BY BRENDAN BAKER
Kathleen Hearn Croshal has traveled far, not just literally but also figuratively, and not always in a straight line. Kathleen didn't take the typical path to the law; she stepped off the traditional high school-college circuit early on, getting married and having two children before the age of 20.
From Night School to Law School
To better support herself and her daughter and son—and to provide the sort of example that she wanted them to follow—Kathleen returned to academia in her late teens. A high school dropout when GEDs weren't yet an option, Kathleen attended high school classes at night to earn her diploma. After successfully completing her primary education, she moved with her family to Colorado, where she earned a bachelor's degree in communications and theater from the University of Colorado.
After graduation, Kathleen entered the world of live theater production, acting as a manager of the Heritage Square Opera House and the famous Goldenrod Showboat. However, now in her late 20s and a single parent, Kathleen was more determined than ever to financially provide for her children and to be a positive role model for them. Her theater job consistently kept her away from home at odd hours and was unlikely to provide the foundation she wanted for her children's success.
Left: Kathleen with her husband of 32 years, attorney James M. Croshal.
So, after pragmatically considering a range of options, Kathleen decided to pursue a legal career. She enrolled at the University of Colorado Law School, despite having no academic background in the law and no significant legal experience (other than her divorce and dealing with attorneys through her theater management job). She relates that she "was a bit unprepared, but got it done," while raising two children as a single parent.
"Where's the Brief?"
After law school, Kathleen started her legal career in Pueblo, where she became a deputy district attorney. She then briefly worked for a private firm...