Alumni & Friends

Law Stars

Hon. John P. Leopold, JD'74

Robert H. McWilliams, Jr. Alumni Professionalism Award - 2013

The Honorable John P. Leopold is a distinguished arbitrator, mediator, special master, and appointed judge with JAMS, the largest private alternative dispute resolution provider in the world. Judge Leopold presides over a variety of complex legal matters including medical malpractice, business litigation, personal injury, insurance coverage, and contracts. Prior to joining JAMS, Judge Leopold served more than 20 distinguished years as a district court judge, including four years as chief judge, in the State of Colorado's 18th Judicial District. Judge Leopold served as chief judge until his retirement from the court in October 2006. At his retirement dinner, he received what he considers to be his greatest honor: the Judge John P. Leopold/Arapahoe County Bar Association Scholarship at the Sturm College of Law. Judge Leopold has received several awards and recognitions including the American Board of Trial Advocate's Judicial Excellence Award, the Colorado Judicial Branch's Outstanding Judicial Officer Award, a lifetime membership in the Colorado Association of Community Corrections Board, and the Arapahoe County Bar Associations' Martin P. Miller Lifetime Achievement Award. As a member of Denver Law's Alumni Council, Judge Leopold and his "Gang of Five" fellow Alumni Council members successfully addressed the law school's bar passage issue. Their tireless advocacy resulted in a vast improvement in the school's bar passage rate over the last ten years. Judge Leopold also is active in the law school's Professional Mentoring Program and takes great pride in the accomplishments of his mentees. Additionally, Judge Leopold was lead faculty and facilitator for Colorado's Advanced New Judge Orientation and continues as one of its faculty members. He was instrumental in establishing the Colorado Judicial Branch’s Mentor Judge Program, a state-wide judicial mentoring program. Judge Leopold lives by the mantra "pass the torch" and encourages all of his law clerks and mentees to share that which they have learned with the next generation of law students and lawyers.