Call us: (303) 335-9753

Dedicated to defending American servicemembers and Colorado residents in criminal courts as her primary practice, Emma Shinn takes pride in knowing that her clients are some of the best people on earth. Emma is a retired US Marine judge advocate, having risen from the enlisted ranks. She knows the struggles of barracks life and can relate on a personal level to clients in a way that many other attorneys can not. She’s been a leader – from infantry platoon sergeant, company commander, and senior defense counsel. Now, she leads in the courtroom – educating attorneys, jurors, and judges on justice.

Emma also takes pride in individual attention to her clients. When you call, she either picks up the phone or calls you back. You pay for her time and that’s what you get. Her practice is also “purposefully small.” That may sound weird, but when she was an active duty judge advocate, she often was in the almost-untenable position of having too many cases. You may have seen the waiting rooms in the local military defense office that speak to that experience. Now, just as you can choose your civilian defense attorney, Emma chooses her clients. If you have a case worth fighting, give her a call. You won’t regret it.



  • 1994:  Enlisted in US Marine Corps, guaranteed infantry MOS & overseas duty station
  • 1994-2005:  Anti-Tank Assaultman (0352) and Infantry Assault Marine (0351). Billets included gunner, vehicle commander, squad leader, and platoon sergeant of a combat-deployed Scout Platoon.
  • 2005:  Commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant after completing US Marine Corps Officer Candidates School
  • 2005-2007: Infantry and Logistics Officer.  While completing law school, Emma drilled as a reservist at Anti-Terrorism Battalion, 4th Marine Division and Bravo Company, 6th Motor Transport Battalion.  Billets included Platoon Commander, Training Officer, Executive Officer, and Company Commander
  • 2007-2014: Active Duty Judge Advocate. Billets included Legal Assistance Officer-in-Charge, Review Officer-in-Charge, Defense Counsel, Senior Defense Counsel, Assistant Staff Judge Advocate, Staff Judge Advocate, and Officer-in-Charge, Defense Counsel Assistance Program.  Retired from active duty on 30 May 2014.
  • 2014-Present: Principal attorney at The Shin Law Office, representing servicemembers across the globe

Honors and Awards

Some of Emma’s military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation, the Navy-Marine Corps Commendation with Combat “V” and gold star for subsequent award, the Navy-Marine Corps Achievement medal with subsequent awards, the Combat Action Ribbon, among many others. Emma has also been recognized within the legal community, receiving the “10 Best for Client Satisfaction” in Colorado from the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys and the “Top 40 Lawyers Under 40” from the American Society of Legal Advocates and the 2017 recipient of the GLBT Community Center of Colorado’s “Visionary in Action” award.

Admitted to Practice

  • United States District Court for the District of Colorado (2015)
  • State of Colorado (2014)
  • Military trial courts worldwide (Art. 27b, UCMJ certification) (2008)
  • State of Texas (2007)

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Colorado Criminal Defense Bar: Member, 2014 – Present
  • Colorado Bar Association: Member, 2014 – Present
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers: Member 2011 – Present
  • Colorado LGBT Bar Association: Board Member, 2017-Present and Member, 2014 – Present
  • National LGBT Bar Association: Member, 2015 – Present
  • Military Criminal Defense Lawyers Association: Founding Member, 2014 – Present
  • Guantanamo Bay Bar Association: Member, 2011 – Present
  • State Bar of Texas, Criminal Justice Section: Member, 2009 – Present
  • State Bar of Texas, Military Law Section: Member, 2009 – Present
  • Okinawa Bench and Bar Association: Member, 2008 – 2011
  • State Bar of Texas: Member, 2007 – Present
  • Judge Advocate Association: Member, 2007 – 2008
  • Tech Law Board of Barristers: Member and Committee Chair, Technology 2005 – 2007
  • Texas Aggie Bar Association: Member, 2003 – Present

Publications & Presentations

  • Federal Register, Report of the Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel – (personally cited over 27 times) (2014)
  • Veterans Radio Show, Service at Guantanamo Bay (21 Sept. 2014)
  • Military Defense Counsel Trial Litigation Course – Roundtable Discussion: Working with Civilian Defense Counsel (2014)
  • Military Defense Counsel Trial Litigation Course – Small Group Leader – Opening Statements (2014)
  • Military Defense Counsel Trial Litigation Course – Small Group Leader – Cross Examination (2014)
  • Military Defense Counsel Trial Litigation Course – Small Group Leader – Voir Dire (2014)
  • Military Defense Counsel Trial Litigation Course – Electronic Apps for Litigators & Plan B for When They Fail (2014)
  • DSO Annual Continuing Legal Education Seminar – Creative Motions & Jury Instructions (2014)
  • Annual Marine Corps DSO Mess Night Guest of Honor Speech – Using Fear as a Tool for Success (2014)
  • Sexual Assault-Focused Continuing Legal Education Seminar – Investigating Allegations of Sexual Assault & Evidence Documentation (2013)
  • Response Systems Panel on Adult Sexual Assault – Training Defense Attorneys & Sexual Assault (2013)
  • Quarterly Regional Defense Counsel Training – Technology & Advocacy (2013)
  • New Defense Counsel Orientation – Voir Dire (2013)
  • New Defense Counsel Orientation – Walk-In Counseling (2013)
  • New Defense Counsel Orientation – Case Strategies & Murderboarding (2012)
  • Annual DSO Conference – SharePoint & the Case Information System (2012)
  • Defense Counsel Annual Conference – I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now – Tips for New Defense Counsel (2010)
  • Lubbock Area Veterans War Memorial – Veteran’s Day Speech (2006)