18 May Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with alumni Kyle Blackmer
The Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board is interviewing their fellow Boettcher Scholars to help the community get to know one another better. The following Q&A was compiled by Boettcher Scholar Gergana Kostadinova.
Scholar Year: 2004
College(s), Degree(s), and Graduation Year(s):
J.D., University of Colorado Law School (2011), Order of the Coif
B.S., University of Colorado-Boulder (2008), with high distinction
Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation?
For the past three years I’ve been practicing corporate real estate law at Otten Johnson Robinson Neff & Ragonetti in Denver. I counsel clients on all sorts of real estate deals and draft and negotiate the contracts that effectuate and govern these transactions.
My favorite aspect of what I do is putting together the legal and business puzzle that is a deal and contract — thinking creatively, analytically, practically, and strategically to accomplish our client’s goals within the confines of the law and the business deal that’s been struck, and drafting clear, well-written agreements that reflect the assembled puzzle.
What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now?
In a word: transformative. Without the scholarship, I may not have stayed in Colorado for college, and I likely would not have had certain experiences in college that forever changed the trajectory of my life. Being a Scholar also afforded certain opportunities at CU Law that to this day continue yielding immense returns. Undoubtedly, though, I am most thankful for the people who are in my life as a result of my being a Scholar. But for the scholarship, I likely would not have met my amazing wife, Lindsay, nor would I have met three of my dearest friends.
Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations, or groups outside of work.
I serve as the current chair of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board. For years I was looking for a way to take the tremendous investment the Foundation made in me and pay it forward. The Alumni Board is one way to do that. It’s been very rewarding to reconnect with and support the Foundation and other Scholars.
I am also an adjunct faculty member at the University of Colorado Law School, and I serve on the law school’s Practitioners Council.
Lastly, I ride with and race for a road cycling club based out of Boulder, where I currently live.
What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for current graduates entering your career field?
Best advice I’ve received: Your only obligation in life is to be true to yourself.
For current college graduates: Before deciding whether to go to law school, talk to as many lawyers as you can about what it is they really do on a daily basis, and, if possible, work at a law firm. Law school takes too much time, effort, and money to attend based on what you think a lawyer does.
For current law school graduates: The skills that will distinguish you are being a good listener, empathizing with your clients, emotional intelligence, and asking the right questions. Assume nothing, and think creatively yet practically.
If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why?
Oh, wow, this is tough. A few at the top of my list are Ralph Waldo Emerson, Kurt Vonnegut, and Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha. Because of their respective philosophies, ethos, passions, interests, and senses of humor, I think we’d be pretty good buddies.