Melissa Segers

O'Malley and Sawyer, LLC
3801 East Florida Ave Ste 830
Denver, CO 80210
(303) 830-0880

When I graduated from Duke University in 2002, I wasn't sure if I wanted to become a lawyer. Two life-changing experiences made me realize that becoming an attorney was a direct and meaningful avenue to help people and advocate for change in our judicial system.

After graduation, I joined AmeriCorps, the domestic Peace Corps program. For a year I served "at-risk" youth at Mile High Youth Corps in Denver as an education mentor. This program helps high school drop-outs and young men and women who are involved with the criminal justice system, change their lives.

After AmeriCorps, I worked for a small, two-person criminal defense law firm as a legal assistant for 4 years. The attorneys I worked for were the first to instill a "client-centered" practice ethic in me. During my time there, we represented a man charged with 1st Degree Murder and facing the Death Penalty in Federal District Court. I assisted in preparing his case and watched parts of his trial. The day the jury came back with a LIFE sentence, rather than death, was the day I knew I wanted to be a criminal defense attorney.

I went to the University of Colorado Law School on a full tuition scholarship. I did a full year with the Legal Aid and Defender program, and learned how to be an uncompromising advocate for my clients while navigating a male-dominated profession. During law school, I also interned both summers with the Colorado State Public Defender, where I gained invaluable experience learning directly from experienced attorneys who litigate nearly daily.

After graduating law school, I accepted a job with the Denver Public Defender's Office where I practiced for 6 years. The Colorado Public Defender offers nationally-recognized training for new lawyers, that is unparalleled in the private sector. As a Public Defender, I represented people charged with felonies and misdemeanors, including, but not limited to Homicide, Assault, Robbery, Sexual Assault, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and DUIs. I represented adults and juveniles and served 15 months in the Denver Drug Court, including 8 months as defense counsel on the felony DUI treatment team, also known as "RESTART" Court.

During my time as a Public Defender, I honed my litigation skills in over a hundred trials; motions hearings; and other litigation. Several clients and cases left an indelible impression on me.

One case was a domestic violence case, which I took to trial. My client was adamant that no domestic violence had occurred, but the police and the prosecutor believed the complaining witness; despite witnesses and factual evidence that directly contradicted her story. We fought hard at trial. I confronted a police officer on the stand who tried to alter his version of events to help the prosecution's case. I also got the complaining witness to contradict herself. After the jury acquitted my client, the prosecutor came up to me and shook my hand saying, "I mean this as a compliment. You are a bulldog."

I recently left the Public Defender's office to join the O'Malley Law Office because there were things I couldn't do for my clients as a Public Defender - either due to a lack of time or resources. I wanted to be able to commit more time and energy to my individual clients' cases, while utilizing all the tools I learned as a public defender.

If you want a legal bulldog on your side, please call me. I can't wait to meet with you so we can fight the system together.

University of Colorado School of Law, Boulder, Colorado
J.D. - 2011
Honors: ABA Student Trial Advocacy Team, 2009-2011
Honors: Student Leader, Loan Repayment Assistance Program, 2008-2011
Honors: Public Service Pledge, donated over 50 hours of time to indigent legal defense
Honors: Public Interest Student Association, Member
Honors: Legal Aid and Defender Program
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
B.A. - 2002
Honors: Dean's List, 1999
Honors: Dean's List, 2001

Bar Admission
Colorado, 2011

Pro-Bono Activities
Volunteer with ALIGHT (Alliance to Lead Impact in Global Human Trafficking), an organization assisting human trafficking survivors by taking cases on a pro bono basis.
Volunteer with the local chapter of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) by providing pro bono representation.
Board Member, Clearwater Camp for Girls in Minocqua, Wisconsin, a non-profit organization.
AmeriCorps volunteer, served as an education mentor with Mile High Youth Corps, a Denver non-profit serving “at-risk” youth.

Past Positions
Colorado State Public Defender, Intern
Denver Public Defender’s Office

Professional Associations
Colorado Bar Association
Colorado Criminal Defense Bar
National Association of Drug Court Professionals

Current Employment Position