Scott Martinez didn’t always know he wanted to be an attorney. He thought his calling in life was to be an engineer. Born and raised with a younger sister, Martinez grew up in Lakewood. After high school he graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Later, Martinez interned for Congressman Diana DeGette in Washington, then returned to Denver. He worked with Colorado’s Democratic Party, then left Denver in 2003 for San Diego to pursue a J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law. Upon his return to Denver, Martinez joined the law firm of Holland & Hart. Two years prior to the appointment of Denver’s lead attorney, Martinez served as the mayor-appointed Deputy City Attorney. Martinez is active with the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association and was awarded the Latino Lawyer of the Year in 2014 from the National Hispanic Bar Association. Martinez is also active as a mentor with Si Se Puede, a program initiated by Judge Christine Arguello for young Latinos in pursuit of a law degree. Martinez has been married to wife Julie for 12 years and they have two boys, Levi, 8 and Miles, 6. Martinez’ free time is spent with Julie and their boys. Martinez adds, “We go camping and hiking. We have also taken our boys to New York City.”
About Denver City Attorney’s Office
Appointed in January 2014, Martinez thoroughly enjoys being the lead legal eagle for the City of Denver. He believes his work serves as the civil rights attorney for the city of Denver. “I have the best job in Colorado,” Martinez offers. Martinez enjoys the combination of law, policy and politics in finding solutions.
High School Experience
Martinez was an above average student, and loved school. Martinez chose academics over sports, and excelled accordingly. He was also engaged in various school clubs. “My love for school, I’m sure, came from my parents.” Both parents acquired a master’s degree when Martinez was in junior high. Martinez remembers both parents as giving and volunteering individuals who help build a solid foundation for him and his sister and taught them to pay it forward.
Message to Youth
“I mentor a lot of students and I tell them that it’s normal to have self-doubt. When you are young, you don’t know that you are not the only one with struggles. For instance, I thought I was going to be an engineer. I felt like that was what I was supposed to do, but I didn’t love it. It’s really ok to not know what you want to be when you grow up.”
The Last Word
“I kept a journal when I was in 5th grade. I went off to camp and entered this into my journal: “I really want to be a civil rights attorney.” I met a friend whose dad was a civil rights attorney and that’s what I wanted to be. I want to help people. I believe my job is to be the civil rights attorney for the city. I want to know that people are treated fairly. Also, know that being in public service brings out the best in you. And an added note: “I call my parents every single day.”