Four VLS alums work together in the Colorado Attorney General’s Specialized Business Group

Jul 19, 2023

When 2015 classmates Torrey Samson and Jeremy Johnston were seated next to each other in Professor Ganesh Sitaraman’s Regulatory State class as 1Ls, they never imagined they would someday be working on the same team at the Colorado Attorney General’s office in Denver, along with a third 2015 classmate, Danny Rheiner. At graduation, Samson and Johnston both accepted jobs with the Nashville District Attorney’s Office but soon parted ways when Samson accepted a clerkship on the Tennessee Supreme Court with the late Justice Connie Clark ’79 (BA’71).

Robert Dodd ’88 set out to recruit VLS grads for his team after he was named head of the Colorado AG Specialized Business Group in 2018. Dodd had joined the Colorado AG’s office in 1998 after working as an assistant state attorney in his home state of Florida and in private practice in Tallahassee and Denver. He relished the broad scope of litigation work and collaborative culture in his group and saw VLS grads as good fits for his team’s culture and challenging workload. “Our work puts a spotlight on why attorneys should consider working in their state or federal AG’s office,” he said. “We represent the state in matters involving the state lottery, gaming, sports betting, the auto industry, including car dealerships, the DMV, and regulation of Uber and Lyft.” Dodd notes that team members worked on 303 Creative, a high-profile case decided in June by the Supreme Court.

Samson joined the Specialized Business Group at Colorado AG’s office in 2019 after working in the Civil Rights and Claims Unit of the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office. When she helped Dodd recruit Johnston, who was then working as an assistant city attorney with the Prosecutor’s Office in Westminster, Colorado, in 2022, Johnston became the fourth VLS graduate at the Colorado AG’s office. Rheiner had started work at the AG’s office in 2019 as a Ralph L. Carr Appellate Fellow and moved to the Specialized Business Group in 2022. Suddenly, four of the team’s seven attorneys were VLS grads.

Rheiner came to the Colorado AG’s office with clerkships for judges sitting on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas and the Colorado Court of Appeals under his belt, and he urges VLS graduates to apply for the Carr Appellate Fellowship program that launched his career there. “It’s a great opportunity to get to do interesting work right out of the starting gate,” he said. Rheiner, Samson, Johnston, and Dodd are happy to talk with any VLS students or grads interested in fellowships or internships at the Colorado’s AG’s Office.

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