He's No Cowboy
Colin Jorgensen brings years of experience as an attorney in the Arkansas Attorney General's civil litigation department.
By Christy Smith
AAC Communications Director
First things first: Let’s address the cowboy hat. After all, it is an attention grabber. However, it’s no indication that AAC’s new litigation counsel, Colin Jorgensen, is a cowboy, either literally or figuratively. He’s very much a city boy — and a man who follows the letter of the law.
“It was a gift from my wife,” Jorgensen said when asked about the hat.
He and his wife of eight years, Eve, were fans of the television series “Justified.”
“There was a character named Raylin Givens who was a U.S. Marshal in that show,” Jorgensen said. “He always wore a Stetson hat, which looks remarkably like the one I have. I always commented on it jokingly because I am not a cowboy or a U.S. Marshal.”
Yet, Jorgensen said, his wife bought him the hat for his birthday last year.
“It’s pretty awesome. I like it, and so I wear it,” Jorgensen said. “I do have a pair of boots, also a gift from my wife. I don’t have a gun or a horse or a badge or anything else. It’s just a fun prop.”
And his response to questions about the hat is a good indicator of the sense of humor Jorgensen brought with him to the AAC when he joined the staff on June 12, 2017.
“It’s OK to tell jokes,” Jorgensen said of the AAC office. “Thank goodness because I would not fit in otherwise.”
Jorgensen was born in Texas and lived in Missouri for a short time. His parents — his father is an engineer, and his mother is a registered nurse — moved to Little Rock when Jorgensen was 7. He graduated from Little Rock Central High School before attending the University of Oklahoma at Norman, where he earned degrees in political science and philosophy.
He says he never considered becoming a lawyer until, as a college student, he realized his liberal arts degrees were “not conducive to finding gainful employment.” So he went to the University of Michigan to earn a law degree.
Jorgensen’s first job out of college was as an associate at Wright Lindsey Jennings in Little Rock. After two years he took a job in the civil litigation department of the Arkansas Attorney General’s office. Over the course of 10 years, he rose from assistant attorney general to senior assistant attorney general.
Then AAC Executive Director Chris Villines convinced Jorgensen to make a move to county government.
“To have brought someone with Colin’s experience into the county government fold is a huge victory,” Villines said. “He has a depth of legal experience that is extremely valuable, and he matches that with a personality that is warm and welcoming — the counties of Arkansas all just got better because he has joined our team.”
As litigation counsel for the AAC, Jorgensen said he is “working on defending counties and county officials in state and federal court in civil lawsuits.”
“I’m doing other things, too,” Jorgensen said, noting that he has been working on research projects, attending continuing education conferences to meet county officials and updating the AAC personnel policy. Like other attorneys in the office, he focuses his time on “whatever the issue of the day may be.”
Jorgensen said in his short time at the AAC he has noticed “we have many, many deep and meaningful longstanding relationships with all sorts of county officials and entities, and a lot of what we do is driven by that.
“There’s a lot of personal relationships between and among the people outside this office and the people inside this office, and that is important,” he said. The county officials he’s had an opportunity to speak to “clearly very much value and trust our opinion, our assistance and knowledge.
“I want to get up to speed quickly so I can contribute to that,” he said.
Jorgensen and his wife have two children — Hank, 6, and Suzy, 3. He enjoys exercising, reading and playing fantasy baseball, but candle making is Jorgensen’s primary hobby. He has a shop where he makes 4-inch candles to give away as gifts or to donate to charity auctions. He also coaches his son’s baseball team.
“Mostly I do family at this point,” Jorgensen said. “Kids pretty much take the vast majority of my spare time.”