Dru Nielsen, Partner

Photo of Dru Nielsen


303-893-6100 (Main)


 Tonya Holliday
  • Listed in the Best Lawyers in America® under the specialty of White-Collar Criminal Defense since 2013.
  • Listed in the "Top 50 Women Lawyers" in Colorado Super Lawyers® in 2014 and 2015.
  • Chosen for inclusion in Colorado Super Lawyers® since 2012.
  • AV® Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®.
  • Tried dozens of criminal cases, including First Degree Murder, Sexual Assault, Drug Possession and Distribution, and White Collar Crimes.
  • Worked ten years and handled thousands of cases across the state as Deputy State Public Defender.
  • Lectured to hundreds of criminal defense attorneys on trial tactics and criminal procedure.

Practice Areas:

  • Criminal Defense
  • Civil Litigation


Reilly Pozner LLP

Dru Nielsen, Partner


303-893-6100 (Main)


 Tonya Holliday
 • Education
 • Media



About Dru:

Dru focuses her practice on criminal litigation. In her ten years as a deputy state public defender, she handled thousands of felony cases in courts across Colorado—including charges of first degree murder, attempted murder, sexual assault, aggravated robbery, economic crimes, conspiracy, child abuse and kidnapping. Because of her experience, she supervised ten other felony attorneys.  Dru's practice also includes representing students in University disciplinary hearings.

Dru has been recognized by her peers for her work in criminal defense and has been listed in Colorado Super Lawyers® since 2010.  She was listed in the "Top 50 Women Lawyers" by the publication in 2014 and 2015. She has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® edition under the specialty of White-Collar Criminal Defense since 2013. Dru is also rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell® which is a reflection of her professional excellence, high ethical standards and legal ability.

She was on the board of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar and has lectured to hundreds of criminal defense attorneys on subjects like trial tactics and procedure. She also served on the Colorado Jury System Standing Committee, which is charged with implementing the Supreme Court’s recommendations on jury reform.

Because of the nature of criminal defense practice, Dru prefers to keep confidential the names of her clients. She helps her client navigate at every stage of the criminal process:

Pre-emptive representation. Even before a criminal charge has been filed, Dru helps her clients take appropriate preemptive action to prevent or moderate the charge.

Trial representation. Once criminal charges have been filed, Dru helps her clients by initiating an exhaustive independent investigation of the facts. She strongly believes in the power of knowing more than the opposition, and refuses to rely only on government or police reports. Armed with these facts, she seeks a favorable disposition of the charges prior to trial or a positive outcome at trial.

Post-trial representation. When a client is convicted of a criminal act, punishment may include execution, loss of liberty, government supervision (parole or probation) or fines. In all cases, Dru helps her clients by making sure that the punishment is fair and carried out in an equitable manner. When the conviction is in question, she helps clients with an appeal.

“I sincerely believe that all people must be zealously and passionately represented in court, especially when the government seeks to deprive them of their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Ever since spending ‘career day’ with a criminal defense attorney way back in seventh grade, I focused on a career in criminal defense and never looked back. This is the best job in the world. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”



image Practice Areasimage
  • Criminal Defense
  • Civil Litigation
image Educationimage
  • J.D., University of Colorado
  • B.A., University of California at Los Angeles
    Magna Cum Laude
image Bar & Court Admissionsimage
  • State of Colorado
  • United States District Court for the District of Colorado
image Recognitionimage
  • "Top 50 Women Lawyers" by Colorado Super Lawyers (2014, 2015)
  • Listed in Colorado Super Lawyers (since 2012)
  • Best Lawyers in America (2013, 2014, 2015)
  • AV rated by Martindale Hubbell
  • Rising Star by Colorado Super Lawyers (2010, 2011)
 Presentations & Publicationsimage
  • Lecturer, "Character & Fitness in the Bar Admission Process," University of Colorado School of Law (2014)
  • Lecturer,"Using Technology and Demonstratives in the Courtroom." (2010)
image Professional Membershipsimage
  • Colorado Criminal Defense Bar (Former Board Member)
  • Colorado Bar Association
image Mediaimage