“Everything is an opportunity.”
A Conversation On Leadership & Life In The Legal Profession With Amy Jones
There’s a BUZZ in our Denver office, and attorney Amy Jones is a part of it. Our Mile High litigation team is one of the finest in the country, and Amy is a perfect fit for our continued growth.
We recently had the pleasure of talking with Amy about lessons learned, and her life in the legal profession.
You’re new to the firm – one of our rising superstars – and now part of one of the finest litigation teams in the country. What does that look like? And talk about your experience so far.
Dan Reilly is a legend in Colorado. I feel incredibly privileged to learn from premier litigators and work for attorneys who actually enjoy practicing the law. Currently, we are preparing for a jury trial this summer. This involves preparing expert reports, conducting depositions, and combing through discovery. I have really enjoyed attending depositions and watching the lead attorney recall even the most minute facts and challenging the witness’s testimony so effectively.
You were involved in Colorado’s landmark suit against Juul, the e-cigarette conglomerate. What did your learn from this experience – taking on a giant with significant resources?
This was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Colorado has been disproportionately affected by youth addiction to e-cigarettes. Moreover, we still don’t fully understand the effect of e-cigarettes on children’s brains and general health. To compete against Juul’s sizeable legal counsel, we were able to draw from the experience of the Opioid Unit and other state Attorneys General, who had already filed a lawsuit against Juul. This experience taught me the importance of creating a narrative to make it easier for a judge or jury to digest complex information.
What do you know now that you wish you knew in law school about a career in the legal profession?
During law school, I was entirely naïve about the variety of work available to attorneys. I still could not accurately describe to you what exactly some transactional attorneys do on a daily basis.
Who is your hero – or the person who has had the greatest impact on your life and career?
My favorite Professor during law school inspired me to pursue a career in litigation. She became a natural resources litigator in 1982 and helped forged a path for other woman. During law school, she was my biggest cheerleader and also gave me the phenomenal advice, “Everything is an opportunity.” In other words, every mistake or disappointment is an opportunity to learn and make things right. My mentor at the Colorado Attorney General’s Office also inspired me a great deal and believed in me at times when I didn’t believe in myself.
Talk about your biggest failure. What did you learn? And how did you pick up the pieces and move forward?
I have had many failures in life. That said, I have had even more occasions where a failure turned out to be a blessing in disguise. For example, I was denied admission to CU Law. Not only did I have an amazing experience with DU law, three years later, the Dean of CU law told me that my rejection was the school’s loss.
What gives you the most satisfaction about being a lawyer?
The reason I chose a legal career is the human element. I work collaboratively with incredible attorneys and help clients overcome enormous obstacles. The most satisfying part of my work is helping the client achieve their larger goals.
What’s the best – and worst – piece of advice that you were ever given?
I feel very lucky that I have so many wise people in my life that regularly give the best advice. My favorite piece of advice is, “Life is hard. And when you realize it’s hard, it’s not so hard anymore.” I believe a difficult situation instantly becomes easier when you acknowledge there is not shortcut for doing a good job and that it has to get done. I also recently received the advice that “no” is an exciting response because it presents the opportunity to change someone’s mind.
During our ongoing pandemic, in this next normal, what are you listening to (music or podcast); reading, and watching/streaming?
Podcasts have become my preferred entertainment medium to keep me entertained during long Colorado drives. I listen to a lot of legal podcasts, including Stay Tuned with Preet, hosted by Preet Bharara, who is one of my heroes and has a thoughtful opinion about almost everything. I think NPR produces the best podcasts and I regularly enjoy listening to Planet Money, Up First, and It’s Been a Minute.
What’s your go-to Karaoke song?
I cannot tell you because you will never hear me sing in public.
As an international ski traveler, tell us your vision of an upcoming trip – to a place you’ve never been. What does that experience look like?
I am spending Thanksgiving at Powder Mountain, Utah, which is the largest American ski resort by acreage. I am also hoping to ski in Australia this summer while visiting my best friend who just moved to Northern Australia. My perfect ski day is getting the first chair, skiing hard, and then enjoying a very late après-ski.
Many thanks to Amy, and all of our attorneys in Denver who are currently impacting our clients, as well as the Colorado community!
Our business litigation practice group offers a team with extensive trial experience, and a commitment to excellent advocacy.
For more information, please visit: www.fennemorelaw.com/services/practices/business-litigation/