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Laura Emma Shapiro

Divorce and separation Attorney at Denver, CO

4.4   21 reviews

Licensed for 44 years

About Laura

Learn Laura’s areas of practice.

5
Practice areas
  1. Divorce and separation
    40%
    Divorce | Legal Separation | Maintenance | Property Division | Post-Decree Modification

    44 years

  2. Family
    20%
    Allocation of Parental Responsibilities | Pre and Post Nuptial Agreements | Grandparent Rights | Adoption | Appeals | Contempt

    44 years

  3. Child custody
    15%

    44 years

  4. Child support
    15%

    44 years

  5. Alimony
    10%
    Also known as Maintenance

    44 years

As a divorce lawyer, Laura was selected by 5280 Magazine as a Super Lawyer in Colorado for her practice in the area of divorce and family law. Look for her profile in the April 2006 edition.  She is rated AV with Martindale Hubbell which the highest rating.

Laura began her legal career as a lawyer in 1977 in New York. In New York, she acted as a hearing officer for the New York City Office of Rent Control. Later in New York, she practiced Immigration Law and Family law, and then worked as a lawyer for Legal Services in upstate New York and later in Colorado. She began her Colorado career as a lawyer in 1979 with Colorado Rural Legal Services.

In 1985 she began her work as a lawyer for the Colorado Attorney General's office and represented the Colorado Health Department and several agencies; this work involved complex litigation for the Department. All of her prior experience helped to hone her litigation skills. In 1987 she began focusing solely on divorce and family law matters. She started this focus working with the Law Office of Stephen J. Harhai and later, Malman & Malman. She has been a speaker on family law issues and has written several articles on issues relating to children, property division and divorce issues.   

Photos and videos

Licensed for 44 years
State CO
Status Active
Acquired 1981
Updated 10/04/2022
State NY
Status Delinquent
Acquired 1978
Updated 07/14/2022

