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303-764-1400 Applying for a Public Defender

Lucienne Ohanian

Chief Deputy Public Defender

Lucienne Ohanian is Chief Deputy Public Defender. In 2004 during her first weeks in law school at the University of Colorado, she met a group of future defenders who were working to fight capital punishment. She found her people and never looked back. She completed three internships with various offices in the OSPD before being hired for her dream job.

Upon graduation in August of 2007, Lucy started in the Arapahoe trial office. She supervised county court from 2011 to 2017 and was appointed to her current role of Chief Deputy in 2017.

As Chief Deputy, Lucy works closely with Megan Ring, the Colorado State Public Defender. In addition, she collaborates as part of a team of other defenders performing a wide range of roles, including:

  • Providing support to other offices
  • Recruiting and hiring legal interns and lawyers
  • Strategizing and drafting budget requests
  • Making staffing decisions
  • Overseeing the social work and paralegal programs
  • Developing new employee onboarding strategies
  • Consulting on ethics questions and engagement with the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel regarding updates to the Rules of Professional Conduct and helping defenders with OARC complaints
  • Development and maintenance of Defender File, OSPD’s electronic case management system
  • Contract negotiation for various licensing software
  • Selection and rollout of client file storage system
  • Training of OSPD staff

Lucy’s work at the OSPD is extremely important to her. Serving as a public defender provides her with an opportunity to express her values through her work. She is committed to putting the humanity of others, no matter how damaged they are, at the center of her work, and she feels fortunate to get to work alongside the most righteous, playful, unrelenting, nonconforming, talented group of freedom fighters.

Education and Credentials

Lucy earned undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Spanish from the University of Puget Sound in 2001. She attended the University of Colorado School of Law, earning her Juris Doctor in 2007.

In addition to working at the OSPD, Lucy represents the agency on several statewide committees and commissions, mostly related to the competency to proceed and electronic discovery. She was also appointed as a board member for the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar Association.

Family and Personal Interests

The OSPD has been a home and family for Lucy. She met her husband when they were interns in the Denver office in 2006 and together, they are raising two children who they hope will have the confidence to question authority and the kindness to care for others.

When she’s not at work, Lucy can often be found hiking, tending to her plants, skiing, reading, doing yoga and seeking a variety of adventures. She also has a special place in her heart for her adorable cats.