The opportunities available at Fennemore are seemingly endless

A Conversation On Leadership & Life In The Law With Michael Robertson

Attorney Michael Robertson is an integral member of our dynamic litigation team in Denver.  Over the past decade, Michael has litigated a broad range of cases in state and federal courts across the country primarily in the areas of commercial, fiduciary, and real estate litigation. 

We recently had the opportunity to talk with Michael about lessons learned, and his hectic life in the legal profession.

As we slog through the dawg days of July’s HEAT, this week we’re happy to turn the spotlight on Michael Robertson who works out of our COOL Denver office! You’re a rising star here at Fennemore! Talk about your career growth as a member of our Million Dollar roadmap program. And what’s your vision for the future as we continue to grow in Denver?

Since joining Fennemore last year I’ve been really impressed with the resources Fennemore makes available to its attorneys.  I’m halfway through the Million Dollar Roadmap program for this year, and it has already had a significant impact on my practice with regard to business development and new client leads.  The opportunities available at Fennemore are seemingly endless, and having the chance to work with such a talented group of attorneys has been a tremendous asset to my practice and development.

Being part of the growth of Fennemore’s Denver office has been incredible.  We’ve recently added two top-notch attorneys and continue to expand the practice areas being served by our group in Denver.  John McHugh has done a great job navigating and overseeing the growth of our Denver office, and I’m excited to see this growth continue.

Without naming your clients, are there any intriguing current matters that you’re working on in the business litigation sector?

I’m very lucky that most of the cases I get the opportunity to work on are interesting and complex.  We just wrapped up a two-week jury trial in Telluride, CO which was a great experience.  I’m also serving as lead counsel on two large breach of contract matters which both involve eight-figure damages claims and high-profile clients, so I’m excited for these as well!

What would you tell your younger self – or a 1L at the Miami School of Law now contemplating a career in the legal profession?

I serve on an alumni committee for my law school through which I frequently get to speak with first year law students.  I am constantly surprised at how many people go to law school with no real sense of what most practicing attorneys actually do day-to-day. 

I tell first year law students that there are far easier ways to earn a living, but if you enjoy reading, writing, critical thinking, navigating through complex and novel issues, and commonly working in high-stakes settings, then there are few professions as fulfilling and rewarding as the legal profession.

Who is your hero – or the person who has had the greatest impact on your life and career?

I’ve been blessed to have incredible mentors since the first day I began practicing law.  Having the chance to learn from people like Dan Reilly and Larry Pozner was invaluable for me and something for which I’ll forever be grateful.  However, the person that has had the greatest impact on my life and career is my amazing wife Jess.  She has always been my biggest supporter and has made more sacrifices than I can count for my career.  

What’s the best – and worst – piece of career advice that you’ve ever received?

The best piece of career advice I ever received was from my dad a long time ago: 

“Figure out what you want to do, then outwork everyone else until you accomplish it.”

I’ve found that this simple but great advice applies to almost everything, The worst advice I ever received was from a guidance counselor in the career services department while I was in college.  I grew up in Louisiana and stayed close to home for college.  I had a good job lined up in my hometown for after graduation.  During my last year of college I changed my mind and decided I wanted to move away, attend law school, and become an attorney.  This guidance counselor told me that I was nuts, and said not to take unnecessary risks that involve so much uncertainty. 

I ultimately gambled on myself and trusted my instincts about what I wanted to do.  Fortunately it all worked out! 

What are you currently listening to (podcast or music); reading; and watching/streaming?

I’ve been in Telluride for the summer, so I’ve been enjoying the local bluegrass music scene.

I am a sommelier when not practicing law.  After trial when I have some down time I read as many wine books and journals as possible.  I’m currently reading The Complete Bordeaux by Stephen Brook.  I highly recommend for anyone who enjoys Bordeaux wines.

My nine-year-old son is obsessed with basketball.  He and I have been watching all of the NBA summer league games.  We may be the only two people in the country watching NBA summer league but it’s a ton of fun! 

Okay, last but not least, you and your wife and three kids are hosting a lavish dinner party at your home. Name the three people – from any time in human history – who you would invite.

My son would insist that we invite Russell Westbrook, his favorite basketball player.  We’d also invite Robin Williams, to make sure everyone laughed and had a great time, and Aubert de Villaine, the one person in the wine industry I’ve always wanted to meet but will never get the chance.

Many thanks to Michael for his astute insights – and here’s to all of the remarkable litigators on our Denver team!

To learn more about Fennemore’s Business Litigation team – helping clients resolve some of their most complex issues in the American West for 137 years, please visit: