Updated: Jan 8, 2021
Hetal Doshi has been an intermittent member of the CWBA since she moved to Colorado from New York in 2012. She attended events and volunteered as a member, but this year she decided that she needed to make time to advocate for issues that really matter to her.
Hetal is a new member of the CWBA Board and Co-Chair of the Judicial Committee. In her professional career, women’s issues have always been at the forefront, especially advocating for women in the legal profession. When she applied to the board, she didn’t choose a specific committee, but her appointment proved to be an excellent match with her values and policy goals. “It is clear that the CWBA is very thoughtful about how they choose committee leadership.” Since June, Hetal has already endorsed a number of judicial candidates to the state court bench and she is proud of her hardworking committee. To learn the process, she worked as a diligence volunteer on a round that she was managing. “The process is a lot more complicated than I thought, but it reflects the gravity of the appointment. It’s important to have a comprehensive process and provide a thoughtful endorsement to the governor.”
Hetal is currently an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Economic Crimes Section of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado, her self-proclaimed dream job. Her work focuses on prosecuting complex financial crimes, specializing in securities fraud and cryptocurrency. Since joining the office in 2014, her investigations of global investment banks, such as Credit Suisse and HSBC, have yielded billions of dollars of penalties for their roles in the 2008 financial crisis. In 2018, Davis Graham and Stubbs recognized Hetal with the Davis Award for her outstanding legal work, as well as her civic and charitable leadership.
Hetal grew up in the south, with her family moving frequently as a child. She attended three different kindergartens. “My dad was a nuclear engineer in the 80’s when there was a lot of change in the industry, so I lived in Houston, South Georgia and Birmingham, Alabama, but I’d call Birmingham my home. I’m definitely a southerner.” Hetal graduated from Emory University with a focus on economics. She considered obtaining a PhD, but she decided to go to law school instead. After graduating from the University of Virginia School of Law, she began her legal career at Alston & Bird LLP in Atlanta where she specialized in white collar crime defense and government investigations. “I’m the first lawyer in my family and a first-generation immigrant. I didn’t go to law school thinking I wanted to be an Assistant U.S. Attorney because I had no idea what that was.” However, performing white-collar work on the defense side made her realize that she wanted to prosecute those cases.
“Sometimes you have to do other things to lay the foundation for where you want to go.” Hetal considers herself a perfect example of that. After Atlanta, Hetal and her husband landed in New York City where she joined Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan representing, in part, Silicon Valley startups in trade secret appropriations matters. When her husband was offered a fourteen-month project in Africa, the couple moved to Kenya, where Hetal volunteered as an advisor to the Kenyan Parliament and a consortium of East African non-governmental organizations regarding Kenya’s newly adopted constitution. “We spent a ton of time on safari and hiking in Kenya. My husband and I are big outdoor enthusiasts. That’s exactly what I needed after the grind of New York City.”
In 2012, they returned to the States. Looking at a myriad of cities on a map, they considered Portland, Nashville, and Austin; finally, to our great fortune, deciding on Denver. They had only visited once or twice before they moved, but they immediately fell in love with the area. Hetal started volunteering on President Obama’s Victory Counsel, the legal team for his reelection, working on voter identification and voter turn-out issues. She then moved to Faegre Baker Daniels LLP due to the firm’s local roots and her desire to work at a firm where she would routinely appear in Colorado’s state and federal courts rather than working on remote matters elsewhere. There she focused on class action and consumer protection disputes, as well as taking on substantial pro bono work. Two years later, she landed her dream job at the U.S. Attorney’s Office. While at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, she has done substantial community work in the areas of access to education, hate crimes, and civil rights issues.
Throughout her career, Hetal has shown a dedication to promoting justice and using her skills for the public good. She strongly encourages CWBA members to consider applying for the bench this year. There are also 40 positions available on Colorado’s Judicial Nomination Commissions. Please consider applying for a judgeship yourself, and even if the timing isn’t right, consider making an impact by applying to sit on a nominating commission.
Veronique Van Gheem is Senior Assistant Legal Counsel for the Colorado Judicial Department. Ms. Van Gheem works in the Executive Division of the State Court Administrator’s Office providing general advisory counsel for the Colorado courts, probation departments and the State Court Administrator. She is a Chair of the Colorado Women’s Bar Association Publication Committee. She is also a member of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association’s Pro Bono Committee, the CBA Spanish Speaking Lawyers Committee and a Lead Attorney for the Project Safeguard Spanish-speaking Family Law Clinic. Any views or opinions reflected in this publication do not reflect the position of the Colorado Office of the State Court Administrator or the Colorado Judicial Department.