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Attorneys & Counselors at Law


From the Blog

Meet The Team


Founding Attorney, Karen Cockrill

Karen Cockrill, Esq.

Karen Cockrill, Esq.

Karen Cockrill, the founding attorney of Paperbark Law, was the CEO of a national franchise for 10 years before becoming a franchise attorney.   In 2006, she started a local dog walking company which she grew into a nationally-recognized franchise with operations in over 20 states.  As the company franchisor, she oversaw the entire franchise network including drafting and negotiating the franchise agreement, supporting the franchise owners, and preparing the Franchise Disclosure Document for state filings.  The franchise received numerous national awards, including being recognized as a Franchise 500 company by Entrepreneur Magazine for 4 consecutive years.  It also received the designation as Best Pet Care Franchise and Top Low Cost Franchise by the magazine.

After selling the franchise to private investors, Ms. Cockrill worked as a franchising consultant while simultaneously earning her law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Karen received a Scholastic Excellence Award for her work and research in prenuptial agreements in Colorado. She also authored two scholastic law articles, "Investing in a Client's Business: The Ethical, Legal, and Practical Considerations" and"How Franchisors Can Use Trademark Laws to Avoid Joint-Employer Status"

As a franchise and business attorney, her focus is in helping other entrepreneurs with the legal support they need. 

Karen is licensed to practice law in Colorado and the District of Columbia.

Go to Karen’s personal page

Associate Attorney, Katie McLaughlin

Katie McLaughlin, Esq.

Katie McLaughlin, Esq.

Katie McLaughlin joined Paperbark Law as an associate in September of 2018. Katie’s practice covers a wide range of legal and regulatory areas with a focus on environmental regulation compliance and small business law. Katie assists clients in navigating complex federal, state and local environmental regulations.

Katie received her J.D. from the University of Colorado. During law school she worked as a law clerk at the 20th Judicial District Court in Boulder and as a legal and regulatory intern at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In her second year Katie worked with CU Law’s Natural Resources and Environmental clinic. She prepared arguments for a species-listing petition under the Federal Endangered Species Act.

Prior to law school Katie received dual degrees in Environmental Studies and Evolution and Ecological Biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Outside work, Katie is an avid runner, hiker, and traveler. She has been to 18 different countries, and last year she ran her first marathon around the Boulder Reservoir. When she’s not outside, you can find Katie pretending to be a contestant on the Great British Baking Show, or planning her next adventure.

Katie is licensed to practice law in Colorado.



Franchise Law

Serving clients in all areas of franchising, including drafting and reviewing Franchise Disclosure Documents,  operational matters, and purchasing and sales of established franchise businesses.  

Franchise Lawyers >


Business & Franchise Consulting

For those considering starting a new business or looking for ways to continue successful growth, we provide consulting services in all things franchising and business.

Franchisor Consulting >

Franchisee Consulting >


Business Law, Mergers & Acquisitions

We work with small to medium-sized businesses in nearly every industry and can assist with proper company formation, employee matters, and financial structure.

Business Lawyers >  


Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial agreements are a responsible way to protect assets, especially when a business is involved, prior to marriage.

 Prenuptial Agreement Lawyers >


Contract Drafting & Review

We can help with nearly every kind of contract at every stage--including leases, purchase agreements, service and construction contracts, licensing agreements, and employment contracts. 

Contract Lawyers >


Intellectual Property

For most businesses looking to expand, the next important step is obtaining a federal trademark. We Trademark clearance searches,

Trademark Lawyers >


Environmental Compliance

Environmental compliance and consulting services for local, state, and federal environmental laws and regulations.

Environmental Law Compliance >



We provide the legal support you need in a divorce, and our services are unbundled so that you can get help in areas where you need it.

Divorce Lawyers >