Careers

We understand that our firm's value to our clients depends on the collective commitment and accomplishments of our attorneys and staff. We are proud of our ability to attract and retain unparalleled talent – not merely accomplished professionals, but exceptional people.

we impact the community

  • Leaders in Our Field

    Our attorneys are routinely called upon to weigh in on issues at the city, county and state level. We take pride in our contributions to the real estate- and land use-related industries in Colorado.

     

  • Stewardship of Resources

    We believe in responsible development and view our role as a steward of our community and natural resources.

  • Support Worthy Causes

    Our foundation makes financial and in-kind contributions to a variety of non-profit organizations each year.

  • Expect to be Involved

    We are extremely involved on boards and in leadership positions with a variety of organizations that keep Denver (and Colorado) moving forward.

  • Legal Aid Efforts

    Otten Johnson attorneys actively participate in a variety of legal aid organizations to provide legal help for those with limited incomes.

  • Commitment to Pro Bono

    Otten Johnson is a signatory to the Colorado Supreme Court's Pro Bono Legal Services Commitment and Recognition Program.

Otten Johnson prides itself on retaining an exceptional team of highly accomplished attorneys. Without exception, each contributes unique knowledge within his or her specialty practice area. We also recruit new and lateral attorneys, enlisting the best and the brightest, both locally and nationally.

What is the starting salary for new associates?

$110,000.00

Are there any bonus opportunities for associates?

In addition to salary, Otten Johnson associates are eligible for yearly bonuses based on such factors as the number of billable hours worked, quality of work and other contributions to the firm.

Does Otten Johnson have a retirement plan?

The firm has both a 401(k) program and profit sharing plan. Attorneys, paralegals and staff may participate in the 401(k) program immediately, and the firm matches 50% of the first 6% of the employee's contribution. Employee contributions vest immediately and the firm's contributions vest after the employee has been with Otten Johnson for two years. The firm also provides profit sharing to all of its employees after two years of continuous service.

Does Otten Johnson provide additional benefits?

Our firm provides a range of other significant employee benefits, including a generous group health benefits program.

What is the firm's billable hour requirement for full-time attorneys?

Our expectation is that attorneys will bill at least 1850 hours annually.

How does Otten Johnson mentor and train new associates?

Each associate is paired with a director-level mentor and an associate mentor. These mentors provide invaluable assistance with, and insight into, the workings of the firm. Mentors help new associates navigate the "how-tos" of practicing in a challenging profession, developing business, and maintaining the balance between one's professional and personal life. Additionally, Otten Johnson trains associates internally through programs presented by attorneys in each practice area, and externally through programs sponsored by organizations like the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, Continuing Legal Education of Colorado, and CLE International. Our Associate Development Committee monitors the mentoring and training of our associates.

How is work assigned to associates?

Typically, cases and transactions are assigned by mentors and other directors within specific practice groups. Our practice groups work closely to monitor and address workload issues for the associates within a particular group.

How are associates reviewed?

Our associates receive ongoing feedback from the assigning attorneys, and formal evaluations in November each year from all attorneys for whom they have performed substantive work. The annual review focuses on everything from the associate's analytical and drafting abilities, to interaction with other attorneys, staff, and existing and prospective firm clients.

What is Otten Johnson' s approach to pro bono work and other community service?

We believe that participation in pro bono or other community activities is a matter of personal choice. However, we encourage and strongly support our attorneys and staff who participate in such activities, many of which can help to facilitate a lawyer’s professional development. Our attorneys and staff serve on numerous nonprofit boards and actively participate in an array of community-oriented activities such as mentoring programs, holiday giving campaigns, pro bono legal services, and home remodeling projects for low-income families, to name just a few. Additionally, we created a charitable foundation in 2004 to facilitate and manage the firm's philanthropic efforts.

What is the firm's approach to business development?

Our attorneys - directors and associates - engage in a wide variety of business development activities. The firm encourages associates to assist directors with business development and to begin developing their own business and connections within the community. While the firm does not require associates to develop any particular amount of business, business development is one of many factors used in considering associates for bonuses and advancement.

What is the firm's culture like in terms of racial and ethnic diversity?

