Emma Shinn is a Marine judge advocate and prior enlisted infantry platoon sergeant, enlisting in 1994 and temporarily retiring from active duty in 2014. She is preparing to go back on active duty, but for the past four years, she ran her own criminal defense practice, Shinn Law Office, LLC, representing servicemembers and civilians in state and federal courts in Colorado and military courts across the globe. She is a zealous advocate for defending our Constitution and individual liberties.
Emma grew up in Mississippi and South Carolina before moving to Texas for her senior year of high school. She grew up knowing she was going to be a Marine. That being said, she was a scrawny kid – quite aware of the inequalities of size and influence – but determined to fight for the right and just causes. She’s worked tough cases – homicide, rape, forcible sodomy, child pornography, assault with a deadly weapon, to name a few – and she’s worked high-profile cases featured on major news networks including NBC, CBS, Fox, CNN, ABC, and MSNBC, among others. Hand-picked to start the brand-new Defense Counsel Assistance Program within the Marine Corps, she provided expert advice, resources, and consultation to Marine defense attorneys across the globe. She testified in front of a Congressionally-mandated panel on sexual assault and aided her sister-services in the development of training and material for their defense attorneys and support personnel.
As a Marine, Emma served and excelled in jobs ranging from a scout platoon sergeant to a logistics company commander, from a defense counsel to a staff judge advocate, in places as far flung as Okinawa, Japan; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Camp Fallujah, Iraq; Camp Lejeune, NC; and at the Pentagon. She fought in intense urban combat during Operation PHANTOM FURY and continues to battle in courtrooms across the globe. She has a successful private practice representing servicemembers, cadets, and civilians in military, state and federal courts and enjoys giving back to the community who gave her so much.
She is a July 2014 graduate of the Spence Trial Lawyers College and is often contacted to teach fellow defense attorneys at continuing legal education seminars across the nation, on topics including cross examination, trial tactics, and using technology in the courtroom.
Emma is the Executive Director and co-founder of the Colorado Name Change Project, a nonprofit helping transgender Colorado residents to legally change their name and gender marker on state and federal identity documents, as well as being on the Board of Trustees for the Gender Identity Center of Colorado, the Chair of the Board for TranSending, Board Member for the Jim Collins Foundation, and the Amicus/Public Policy Chair for the Colorado LGBT Bar Association.
Emma is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal with “V” combat distinguishing device and gold star, as well as the 2017 Attorney of the Year award from the Colorado LGBT Bar Association, the 2017 Power Award from the Colorado LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce, and the 2017 Visionary in Action Award from the GLBT Community Center of Colorado.