to water law to workers’ comp. Then we conducted dozens and dozens of interviews with some of the most respected lawyers in the region to get an insider’s perspective. We asked questions like: Which attorneys are most effective in court? The least? Who has a reputation that exceeds his skill? Who are the hungry young lawyers quickly earning the respect of their more experienced peers? With answers to those questions and our online survey results in hand, we compiled this inaugural list of the city’s best counselors.
To see our complete Top Lawyers list, click here for our searchable directory.
Your questions about the list, answered.
Which attorneys did you survey?
All licensed attorneys in the seven-county metro area were welcome to participate in our survey, which went live at 5280.com in May. We mailed postcards to the more than 10,000 local members of the Colorado Bar Association and reached out to various attorney interest groups, including organizations such as the Colorado Women’s Bar Association and the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association to make sure we garnered an adequate response to the peer-review ballot.
How did you ensure that big law firms didn’t stuff the ballot box?
Good question. In order to vote, each attorney had to register with his or her work email address and his or her Colorado attorney registration number. We monitored IP addresses and voting patterns to make sure one person wasn’t voting for everyone in a firm. We checked out any suspicious votes—and tossed them if necessary.
Were the results from the ballot the only data you used to make the list?
No. To supplement the online ballot results, we did what we do best: research. We made many, many phone calls, spent hours mining the Internet for standout cases, and did our due diligence on each name on the list.
How did you pick the specialties represented on the ballot?
We worked with the Colorado Bar Association to assemble the initial list of categories for our survey. Then, based upon feedback we received from polled attorneys, we added a few subspecialties, such as construction defect litigation. We will continue to refine the list of specialties each year.
I’ve heard the list is rigged—that only lawyers who advertise with the magazine make it. Is that the case?
Nope. The Top Lawyers list is unaffected by which attorneys advertise with 5280. Local attorneys sometimes choose to advertise regardless of whether they make the list, but how much or if and when lawyers choose to advertise are not taken into consideration.
Does 5280 check out every attorney on the list?
Our research department independently verifies every lawyer’s pertinent information (name, phone number, office address, website, etc.). We take the added step of sending the list to the Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation to check for disciplinary and licensing issues—meaning attorneys on the list are in good standing with the state.