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Contact Laura

Law Offices of Laura E. Shapiro

Reviews

4.4 / 5.0
  21 customer reviews
5 Star
 
86%
4 Star
 
0%
3 Star
 
0%
2 Star
 
0%
1 Star
 
14%
Posted by Michael | July 8, 2013
Laura Took My Case When No One Else Would
Laura was asked to represent me at the end of my child support obligation because my ex decided I should continue to pay for children that were no longer living at home. Had not seen any of my children in over eight years and now I was facing jail time for underpaying one child support payment. My case was a mess; parental alienation, a horrible custody battle, and unfair treatment from the court. Laura was able to change the court’s opinion (no jail time), bring to light the parental alienation issue (this helped start the communication process between me and my children) and brought finality to the never ending harassment from my ex-wife. Truly grateful for the help, she took the case when no one else would.
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Posted by Michael | August 3, 2012
Best in the Business
Laura and her team get you exactly what you need. Family law and custody issues are complicated and very difficult to understand. She sat down with me and showed me the statutes right out of the book on Colorado law, and told me step by step what I needed in order to win. She represented me against two different lawers on the other side and there was a clear and cut difference on professionalism, preparedness and overall knowledge of the law. If you are a father in Colorado looking for help with fighting for your children, heed this message, you search ends with Laura Shapiro.
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Posted by Kaye | June 21, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Incredible experience
Laura and her entire team were incredible! Responsive, patient and knowledgeable every step of the way. I had a very complicated divorce that involved domestic violence issues and charges. She took the time to help me understand my options, and prepared me for a very difficult journey. Her concern for my family and my safety was so greatly appreciated as I was not ready for what was ahead. She was fearless and always made sure I understood every response, filing and document. My case was finally resolved and thanks to Laura's guidance I have the ability to see a brighter future. I HIGHLY recommend Laura and her entire team.
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Posted by Jeremy | September 15, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
GREAT CHOICE!
Laura and her team are consummate professionals. I had a unique situation, as most of us do, and they took it head on and really put my son first in my divorce. I am very happy with the fair outcome and continue to use Laura with all of my large disagreements with my son's mother. Thank you Laura, et al
Posted by Evan | August 14, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Responsive and knowledgeable
Laura and her team did a great job for me. I thought my divorce would be fairly easy but as it went on and unexpected difficulties arose, I was glad I had Laura to help me navigate the legal process. Caroline, her paralegal, helped me every step of the way and made it easy. Working with Caroline was like working with a friend. Every time I had a question I would have a response within the hour and often in 5 to 10 minutes. I felt Laura really knew her stuff and I was confident the outcome I received was the best I could have gotten. By the end I felt that although divorce was the most difficult thing I’d ever experienced, Laura and her team made it as easy and as painless as possible. Hiring them was the best decision I could have made
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Response from Laura Shapiro August 21, 2020
Thank you for the kind words, Evan! We're grateful you chose us to help you through this challenging time and happy you're pleased with the outcome. You were great to work with, and we wish you the best going forward.
Posted by John | May 8, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Legal Strategy Beats Legal Dramatics Again
I’m a previous positive reviewer, but another post-decree situation came up which illustrates the difference between the Shapiro Law Firm and the others. My ex-wife’s new “big law firm” attorney burst on the scene by surprise, attempting to take high ground by serving me a very questionable contempt citation alleging that I culpably refused payment for my son’s dental bills and harassed my ex-wife. Laura Shapiro needed about 45 minutes with me to get the background, review the documents and distill a strategy which was firmly grounded in case law and her experience. Laura helped me clear up the payment issue in just a few days. Opposing council persisted months longer, anyway--calling up the collective effort of two other big firm attorneys, threatening unnecessary hearings, future motions on child support, and sending my ex-wife’s legal bills soaring into five figures. Opposing council ultimately withdrew the contempt complaint, but next requested a Court order that I pay my ex-wife’s now immense legal bill. Ms. Shapiro and associate Mr. Zarnowski responded as required, keeping to the proven strategy and legal precedents. The Court denied opposing council’s fee request—leaving opposing council entirely emptyhanded of any victory on her demands and complaints. Opposing council resigned less than 24 hours later. What opposing council ACTUALLY accomplished could have been easily achieved with a cordial $100 call to Ms. Shapiro at the beginning! Ms. Shapiro’s and her team’s fees were considerably less than half of what opposing council charged my ex because Laura and her staff didn’t waste a penny on addressing irrelevant drama.
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Posted by anonymous | April 27, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Amazing lawyer and team
Laura is an expert in her field of law. She will give you unwavering support. Her staff is also very knowledgeable and caring. My ex-husband pulled all the stops, and I mean ALL. Every penny he could try to argue he did. He was also emotionally abusive - Laura (and her team) fought for me and gave me the support I needed to continue fighting during this lengthy divorce (>1 year) with children involved. Equally important, she will tell you if the law does not support your position or desires. I could go on and on. In short, with Laura, you will be hiring an expert, caring, knowledgeable lawyer. She is also ALWAYS prompt and timely in responding to you which is definitely not the case of some other lawyers. To Laura, you are a person, not just another divorce case, and it shows in the results. THANK YOU!!
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Posted by Mike | December 17, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
