About The Attorney
Emily Bright Hays
Emily joined Rutherford Law Center in October 2017 after a decade as a trial attorney in the federal government and as a civil litigator in private practice. She made the career change to be able to help individuals with legal needs close to their hearts. Emily brings years of extensive negotiation, settlement, and courtroom experience to the more personal matters we address and resolve at Rutherford Law Center.
Emily’s practice areas include Family Law, Adoptions, Estate Planning, Probate and Pre/Postnuptial agreements. Her goals are to help clients understand the legal process, evaluate the options and make informed decisions. She believes settlement is the preferred outcome in most cases because it allows the client the most control over the result while preserving their resources. That said, she has had significant courtroom successes since joining the firm, including hearings related to:
- Various issues in Dissolution (divorce) and Allocation of Parental Responsibilities cases
+ parenting time/custody
+ decision making
+ child support
+ division of debts and assets
- Temporary and Permanent Orders
- Status of Marriage (was there a common law marriage?)
- Motions to Restrict Parenting Time
- Motions to Relocate
- Adoption Finalizations (Stepparent, Custodial, Grandparent and agency adoptions)
- Contested adoptions
- Temporary and Permanent Protection Orders
- Intervenor actions
- Grandparents’ rights
Emily is also a trained and experienced mediator ready to help parties reach settlement outside of individual representation.
Emily earned her J.D. in 2008 from the University of Denver, attending on a full scholarship and graduating in the top 7% of her class. She received a B.A. in 1996 and an M.B.A. in 2001, both from the University of Texas at Austin. She’s a member of the Colorado and 1st Judicial District Bar associations and is an active volunteer in her community in varying capacities.
Before focusing on the law, Emily’s unique professional background includes intelligence analysis in Washington D.C., AmeriCorps VISTA service in Texas, 9/11 relief work in New York City with The Salvation Army, humanitarian assistance in Kosovo and South Sudan with Action Against Hunger and animal protection with the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
When not working on behalf of other families, Emily enjoys spending time with her husband, two human sons, and one fur son (dog), and trying to fit in Orange Theory classes.