Born April 18, 1942
The Colorado Women's Bar Association and Dr. and Mrs. Geoffrey Mark Vasil
Jean Dubofsky earned an undergraduate degree from Stanford and
a law degree from Harvard. She spent two years as a legislative
assistant to U.S. Senator Walter Mondale in Washington, and then
she signed on as an attorney for Colorado Rural Legal Services
in 1969. This began her long service to the disadvantaged, underserved,
and voiceless populations of Colorado.
As director of law reform for Colorado Rural Legal Services, Dubofsky
won a case in the Tenth Circuit that enforced the availability
of free or low-cost hospital services for low-income people. She
then moved to the Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Denver, where
she developed a legislative program that ultimately resulted in
34 new laws that benefited the poor. Her work also included drafting
a reapportionment amendment that became part of the Colorado constitution;
getting banks to issue credit cards to women in their own names;
convincing courts to allow girls to play organized baseball in
Denver parks; and successfully challenging the constitutionality
of the workers’ compensation laws that reduced benefits.
In 1975, Dubofsky was appointed Deputy Attorney General for Colorado.
In 1979, she became the first woman and the youngest person to
become a Colorado Supreme Court Justice. While on the bench she
wrote several hundred opinions for the court, including a landmark
water law opinion that protected the public interest.
Dubofsky returned to private practice in 1988. She is president
of the Colorado Center for Law and Policy, a nonprofit agency empowered
to take on class actions and lobbying that was forbidden to legal
services agencies. She is a founding member of the Bell Policy
Center. She is probably best known for being the lead attorney
in the fight to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Colorado’s
Amendment 2, which prevented gays and lesbians from obtaining redress
for discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Dubofsky
also has served on the state’s Commission on Judicial Performance;
the Colorado Music Festival Board; the Commission on the Status
of Women; the Judicial Performance Commission; Supreme Court Board
of Continuing Legal and Judicial Education; and the Colorado ACLU
Board of Directors. She continues a primarily appellate law practice
to protect the civil liberties of Coloradans.