Alison Zinn got into her practice area for its ever-changing “Wild West” nature. Court appearances are frequent and cases are fast. That seems to fit perfectly for Zinn, who seems to have her own fast-paced, ever-changing nature.
Zinn is a past-president of the Colorado Women’s Bar Association and also serves on her firm’s Women’s Initiative Network group, the Colorado Supreme Court Attorney Regulation Committee and the 1st Judicial District Nominating Commission. On top of that, she’s developed a successful trusts and estates practice and sees it as a duty to provide pro bono services for clients who can’t afford an attorney but still have legal issues in that area to resolve.
In her first decade of practice, she has been aggressive in carving out her niche — as she describes her path, she mentions how important it is to be aggressive in pursuing goals. It can be easy staying in a job, but she didn’t want to accept the easy path. She sought a new practice area after feeling that her initial work in mortgage-backed litigation was something of a grind.
“I looked around the firm, and I didn’t know what else there was for me to do or that I wanted to do,” she said. “On top of it, I was working crazy hours, and it just wasn’t healthy. … And I looked at the senior associates in my firm, and they weren’t happy.”
She said she had become a lawyer to make a difference but didn’t feel like she was doing that. And after asking around about the work other attorneys were doing, she found something that fit her better. A former colleague had gone into trusts and estates and described cases working directly with people who had disputes with complicated stories and facts behind them.
“‘I’m in court all the time, the cases don’t last very long, it’s fast-paced. … and it’s a little shoot from the hip, Wild West,’ he told her. “And I’m like, ‘Yes, this sounds awesome, where do I sign?’”