Alison Jensen is a Guardian ad Litem in the 2nd Judicial District (Denver).
Alison Jensen’s personal connection with a family adoption at an early age first sparked her interest in working with children and families. Although child welfare law was not her first career, Alison has always found herself advocating for those in need.
Alison studied journalism in college and worked in public relations in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she worked mostly with youth-focused non-profit agencies.
“I was writing and reaching out to reporters researching and advocating for these causes, and I realized a lot of this was stuff I would do as a lawyer for kids,” Alison said. “I thought maybe I just take that leap and go to law school.”
Alison found a good fit at Colorado University, where she started law school in 2008.
“Once I met with Colleen Robison, who ran the juvenile and family law program at CU, I knew it was the right place for me,” Alison said. “She was so enthusiastic, and it got me excited to be there and to be doing what I was doing.”
In her first summer of law school, Alison interned at the Denver Juvenile Court. During her internship, she saw the broad spectrum of work involved in juvenile welfare law and was captivated by every part of it.
“It really supported my belief that every kid deserves the very best shot they can have as they move forward in their lives and into adulthood,” Alison said.
While Alison admits there are always challenges to this type of work, like having hard conversations with parents about termination motions, she says the reward is worth it.
“Helping strengthen families with so many challenges with the system, and to hear from parents that I helped impact their lives for the better, and their kids’ lives in the long-term, that has been really meaningful to me,” Alison said.
Alison’s advice to attorneys who are new to child welfare law is to get to know all stakeholders to create a genuine supportive network.
“I think it’s important to get to know the people who provide in-home services and understand what’s going on with agencies, how they are funded and things like that. Having the bigger picture of the challenges those agencies are facing can really help you navigate more adeptly,” Alison said. “It helps your practice, and as a human, to have those connections.”