Up and Coming Lawyers 2020: Annie Martinez
Bridging gaps in culture, language and access to justice through “defense-minded” family and criminal law practice

by Jessica Folker

Annie Martínez calls her legal practice a “defense-minded practice.” Her solo firm, Bridge Legal Solutions, handles family, criminal and juvenile defense law and often her cases are at the intersection of those areas.

She has a  contract with Adams County to represent parents in dependency and neglect cases and  describes her business as a “low bono, slow pay, low pay” and sliding scale enterprise.

“The kind of clientele I work with are the ones that usually have the biggest barrier to access justice through an attorney,” she said.

“That’s where I really like to home in and focus my ability and my skills, because I feel like those are the communities that get served the least,” she said. “And those are the communities that reflect me the most.”

Martínez grew up in Miami as the child of Cuban refugees — her father arrived as part of the Mariel boatlift in 1980 — and is the first person in her family to graduate from college. There were  many  occasions when she wished her parents had been able to hire an attorney, she said, “so that’s really what pushed me to work in areas that are maybe not as glamorous and with clientele who are not as glitzy.”

After finishing law school in Florida, Martínez knew that she wanted to leave the state. She chose Colorado “sight unseen” and drove west, settled in, sat for the bar exam, and started practicing law in 2016. “I really just decided that I was going to make this my home,” she said.

One of the first things she did after arriving was to get involved with the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, an organization she now leads as president. Her CHBA activities led her to her first job at Hernandez and Associates, where she practiced a mix of immigration, criminal, and family law. She quickly realized immigration law wasn’t for her but fell in love with family law and criminal defense.

This complete article appeared in the Oct. 12 issue of Law Week Colorado. To read other articles from that issue, order a copy online. Subscribers can request a digital PDF of the issue.