Top Women: Crystal McDonough

As Crystal McDonough’s reputation has grown, her willingness to fight hard for her clients has earned her the nickname the “little bulldog.” She doesn’t buy the notion that women aren’t suited to certain practice areas like litigation, because she’s never cared what people think, even at the times when she’s been the only woman in the room.

“I think it’s really fun,” said McDonough, who practices in energy and natural resources and business law. “I love the complex nature of litigation and the strategy. And I think women make excellent attorneys in complex issues.”

She has rare experience in applying the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act to cases, a law passed in the 1970s to promote renewable energy sources. The law is specific and difficult to understand, she said, but has seen a resurgence in use in the past several years as attention to renewable energy has grown again.

McDonough’s catalogue of expertise has come from her colorful background. Law practice is a second career for her after she owned small businesses for several years. And she holds a master’s degree in energy and natural resources, which she said has given her a depth of working industry knowledge that makes her stand out. For one of her degree classes, she visited sites for every type of energy production in Wyoming.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the May 7, 2017 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.