Up & Coming Lawyers 2018: Jacob Burg

Jacob Burg didn’t always know he wanted to be an attorney. As a student, he was certain he would have a political career, so he spent a lot of time getting involved in local politics. While at Cherry Creek High School in Denver, he worked on a gubernatorial campaign for former Gov. Bill Ritter and also worked on the campaign for former Democratic congressman John Salazar. He then completed a college internship as a finance intern for the Democratic National Convention Host Committee in 2008 and also worked on a campaign for former Colorado Sen. Mark Udall.

So, needless to say, he hasn’t always had the desire to practice law. But like his father, shareholder Peter Burg, and his other relatives at Burg Simpson, he went to law school. After he graduated from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2014, he joined his family at the firm, where he has been practicing personal injury law for four years. 

“I went in to law school on more of a political track,” he said. And after taking a few trial practice classes, he realized his calling to be an attorney — and part of the family business — was something he couldn’t walk away from. 

“Certainly with my dad and uncles’ careers as trial lawyers, I was surrounded by litigation and trial work when I was young,” he said. “However, I really became excited about being a trial attorney during trial practice class in law school. I really enjoyed the strategy, the public speaking elements, and thinking on your feet.”

As a young lawyer who has only been practicing law for a few years, Burg has already seen success and said helping people is what keeps him going. 

“One of the things that really drove me toward personal injury litigation is that I have the opportunity to help people and to make a difference in their life,” he said. “When a lot of clients first come in to talk with me they are at one of the lowest and most difficult points in their life — they are dealing with constant pain and anxiety about what the future holds given their injuries, and they are often facing financial struggles due to being out of work. Having the opportunity to help my clients through extremely difficult times and hopefully making a difference in their life really means a lot to me, and it’s the thing that keeps me going.”

And that passion keeps him busy. This year alone, he obtained a settlement of a confidential seven-figure amount for a negligent conduct case — a case his colleagues said he “excelled at proving damages related to an area of the population that is often undervalued, overlooked, ignored and often abused.”

In that case, Burg represented two elderly women who were killed by an intoxicated teenage driver. He said that although compensation will never alleviate the pain and their loss, it was an honor to represent them and others who greatly suffer from accidents like theirs. 

“I think I will always be passionate about my career. My area of practice can be challenging and stressful, but it is the drive and passion for what I am doing for my clients that keeps me motivated. At times I definitely feel the pressure,” he said. “It sometimes keeps me up at night with the pressure I feel on cases, but it’s also very rewarding. I have a chance every day to help my clients in difficult times.”

This year Burg was also successful in a bad faith case against an insurance carrier. In that case, a young woman was involved in a roll-over car crash, sustained a serious head injury and developed postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or POTS, which can be caused by head injuries.

“She was going through all of these problems, fainting spells, depression and wasn’t doing well. It was really hard for her to have the struggle to get fairly compensated from her insurance carrier while also struggling with her injuries and symptoms,” he said. 

For his client, it was important for her to not only get compensated so that she can obtain the future medical care that she needs,” he said, adding that it was also important to her to have acknowledgment that the horrible symptoms she was experiencing were real and were the result of the severe injuries she sustained from the incident.

When Burg is not practicing law or spending time with his new wife Chelsea, he works on the PUSH committee at Craig Hospital, a rehabilitation hospital in Englewood, which specializes in spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury rehabilitation.

“My experience on the PUSH Committee has been tremendous … I can tell that there is a real culture at Craig Hospital about positivity and moving forward with your life while facing extraordinary obstacles and challenges,” he said. “I feel honored to be involved with the PUSH Committee to help raise funds to support Craig Hospital, and it makes me want to continue to get more involved with Craig.”

Burg said he believes he will still have the passion to help people and hopes he will never “go numb” to these cases. 

“I think different lawyers get motivated by different things and I know that I am motivated by the trust my clients put in me during the many challenges they are facing,” he said. “That’s my motivation. It really does fire me up and keeps me going to do everything I can for my clients.” 

— Sarah Green

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