Otten Johnson places a high value on diversity within the firm and strives to hire individuals as unique and diverse as the clients the firm serves. We were among the initial group of law firms to sign the Colorado Pledge to Diversity(The Pledge), a group devoted to the development, recruitment and retention of attorneys and staff of diverse backgrounds. We have also sponsored and participated in such programs as The Pledge's First Year Law Clerk Program and the Rocky Mountain Diversity Legal Career Fair. Our attorneys and staff are also leaders and members of legal diversity organizations such as theCenter for Legal Inclusiveness. Of course, Otten Johnson is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.

Does Otten Johnson pay for continuing education?

The firm pays for continuing legal education and other training programs.

Does the firm cover any costs associated with taking the bar?

Otten Johnson pays for bar expenses and provides a stipend of one month's salary for those selected to join the firm as associates.

Does Otten Johnson pay bar membership dues?

Yes.

SUMMER ASSOCIATES

We look for top-performing, motivated law students who are seeking a career with a dynamic and thriving firm. If you are accomplished, energetic and committed, we invite you to apply for a summer associate position to learn more about us.

Summer associates at Otten Johnson are given substantive projects, as well as opportunities to attend hearings and meetings with clients and other parties.  Of course, summer associates are also socially integrated into the firm.
 

FAQs

What is Otten Johnson' s summer associate program like?

After assigning a dedicated associate mentor to each summer associate, our program provides hands-on experience in all of our practice areas. Attorneys from each practice area assign projects through our director Summer Program Coordinator not only to ensure the proper distribution of workload, but also to acquaint summer associates with the breadth of the firm's practice - and with as many attorneys as possible.

What are the career prospects for summer associates?

Unlike many firms, we do not hire an inflated number of summer associates, only to hire a few associates. Our Recruiting Committee utilizes on-campus and fall recruiting to identify candidates who will excel at Otten Johnson not only as summer associates, but also as associates. One benefit of our approach is to promote collaboration - instead of competition - among summer associates, an ingredient key to success at the firm.

How do you evaluate summer associates?

Summer associates receive direct, project-specific and prompt feedback from our assigning attorneys. More importantly, we schedule formal evaluations at the middle and end of the summer, carefully designed to gauge whether each summer associate is progressing satisfactorily.

What is the firm's billable hour requirement for full-time attorneys?

Our expectation is that attorneys will bill at least 1850 hours annually.

What is the salary for summer associates?

$2,000.00 per week

What is the starting salary for new associates?

$110,000.00 per year

PROFESSIONAL STAFF

Paralegals and staff members are a vital part of our legal team.

Paralegals work in tandem with attorneys and staff members to assist in all matters of legal service including gathering, analyzing, and organizing information and research; preparing and drafting legal documents and correspondence; closing transactions; and assisting with filings and motions for the court.

Our staff members provide invaluable support to the firm as a whole, and many have been with us since our early years. We provide a dynamic, collaborative and supportive work environment in which to learn and grow. Our professional staff departments include:

  • accounting/finance/payroll
  • administration
  • administrative support
  • attorney recruiting
  • document processing
  • human resources
  • information services & technology
  • marketing & business development
  • records

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Ask the more seasoned practitioners at Otten Johnson about their development as attorneys, and they'll tell you that law school provided a good foundation, but their most valuable training was working with the great attorneys who came before them and took the time to show them the ropes. Otten Johnson takes pride in its mentoring program, and mentoring and on-the-job training continues to remain the focus of attorney development at Otten Johnson.

Associates at Otten Johnson are given significant responsibility from the start, and are typically involved in all aspects of a case or transaction. In fact, the attorneys of Otten Johnson get substantial experience involving direct contact with clients and other parties extremely early in their careers. We make an effort to give even first-year and second-year litigation associates the opportunity to defend and take depositions and obtain trial experience. We help our transactional associates develop the drafting, negotiation and management skills necessary to close real estate and corporate deals or to handle complex annexation or entitlements processes.

Of course, an important part of associate development involves building client relationships; at Otten Johnson, opportunities for associates to have client contact are plentiful. Likewise, Otten Johnson fully supports each associate’s efforts to establish his or her presence within the community and to broaden his or her development through relationships outside of the firm.

A mentor is assigned to each new associate from among the directors in the associate's practice group, and that director works with the associate on all aspects of the associate's professional development. Mentors help their associates develop legal knowledge and skills, monitor the depth and breadth of their associates' workloads and assist their associates in developing effective client relations and business development skills.