Kaela Zihlman

Attorney  |  kaela@willoughbylaw.com

Areas of Emphasis

  • Domestic Relations Litigation
  • Prenuptial Agreements
  • Cannabis Law in Family Law Cases

Kaela clerked for Judge Robert L. McGahey, Jr., and interned for Judge Brian Whitney in their domestic dockets in Denver District Court, honing her skills in domestic relations in both of these positions. Prior to attending law school, she worked for two years as a paralegal for a domestic relations law firm. While working in Denver District Court, Kaela learned the strengths and limitations of taking cases to court. She strives to help each individual client reach the best outcome in his or her case, be that inside or outside the courtroom. She is thrilled to join Willoughby & Associates in family law.

About Kaela

Kaela’s knack for imagining the end-game and the different ways to get there helps her clients achieve the best possible outcome. She honed these skills while writing orders as an intern and clerk in Denver District Court. She knows what judges are looking for in the courtroom. The time invested as a clerk gave her the inspiration to become a trial attorney. Kaela recognizes the importance of empowering her clients to move forward from the difficult times feeling confident and capable. We love that she is brilliant, friendly and available whenever you need her. She is an easy-going person until the situation demands otherwise.

Kaela is happiest in the company of others – talking, trying new brunch locations, schooling them with her insane trivia knowledge, or going to movies. To unwind, she likes to hop in the car, roll the windows down, turn up the music and just drive. Kaela has a love for learning which is only occasionally hemmed in by Netflix or bad reality TV binges and Buzzfeed downloads. Her dream is to be back on the beach at Zanzibar, soaking up the sun and relaxing.

Kaela supports Minds Matter and volunteers at legal nights to provide free legal advice to those who can’t afford it.


University of Denver Sturm College of Law, 2016, Juris Doctor.

  • Editor in Chief – University of Denver Criminal Law Review
  • Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society
  • Student Trial Lawyers Association, Best Advocate, 1L Participant

Colorado Women’s College – University of Denver Certificate in Community-Based Research, March, 2013

University of Colorado at Boulder, 2011, Bachelor of Arts, English Literature

  • President, University of Colorado Mock Trial Team (3 years)
  • University of Colorado Student Government (3 years)


Judge Robert L. McGahey, Jr., Denver District Court, Law Clerk, March 2016 – July 2017

Robinson & Henry, P.C., Legal Extern, August 2015-December 2015.

Judge Robert L. McGahey, Jr., Denver District Court, Judicial Extern (Domestic Docket), January 2015-May 2015.

Judge Brian Whitney, Denver District Court, Judicial Intern (Domestic Docket), August 2014 – November 2014

Reilly Pozner, LLP, Summer Law Clerk,  May 2014 – August 2014

Gutterman Griffiths, P.C., Paralegal, June 2011 – June 2013

Professional Associations

Colorado Bar Association, Family Law Section