Attorney General Coffman to Speak at Commencement
Attorney General of Colorado Cynthia H. Coffman (J.D. ’91) will speak at Georgia State University College of Law’s Commencement and Hooding Ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday, May 11, in the Georgia State University Sports Arena, 125 Decatur St., Atlanta.
Coffman, who is running for governor of Colorado, was raised in small-town Missouri and graduated from the University of Missouri–Columbia before moving to Atlanta in 1985. She worked in development for children’s hospitals and pediatric research for several years before attending Georgia State Law.
“[Georgia State Law] was almost like a learning lab. The relationship between students and faculty was closer than I think in most law schools,” Coffman said. “The practice-based curriculum was good for me, because I’m not just a bookworm; I also learn by doing.
“By attending Georgia State Law, I was able to work and go to school and not go into debt. That was important to me,” she added.
After graduation, Coffman worked in the Georgia Attorney General’s office. “I got that job because of Georgia State,” she said. That ushered in the opportunity to work as a lawyer in finance and management services for the 1996 Centennial Olympic games. After the pipe bomb explosion in Olympic Park, her work there shifted to acting as the primary liaison with the victims and their families.
In 1997, she moved to Denver and began working for the Colorado General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Council. She staffed the Senate Judiciary Committee and assisted with a study of the state’s adult parole system. She then worked briefly private practice, before joining the Department of Public Health and Environment, first as director of legal and regulatory affairs, then as deputy executive director. She delved into all manner of environmental and health issues, including air and water quality, disease control and prevention, bioterrorism and emergency planning, and maternal and child health programming.
In 2004, Coffman served as chief counsel to then Gov. Bill Owens. In 2005, Attorney General John Suthers selected her as chief deputy. When Suthers finished his term limit, Coffman, who was named Best Public Sector Lawyer in 2012, ran for attorney general. She was elected in 2014.
Since taking office, she has focused on community outreach, consumer protection, and protecting public safety and Colorado’s sovereignty.
“This is the best job I’ve had in my legal career,” she said.