When you really, really need someone to help you
I can't imagine what my life would be like without Laura Shapiro's help. Like many of us I ended up in a relationship that went sideways. When your friends talk about horrible divorce stories… I'm one of those. It is an understatement to say that I owe my current HAPPY life and state of mind to Laura Shapiro. Laura is smart, experienced, tenacious and above all compassionate. I would not have my kids or my career without her. When you really really really need somebody to help you, call her.
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Posted by Ben | November 12, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
An apex family law attorney
I have secured Laura's services twice for custodial issues framed by very difficult and accusatory circumstances which were harmful to my child. Needless to say, when the well-being of your child is on the line, you seek out the best counsel possible regardless of the personal sacrifice required. In the latter case, the circumstances also involved an unethical and financially-driven opposing counsel. I feel I received the best possible representation from Laura in both cases. Her level of experience is obvious, and her ethics and professionalism are unimpeachable. Her knowledge of both family law and potential courses of legal action and their possible outcomes is incredibly broad. She will not humor hysterics or tangentials or conjecture (which is a very good thing, despite the emotional drain a client encounters during proceedings like this). Rather she will tenaciously concentrate on discovery, facts, and possible legal avenues in an attempt to secure the best outcome for her client. In addition, her supporting paralegal staff is excellent, being both friendly and professional. Because of Laura's representation, I have maintained full custody and decision making for my daughter despite loathsome and disgusting accusations and behaviors leveled by her mother. Had this not happened, my daughter would be far worse off for it, and I owe Laura a debt of gratitude for her services. I can't imagine receiving better or more professional representation in my cases. I highly recommend Laura when you need the very best family law representation and are willing to make the personal sacrifice to get it.
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Posted by anonymous | November 2, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
an effective and compassionate divorce/child custody lawyer
When I was in a very difficult time of my life, Laura helped me wonderfully. I am grateful to Laura for what she has done for me and my child. I think that Laura's experience, wise advice, and compassion would help her clients to get through the difficult time with the best possible. I strongly recommend Laura as a divorce and child custody lawyer.
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Posted by Jason | October 25, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent Family Attorney
Laura has been my family attorney for over a decade and has always had the best interest of my son in all of her work and actions on my behalf. She has been very supportive and I would highly recommend her services.
Posted by Cindi | October 24, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Life's Complicated
Life is very complicated and divorce was not on my radar. I never thought I would have to face that situation, but unfortunately I did. I consulted with Laura 10 years prior to actually having to retain her services for my divorce. At that initial meeting 10 years prior, she not only gave me great legal advice, she helped me think through the high emotional cost of dissolving a marriage and a family. She was able to balance my situation with thoughtful compassion while maintaining integrity and validity about my case without pushing to file just for monetary gain for her firm – that was truly appreciated. Throughout the many different phases of my case, she remained fair, just, and steadfast; and truly listened to my requests and concerns. I had a very complicated case and it took a lot of time to sort it all through; but I felt confident in her billing; as well as the team she leads. I feel I absolutely chose the right person and professional firm to handle this very sensitive matter for me. Laura, you are an amazing mind and I thank you for being part of my life during all of that.
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Posted by Robert | October 21, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Exceptional performance
In 1998 I was referred to Laura when Social Services placed my son with me under a voluntary agreement with his mother. Her firm handled emergency travel orders to leave the state and country and followed through with establishing permanent parental responsibility and sole decision making rights. In 2012 Social Services placed a friends daughter with my wife and I and the court then awarded "temporary custody" to us closing the D&N action. When one of her parents filed to have her returned to their care Laura and her team aggressively handled the case that became very complicated do to the questionable final orders issued by the family court. Although her fees are high, her results have been commensurate with them.
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Posted by Lynn | June 18, 2014
Hard time made a little easier
Without a doubt Laura Shapiro worked to get me a fair settlement. When I got the petition for divorce in the mail after 35 years of marriage I was in the worst place I have ever been. Ms. Shapiro was recommended to me by several people and I am so glad I retained her services she is extremely knowledgeable and was on top of the process the entire time. Laura made a difficult time a little easier and I trust her completely. Her entire staff treated me like a person instead of a client which means allot when your hurting and lost.
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Posted by anonymous | April 14, 2014
Oustdanding Lawyer! She is the best!
I chose Laura as my attorney for my divorce case. Without her I would have been lost. She was outstanding and easy to work with and always kept me informed on all issues. Everyone at her firm was excellent, I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to represent me. I was very happy with the outcome of my case, we settled without having to go to court. I highly recommend Laura as she is fantastic!
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Posted by John | September 11, 2013
Laura Shapiro Highly Recommended for Men and Fathers.
