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Colorado trial attorney Kathryn Sheely

Criminal Defense Attorney Kathryn Sheely is an associate attorney at Elkus & Sisson, P.C.  She is a member of the Colorado and the Louisiana bars.

Kathryn came to Colorado after spending over a decade successfully defending clients in complex criminal trials where life was literally on the line. She understands that clients come to her in some of the most stressful times of their lives, where there is often not a single right answer.

She works with clients to understand their priorities and to help guide them through to the best possible outcome in their case.

Experienced criminal defense attorney

Kathryn became a death penalty trial attorney after graduating from the LSU Law Center in 2006 with two law degrees. For over a decade, she worked throughout Louisiana on serious criminal cases involving missing persons, child abuse, drug use, and eyewitness evidence. By a daring trial strategy and extensive pre-trial investigation, she won a unanimous life verdict against the District Attorney Slate named one of America’s deadliest prosecutors.  

Now, Kathryn represents men and women facing a wide range of criminal charges in the front range of Colorado. She realized that her valuable pretrial and courtroom skills she developed over years of practice could be put to use helping those who feel lost in a system that no longer protects the rights of the accused.

Kathryn understands how powerless someone charged with a crime can feel when the criminal legal system seems designed to treat defendants as guilty unless proven innocent. She knows she cannot spare her clients the frustration and stress that comes along with a serious accusation, but she works to ensure that dealing with a lawyer does not become one more frustration for them. 

The criminal legal system can be frustratingly slow with arcane rules and unspoken deadlines. Kathryn’s approach in every case is to make sure her clients have all the information necessary to understand the process and to put their minds at rest about their legal situation so they can focus on their own needs and on their future.


At an early age, Kathryn fell in love with the law as a tool that could protect the underdog. She began competing in trial advocacy competitions before she learned to drive, and joining the Mock Trial Association was one of the first things she did at The George Washington University. At LSU Law, she started the Public Interest Law Society and the Trial Advocacy Board while she also competed nationally on trial and appellate teams.

  • Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Louisiana State University, J.D. and B.C.L. (2006)
  • The George Washington University, B.A. Economics, cum laude (2003)
  • London School of Economics and Political Science, General Programme (2002)
  • Women in Power Program, GWU Mount Vernon (1999-2000)

Education remains an important part of Kathryn’s life and work. She volunteers her time to mentor students at GW and Sturm College of Law, University of Denver. She also serves on the GW Women Leadership Program advisory board.

Recognized legal scholarship

Kathryn’s legal advocacy has been recognized by other criminal defense attorneys and legal scholars. Her training manual on trial advocacy for law students was published by a law journal, and she has been asked to present her winning legal writing strategies at legal conferences in multiple states.

Kathryn regularly provides commentary and analysis of legislation and court decisions that affect her clients and all criminal defendants. 

Bar Admissions

  • State of Colorado
  • Louisiana State Bar
  • United States District Court for the District of Colorado

Professional Associations

  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Colorado Criminal Defense Bar
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Douglas Elbert Bar Association
  • The Sedona Conference
  • Faculty of Federal Advocates