Skip to Main Content

Firm History

The Law Out West® 

What a Law Firm Ought to Be

In 1947, Josiah G. Holland (Joe) and Stephen H. Hart (Steve) set out to build a new kind of law firm in the Mountain West, founded on the principles of aggressive business acquisition, innovative specialization, prospects for advancement, and commitment to its people.

Stymied in his prospects for professional growth by the establishment-oriented, closed-shop culture of the old-line Denver law firms of the era, Steve sought a different path. He joined with longtime family friend and fellow adventurer Joe to start a firm that emphasized the equal, fair, and human treatment of ALL, where advancement opportunities were attainable for any qualified lawyer who would work hard.

Driven by a keen appreciation of Western individualism and camaraderie, they wanted a firm of “total” people, well-rounded members who would attend to family and community as well as to career—a firm where success and fun would co-exist.

The basic principle behind the firm was to blaze new trails solving clients’ legal problems—to never tell a client that something couldn’t be done, but to discover a new way to do it within the bounds of ethics and the law.

The spirit of team interdependence and collaboration has always been one of the firm’s strengths. Avid mountain climbers, the founders compared legal problems to a tough climb: if the firm found itself stuck halfway up the legal mountain without the needed expertise, it speedily took the risk of acquiring new team members and tools to get the job done.

To learn more about the firm’s history, access The Law Out West, a book commissioned to celebrate the firm’s 50th anniversary, and “Holland & Hart: The First 75 Years,” a microsite honoring the firm’s 75th anniversary.


Unless you are a current client of Holland & Hart LLP, please do not send any confidential information by email. If you are not a current client and send an email to an individual at Holland & Hart LLP, you acknowledge that we have no obligation to maintain the confidentiality of any information you submit to us, unless we have already agreed to represent you or we later agree to do so. Thus, we may represent a party adverse to you, even if the information you submit to us could be used against you in a matter, and even if you submitted it in a good faith effort to retain us.