Being Laurence Gendelman, 0921 COBJ, Vol. 50, No. 8 Pg. 62

PositionVol. 50, 8 [Page 62]

50 Colo.Law. 62

Being Laurence Gendelman

Vol. 50, No. 8 [Page 62]

Colorado Lawyer

September, 2021

August, 2021



"We will not, under any circumstance, take a position in a case, or make any argument, which we believe, in our sole discretion, may result in the following: (a) direct and imminent harm to a child or at-risk person; (b) the commission of a crime or fraud; (c) a course of action that we consider to be repugnant or which we have a fundamental disagreement with; or (d) harm to the civil rights of any protected class, including LGBTQ persons."

—Excerpt from Laurence Gendelman's client engagement agreement, 2021

As his engagement agreement demonstrates, Laurence Gendelman is committed to eradicating inequity in the legal community and in the justice system. He served as president of the Colorado LGBT Bar Association during the pandemic. He generously and regularly teaches and gives presentations for CBA-CLE, including the state judicial conference, and he works with the CBA Trust and Estate Section, all while keeping the plates spinning at his law firm, which handles domestic relations cases, probate matters, and estate work.

Laurence is a 32-year-old gay Jewish lawyer who knows he is "coded by my voice and coded with my last name," and who is "unapologetically me." His story contains those relatable nuggets of our own humanity.

Early Life Lessons

Laurence was born and raised in Los Angeles until age 5, when his mother and father moved with their only child to Denver immediately after California's Northridge earthquake in 1994. Laurence's parents divorced two years later, and he lived mainly with his mom. His parents didn't get along that well: "My dad was married five times, which gives some insight." After graduating from Cherry Creek High School, Laurence attended the University of Colorado at Boulder.

CU offered a program in multicultural leadership, including a residential academic program where all the program students lived on the same floor of the residence hall. Laurence remained in the leadership program all four years and graduated with majors in economics and political science as well as a certificate in leadership. In his sophomore year, he became a residential advisor (RA) for that academic program. He remained an RA until one fateful night, at the ripe old age of 20, he was caught drinking in the dorm, just...

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