Top Women Lawyers: Katie Reilly

Antitrust lawyer and women’s ‘grit and growth’ advocate

By Tony Flesor

LAW WEEK COLORADO

Katie Reilly, a partner at Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell and an advocate for “grit and growth” for women in the law, has made big changes in her career.

Reilly began her career at Wilmer Cutler & Pickering in New York, but 10 years ago, she made a move to Colorado in pursuit of a more active, outdoors-focused lifestyle. She said she wasn’t in love with the law at the time — her career in BigLaw was a means to pay off her debt before she would pursue a second career as a high school English teacher. After her move West, though, that all changed.

She started work at Jacobs Chase. Within her first year at the firm, she had 50 depositions and worked on a case that went to a two-week jury trial. Through that experience, she found her passion for the law. The active involvement in cases at the Denver firm was a stark contrast to her experience of being a young associate in a large coastal firm.

After becoming partner and then transitioning to Husch Blackwell with nearly two-dozen other Jacobs Chase lawyers, she made the second biggest and scariest move of her career: joining Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell as counsel. She said it was a big risk to attempt to establish herself in a new firm, but she was attracted by the strength of its litigation platform. She has since become a partner at WTO.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the May 9, 2016 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.