Updated: Jan 9, 2021
Erika Gebhardt, Ashley Emerson, and Meagan Moodie launched their eponymous firm – often referred to as GEM Family Law – just 18 months ago. Already they are employing five attorneys, two law clerks, three paralegals, and one legal assistant.
All three named partners have been practicing law for seven years, and all three focus their practices exclusively on family law. The commonalities don’t stop there, as all three of them are significantly engaged in outdoor hobbies and in professional organizations. All of the firm’s lawyers and staff volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House quarterly too. In short, these three women have become integral parts of their communities in a number of different ways.
Erika married into moguls. When she met her husband Chris at Colorado College, he was both attending college and mogul skiing on a professional level. The couple still owns a home in Steamboat Springs, where Chris used to train. Erika and Chris have two children, ages 3 and 1. Erika currently serves on the associate board of the Rocky Mountain Children's Law Center. She co-leads a Divorce, Discussion, and Drinks group to assist those going through divorces. And she is on the planning and bylaws committees of the Colorado Women-Owned Law Firms group.
Though this is just her third growing season, Ashley might be called an “extreme gardener.” She starts and ends every day in the garden, and obsessively tracks the progress of everything she’s growing. As with the practice of law, she brings extreme attention to detail to gardening; she photographs how things are progressing in the vegetable and herb gardens, counts new buds, and observes signs of growth. Ashley finds that gardening is therapeutic:
When you are elbow-deep in dirt, you cannot answer your phone, and you cannot check your e-mail. I think that, as a professional woman, it is incredibly important to find opportunities that force me to step away from my job and focus my energy on something else that energizes me. … We have to make space for ourselves that isn't filled with the demands of our jobs.
Ashley is married; and she and her husband Tim are expecting their first child (a daughter) this summer.
Ashley is currently Secretary of the Board of the Colorado Collaborative Divorce Professionals, and will be serving as Vice President of that board beginning this fall. She is a co-founder of the Denver Source for Collaborative Divorce Collaborative Practice Group. And she was elected to the 2019 Executive Council of the Family Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association.
When Meagan isn’t working, you’re likely to find her on a trail, in a tent, on a bike, or in the kitchen. Outdoors, Meagan and her husband Craig like to go hiking and camping as often as possible. She adds indoor cycling to the mix too. In the kitchen, the couple might be brewing beer or cider. And Meagan cooks pretty much every day. She even made a cookbook for her family, featuring all of her favorite healthy recipes. Meagan and Craig have two dogs and a cat, and look forward to adding kids to the family some day.
Meagan serves on the Board of Directors for Family Tree. She’s a member of the Board of Directors and Co-Chair of the Public Policy Committee for the Colorado Women’s Bar Association. She’s on the Public Policy Committee for Junior League of Denver too. She’s a member of the CBA’s Modern Law Practice Initiative Committee. And she’s a partner attorney with Project Safeguard.
The women of GEM are the kind of legal professionals we love to see. They appreciate and enjoy the outdoor beauty of Colorado; they are substantively involved in all kinds of professional and community organizations; and they are busy building a thriving family law practice. You can learn more at http://familylawco.com/.