Smith & Mitchell, LLC

Our firm helps families address the legal issues that can arise due to aging, disability, sudden health crisis, or special needs.  We go beyond typical estate planning to find solutions that meet long term care and asset protection goals while promoting quality of life.


Michelle Smith, sr. counsel & Managing Member

Everything I do is about connecting with my clients - making sure I understand what each person hopes to achieve when they hire me. It varies, of course, because sometimes I meet my clients when they are excited about planning for their family's future or their own retirement. Other times, we're meeting for the first time in the midst of a family medical crisis, when my client may feel overwhelmed by all that is required to obtain much needed benefits to help pay for long-term care.

In either case, the process is like planning a long voyage. The clients determine where to go, then I help them plan well, chart the course to their destination, provide tips to avoid unwelcome surprises, and encourage them to check in often should things change during their journey. More


Valerie Gallegos, Associate Counsel

Much of what I do, whether as an attorney, a wife, the mother of three young adults, or the child of a mother in her golden years, is centered around family. It's why I take such satisfaction in being able to work constructively with clients and their families in challenging situations.

Though each case is different, my goal is always the same - to lighten the weight on my client's shoulders. I work with families to quickly and efficiently administer estates, avoid unnecessary expenses, handle claims, and make distributions as quickly as possible.

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Jeff Russell, Firm Administrator

As firm administrator, I manage the operating and information systems, as well as the firm finances. More specifically, I’m responsible for developing automated processes to ensure the timely delivery of quality legal services to our clients. This includes regularly evaluating our operations for efficiency, managing records retention and our archival processes, and designing and modifying templates to work with our planning software.

Additionally, I support our attorneys by preparing various financial reports, assisting with billing and collections, tracking client development efforts, and drafting, amending, and modifying planning documents, court pleadings, and general correspondence.


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Paul Mitchell, Retired

Paul graduated from Dartmouth College and the University of Colorado School of Law. He practiced in the Denver area for close to 35 years, providing estate administration, estate planning, and elder law services. Paul was past co-chair of the Elder Law Committee of the Colorado Bar Association (CBA), serving from 2000 to 2002, and was a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. (NAELA), a private nonprofit organization of lawyers specializing in handling the legal needs of the elderly. Paul was recognized by the National Elder Law Foundation as a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA)

Mr. Mitchell was selected for 2011 Super Lawyers and was also listed in the Top Attorneys in Colorado of the April 2009 issue of 5280 magazine. Now retired, he has enjoyed travelling extensively, including to Thailand and more recently, Israel.