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Outside the Law: Carin Ramirez & The Viola

Updated: Jan 9, 2021

Carin Ramirez has been practicing law for eight years and is a litigator at Sweetbaum Sands Anderson P.C. She primarily focuses on construction defect law, but also practices general commercial and personal injury law. She has a husband and an 8 year-old son she tries to keep up with every day. But, in addition to all this, outside the law, she plays the viola.

The viola is a string instrument that is bowed or played with varying techniques. It is slightly larger than a violin and has a lower and deeper sound. 

Carin started playing the piano when she was eight and the viola when she was ten. Looking back, she doesn't really know why she started. There are no musicians in her family, but she always loved music. Eventually, she got a degree in music performance.  

Her best memory of viola playing is when she played with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra for two years. The Trans-Siberian Orchestra is a rock band founded in 1996 that gained popularity when they began touring in 1999 completing their album, The Christmas Attic. They will often use local string players as back-up. She remembers playing one show in a big arena. "I was sitting there as the show started with flames going off behind me, there was smoke and lasers, and ten thousand screaming fans. For that brief time, I got to experience what it is like to be a rock star." She knew right then and there that this was one of those moments she would remember for the rest of her life (do you blame her?). 

Despite being a performer, and having a degree in music performance, she struggled with being very nervous for auditions. She remembers one in particular that she really botched because she was shaking so bad that she could not even control her bow enough to play.  

While balancing her passion with her work is hard, she continues to do so because it means a lot to her. As a litigator, she shares that she sometimes finds the practice of law very negative. But playing music reminds her of the good that people can create when they work together. In her own words, "Being able to work together with other people to create something beautiful that brings people together is good for my soul and helps me keep a positive outlook. It is also good to have some time where my brain has a break from thinking about my work and gets to focus on something completely different."

Right now, in addition to practicing, she plays with the Littleton Symphony Orchestra. They rehearse once a week and have concerts about 8-10 times a year. She also plays with an all-lawyer string quartet called the Quartet at Law. They get together monthly to play chamber music mostly just for fun, though once in a while they perform at concerts or functions. They even played for the 1st Judicial District Bar Association once! (That's so cool).

Finally, Carin is proud of the fact she has kept going while being a litigator and a mom. She has met, and knows she will continue to meet, great people and form friendships and connections all over the world. Above all, she loves that she gets to be on stage, entertaining people and sharing the music she loves.


Giugi Carminati is a women’s advocate and litigator in Denver, CO. She speaks and blogs about gender equality and social justice. Her law practice focuses on representing women, ranging from C-Suite executives to professionals to low income workers, as well as domestic violence and sexual assault victims. She is a litigator by training. She speaks French, English, Italian and Spanish. She is licensed in Texas, New York, Colorado and DC. Her firm website can be found at

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