What do you do?
Debra DeRee

Where do you work and what is your title?
       I am an attorney. I recently started my own law practice, Debra P. DeRee, PC.
What do you do there and/or what are you responsible for?
       I am currently a sole practitioner. My practice is in civil litigation with an emphasis in family law, insurance matters, construction litigation and appellate practice.
How long have you been doing this kind of work (total)? How long on the Westside?
       I started practicing law in Boise, Idaho, after graduating from Willamette University College of Law in May 1998. My husband was transferred to Colorado where I began practicing law in Colorado Springs after passing the Colorado Bar Exam in February 1999. I have been practicing law in Colorado Springs ever since. In February 2009, I started my own law practice in beautiful Old Colorado City.
What do you like best about it (other than quitting time)?
       I love the practice of law. Every case is unique because each case brings a different set of facts and circumstances specific to an individual or case.
If you could change one thing (other than pay), what would it be?
       I don't know that I would change anything but would note that the law is somewhat fluid, which means that rules and statutes are left to individual interpretation based upon distinct facts. This can sometimes result in frustration for clients. The practice of law can be challenging, but it is also very rewarding.
What part of your work did your training/education never prepare you for?
       Law school provided me with a great education but not the practical aspects of practicing law. My initial training as an associate attorney provided me with invaluable knowledge regarding the actual practice of law. Law school does not provide the education needed to perform the simple day-to-day operations necessary in a law firm.
What makes working on the Westside special?
       Old Colorado City is simply a beautiful place to work and live. When I began looking for a place to start my own practice, Old Colorado City was my first choice.

“What do you do?” is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you know someone who has an interesting job on the Westside (but doesn’t live here), he/she might be a candidate for this column! If you know someone who might qualify, give us a call at 471-6776.