Laura Shapiro and her staff arrived just in time in my complicated and difficult parental responsibilities, custody and divorce case. I found her to be an ethical, skilled, creative, and transparent attorney to work with. Her support staff shares her passion for justice. She listened to my concerns and was able to relate the fine points of the law to my case. Placing the case in her hands reduced my stress to a bare minimum. Laura helped me to select credible experts for the case while her staff kept aware of deadlines so the case moved forward smoothly. As the trial date neared, Laura and her staff sought a constructive and fair settlement using a variety of creative solutions in the best interests of my son and me. They explained in detail how these terms could be beneficial to everyone. When an obstinate opposing counsel refused to negotiate a settlement in good faith and stonewalled her, Laura was very confident and at ease in going forward with litigating the case. Her trial management and advocacy skills were flawless. She kept the judge’s attention focused on the key issues pertaining to my son’s welfare and the realities of my parenting skills despite opposing counsel’s attempt to create sideshows and insinuations. In the end, we received a ruling from the judge that was far beyond my expectations and gave me a tremendous sense of relief. Her overall case management efficiency helped keep my fees lower than that of my ex-wife's attorney. I highly recommend Laura to anyone with a family law matter, but I recommend her with greatest enthusiasm to men and fathers who are seeking settlement of complex divorce and custody cases.
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Posted by anonymous | August 9, 2012
Laura Delivers
I can't thank Laura and her team enough for their work on my case. I had a particulary rough divorce; her friendly, congenial, direct style made her a pleasure to work with during a personally tough time. Her experience and wisdom helped navigate through two custody evaluations and trial. Laura and team were always available, and they worked hard toward success - I'm very happy with the outcome after an uphill battle. I highly recommend Laura!
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Posted by Tina | August 7, 2012
simply the best
I was not only impressed by her knowledge but her compassion through such a difficult time. She knew what I wanted and helped me get there, sometimes with a gentle push when I needed it.
Posted by anonymous | March 12, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Worst Attorney Ever
I used Laura about 9 years ago for divorce court. I am writing now because she still haunts me how bad her service was. She was late for our court date. She was disorganized and when I met her at her office for prep work she had nothing in order. She asked the other party two questions and that was it. I had to do most of the work myself. One of the most important financial documents she didn't include in the court exhibits. I finally got her to insert it and she stuck it in the very back and copied it crooked. I spent a ton of money on her and all I got were three huge binders of copied documents. I am writing this only because I want others to know not to waste their hard earned money. I have posted this review previously but it seems to have disappeared.
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Response from Laura Shapiro March 13, 2017
Thank you for once again providing your feedback. Rest assured, your review has not been removed. You posted your review on Google, where it can still be found, I have no control over the order in which reviews show up on Google. If you look among the positive reviews we have on Google, you will find your review. I take pride in the amount of time and hard work that I put into preparing for my client’s cases. I fight very hard to get the best results possible for each and every one of my clients. Unfortunately, I cannot guarantee a favorable decision from the Court. In this case, I do believe they provided us with a very unfavorable decision and for that, I am truly sorry. I hope that you are able to move past this and find peace. I wish you a happy and prosperous life.
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Posted by anonymous | February 19, 2015
Unprofessional and very costly
I initially hesitated to write a review as I have moved on to a much more professional, appropriately priced, competent and energetic law firm to handle my complicated custody issues. However, after receiving two separate emails from Shapiro Law containing other clients’ confidential case information, followed by a demanding email to “Just Delete and Do Not Read”, I felt it would be most appropriate to forewarn prospective clients. My experience with Laura spanned over a years’ time. I retained her firm to help me establish proper custody to protect my toddler and myself from an emotionally abusive ex-husband. She had her paralegals to do the vast majority of my case’s legwork with the rationale that it wouldn’t cost as much as it would be to work with her directly. This was actually more costly to me, as the majority of my correspondence needed ‘official’ counsel - they would have to go back to Laura anyway, get an answer, then relay to me – all while the meter ticked on. In the handful of interactions with Laura herself, I found her to be demeaning, unprofessional and severely lacking empathy. Her paralegal Caroline Cunningham is the true treasure in that office; frankly do not know how she has lasted that long in such an environment. As my case become more complicated, Laura expressed to me several times that she was loaded up with trials and trial preparations for other cases. The final step was Laura chastising me for being “nasty and demanding” when I requested that she set my expectations on her responsiveness to my case’s looming and time sensitive issues. I had separate follow-up messages from some of her staff saying that they disagreed with Laura’s comments and felt I had remained professional and pleasant to work with as a client throughout the entire engagement. That was when I knew it was time to find a different counsel. This was after $22,000 of legal fees paid to her firm that I’ll never see again, nor see any beneficial outcomes for the welfare and safety of my child or myself. I wish I would have moved on sooner. I am now with an outstanding firm – they are also just as busy as Shapiro law, but manage to not lose sight of being compassionate, professional and attentive to my case. Ironically, the case is now moving forward for the first time ever, with a bill rate a third of what Shapiro Law charges.
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Response from Laura Shapiro July 24, 2015
We apologize that you feel like you had a bad experience working with our law firm. With every client, we try and not only provide the highest quality legal services possible, but also individual attention to each case. We try to understand the unique needs each of our clients have.
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Cost

