Image by Thomas Kelley

Meet The Team

Founding Partner

Lisa R. Shellenberger

Chairperson of the Family & Juvenile Law Division

JD, University of Colorado


BA, Truman State University

Denver

(303) 255-3588

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Lisa R. Shellenberger is a partner at Setter Roche Smith & Shellenberger, LLC, and she is an award-winning lead litigator at the firm. Ms. Shellenberger has been awarded the Super Lawyers Rising Star award in the area of family law for 5 years running: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. Ms. Shellenberger has also been recognized as the Nation’s Top One Percent by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. Additionally, in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. Attorney Shellenberger has also been named as a Top 10 Attorney in Colorado the area of family law by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys.

Lisa was appointed to the bench in January, 2018, to serve as an Appellate Judge for the Havasupai Court of Appeals in Supai, Arizona. Because her appointment to the bench is part-time, she still practices both in tribal courts throughout the West and in Colorado state district courts in the front-range area. Lisa’s practice is very focused in the areas of family law, juvenile law, and tribal law.

Within her family law and juvenile law practice, she is skilled in representing clients in divorce actions, child custody cases (allocation of parental responsibilities/APR), adoption proceedings, dependency & neglect cases, guardianship actions, maternity and paternity actions, modifications of child support and parenting time, grandparent visitation actions, and third party allocation of parental responsibilities cases.

Lisa is also extremely involved in matters related to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) in Colorado. She is regarded as a leading specialist in the field of ICWA. ICWA often is applied in many dependency & neglect cases, adoption actions, guardianship actions, and some APR actions involving Indian children. Lisa is one of the most well-versed attorneys that actively represents clients in ICWA cases, and she is also often retained as a qualified expert witness (QEW) to evaluate and provide an expert opinion and report to the Court in ICWA cases. Lisa further serves on numerous ICWA judiciary committees for many state judicial districts in the front range, and she also is frequently asked to teach Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses to fellow attorneys and judges on the topic of ICWA and ICWA compliance.

Lisa also has extensive experience in the special niche of tribal law. Lisa’s practice related to these areas involves tribal employment issues, tribal health law, and drafting tribal ordinances and resolutions. Lisa also has experience working closely on improving and/or developing tribal court programs and advising tribal judiciary committees. Additionally, Lisa is one of the nation’s few attorneys that is well-versed and experienced in handling Tribe-to- State jurisdictional disputes. In many family law cases, parents find themselves encountering a jurisdictional dispute when the question of whether a state or tribe has jurisdiction over the case. These types of cases are legally complicated and the applicability of certain federal, state, or tribal laws may be confusing or misleading. However, Lisa has successfully represented clients in these cases in Colorado State District Courts and in various tribal courts around the country, and she does so frequently.

Prior to coming on full-time with Setter Roche Smith & Shellenberger, LLC, Lisa served as a Clerk to Justice Nancy E. Rice at the Colorado Supreme Court. Lisa’s publications include: OPPOSING VIEWPOINTS: NATIVE AMERICANS, “The Reasoning for and Purpose of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Cengage Learning, April 2012". Lisa’s legal work has been highlighted in numerous national news articles, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and National Public Radio (NPR).

Lisa attended law school at the University of Colorado Law School in Boulder, Colorado. Lisa completed her undergraduate degree at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, with honors. Lisa is an Oklahoma Native, and she is a member of the Choctaw Nation.

Outside of work, Lisa is an outdoor and fitness enthusiast. She enjoys CrossFit, traveling, camping, hiking, mountain biking, dirt biking, scuba diving, and kayaking, and she plays in competitive women’s basketball league. She enjoys doing all of these activities with her husband, Kyle, and two dogs, Luca and Moose.

Attorney Shellenberger has been nominated and received the following awards:

 

  • Super Lawyers Rising Star, in the area of Family Law — 2021

  • Lawyers of Distinction — 2021

  • Super Lawyers Rising Star, in the area of Family Law — 2020

  • Top Tier Lawyers — 2020

  • Lawyers of Distinction — 2020

  • 10 Best Attorneys, American Institute of Family Law Attorneys — 2020

  • American Association of Attorney Advocates - Top Ranked Attorney - 2020

  • Colorado’s Top 10 Family Law Attorneys, Attorney and Practice Magazine — 2020

  • Super Lawyers Rising Star, in the area of Family Law — 2019

  • Nation’s Top One Percent, National Association of Distinguished Counsel — 2019

  • 10 Best Attorneys, American Institute of Family Law Attorneys — 2019

  • Top 100 of 2019, American Academy of Attorneys

  • Lawyers of Distinction — 2019

  • Women of Distinction Honors Edition — 2019

  • 2019 Top 10 Family Law Attorneys, Colorado American Jurist Institute

  • Top 10 Under 40 Family Law Attorney, National Academy of Family Law Attorneys, Inc — 2019

  • Premier Lawyers of America — 2019

  • Colorado’s Top 10 Attorneys, Attorney and Practice Magazine — 2019

  • North American Family Law Attorney — 2019

  • Best of the Best Attorney’s Top 10 Family Law Attorney — 2019

  • Attorney and Practice Magazine’s Top 10 Family Law Attorney — 2019

  • Super Lawyers Rising Star, in the area of Family Law — 2018

  • 10 Best Attorneys, American Institute of Family Law Attorneys — 2018

  • Super Lawyers Rising Star, in the area of Family Law — 2017

  • 10 Best Attorneys, American Institute of Family Law Attorneys — 2017

  • Top 10 Under 40 Family Law Attorney, National Academy of Family Law Attorneys, Inc —2017

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