Top Women Attorneys 2017: Peg Perl

When attorney Peg Perl moved to Colorado from Washington, D.C., after six years working in the government, she saw the opportunity to make a career change and focus on issues closer to home in the public interest.

“I wanted to really shift my focus from the 10,000-foot level of federal law and policy all the time to more state and local issues,” Perl said. “I wanted to shift into  the  nonprofit sector of public interest advocacy and advocate for citizens and good government work from the outside.”

So, she started her position as senior counsel for Colorado Ethics Watch in 2012. Perl’s work with Ethics Watch has focused on campaign finance, transparency measures for elected officials and engaging citizens in civics by making processes accessible and comprehensible. Perl also fills the role of program manager and spokesperson for Courts Matter Colorado, a coalition of roughly 25 organizations that serves to educate the public about federal courts and advocates for a fully staffed judiciary.

“Peg has tirelessly devoted herself to the people of Colorado,” attorney Amanda Upson wrote in nominating Perl for Law Week’s Top Women Lawyers.

Over the past year, Perl has advocated for legislation reforms surrounding electioneering communications, such as House Bill 16-1282, which passed the state’s House and Senate unanimously. The momentum from that has carried over into this year, with efforts to expand disclosure and reporting requirements for election communications through House Bills 1261 and 1262, but both bills have been postponed in the Senate.

“I’m not as optimistic as I was three months ago about these bills, but we’re in favor. So, that’s what we have on the horizon, still trying to do more transparency and openness for voters,” Perl said.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the May 8, 2017 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.