Rates
  • Retainer Always
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card

Resume

AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Attorney
  • Law Office of Laura E. Shapiro, P.C.
  • 1991 - Present
  • Attorney
  • Law Office of Malman and Malman, P.C.
  • 1990 - 1991
  • Attorney
  • Law Office Of Stephen J. Harhai
  • 1987 - 1990
  • Assistant Attorney General, Human Resources
  • Office Of The Attorney General, State Of Colorado
  • 1984 - 1987
  • Attorney
  • Laura E. Shapiro, P.C.
  • 1983 - 1984
  • Attorney
  • Colorado Rural Legal Services
  • 1980 - 1983
  • Associate
  • Garganigo and Goldsmith
  • 1978 - 1978
  • Staff Attorney
  • New York Legal Services
  • 1978 - 1979
  • Hearing Officer/Office of Rent Control
  • NYC Office of Rent Control
  • 1977 - 1978
View all work experience

Education

  • New York Law School
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1977
  • Trinity College
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1972

Associations

  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1980 - Present
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1978 - Present
  • American Bar Association
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Denver Bar Association
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Arapahoe County Bar Association
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Colorado Bar Association, Family Law Section
  • Legislative Committee
  • N/A
  • Colorado Bar Association, Legislative Committee
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Denver Bar Association, Legal Fee Arbitration Committee
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Colorado Bar Association, Legal Fee Arbitration Committee
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Metro Denver Interdisciplinary Committee
  • President
  • 1992 - 1993
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • French
  • Spanish
  • English

Awards

  • AV Preeminent Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2018
  • Top 10 Attorney
  • National Academy Of Family Law Attorneys
  • 2017
  • AV Preeminent Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2016
  • Top 100 Lawyers
  • The National Advocates
  • 2015
  • Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2013
  • AV Peer Review Rating
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2013
  • Super Lawyer
  • 5280 Magazine
  • 2006
View all awards

Publications

  • Denver Magazine
  • If You Think You Might Be Getting Divorced
  • 2005
  • The Colorado Lawyer
  • Special Considerations and the Special Advocate
  • 2001
  • The Denver Post
  • Numerous weekly articles in "Speaking Legally"
  • 1998
  • The Colorado Lawyer
  • Overcoming Difficulties in Collecting Child Support and Maintenance
  • 1995
  • The Colorado Lawyer
  • Removal Issues and Standards for Modification of Custody
  • 1995
  • Wiley Publications
  • Editor, American Jouranal of Family Law
  • 1991
  • Denver Business Journal
  • Splitting the Sheets
  • 1991
  • Parent Magazine
  • Who Represents the Children when Parents Divorce
  • 1990
  • The Colorado Lawyer
  • Custody Evaluations in Colorado
  • 1989
View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • Keystone Conference
  • Ethical Issues and Family Law
  • N/A
  • Family Law Conference
  • Supplemental Custody Evaluations
  • N/A
  • Family Law Conference
  • Arbitration, Appeals and other Jurisdictional Issues
  • N/A
  • Family Law Conference
  • Child Support Issues
  • N/A
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (6)
Given (7)
Divorce and separation Attorney | Jan 21
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Laura is fantastic to work with and a fabulous family law attorney. Laura is able to work collaboratively as an opposing counsel to resolve issues, while maintaining the skill and ability to successfully take matters to trial when necessary. Laura's finesse and experience in the world of domestic relations is renowned and respected by fellow practitioners. I endorse this lawyer without hesitation."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Jun 29
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"No nonsense, on top of her game all the time, strong advocate with ability to work through the difficulties often encountered in divorce actions. I endorse this lawyer."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Dec 14
Relationship: Other
"Laura is a highly skilled and compassionate attorney with over 30 years of experience."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Dec 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Laura is a touch and experienced attorney who excels at representing the interests of her clients. I recommend her highly."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Aug 05
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I strongly endorse Ms. Shapiro as a family/divorce attorney whose experience and knowledge of the law will serve her clients exceptionally well. She is a skilled and strong litigator whose courtroom skills place her in the top tier of family law practitioners in Colorado. She frequently speaks and writes on divorce and family law issues. She knows the law, is committed to assisting her clients throught one of the most difficult periods of their lives and is always well prepared, whether it is for court or for resolution. I recommend her most highly."
Family Attorney | Aug 03
Relationship: Worked for lawyer
"Laura has an incredible knowledge base and extensive experience in Family Law. She knows how to get results and she fights hard for clients. I endorse this lawyer."
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