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OJC Press Release ID: 2885

Monday, January 14, 2019

OJC Alumna Kate Larkin Enjoys Successful Law Career


Kate Shand-Larkin a La Junta native, now living in Salida, is one of many OJC graduates who credit the college with helping them prepare for their life’s future paths. Larkin graduated from OJC in 1973 with an Associates of Arts Degree.

When she graduated high school and stared exploring future schooling options Larkin realized she wasn’t quite ready to move away, and explained she wasn’t ready for a large campus either. She said she is certain that coming to OJC first was the best decision for her. “I was able to keep costs down while attending OJC because the cost of attendance was significantly less than OJC’s four-year counterparts. I believe in a good education and I not only got a good education at OJC but an exceptional one.” Larkin said.

She went into detail on why the education at OJC was exceptional. “While attending OJC I really learned what a smaller college could provide.” Larkin stated. “I received a great deal of personal attention, lots of assistance and a hands on education. I was incredibly involved at OJC. This transition before I attended the University of Colorado Boulder was tremendous. It prepared me for what I would encounter there. My two years of education at OJC where some of the best I received.”

Larkin recalled that when she arrived at CU Boulder there were 300 people in her first class. “I didn’t feel intimidated at all. OJC gave me two years of maturity and great preparation for this moment. I sat with a confidence in that lecture hall, a confidence that I would not have had two years earlier.”

Larkin is married and has two grown stepsons. She originally wanted to major in English and a become a teacher. However, when she was in college the Watergate scandal occurred. After watching that unfold she knew she wanted to be an attorney. In 1975 Larkin finished her undergraduate degree at CU Boulder. She got accepted into law school at CU Boulder and graduated in 1978. Larkin enjoyed practicing law and specifically enjoyed labor law. She was the first female attorney at Climax Mine outside of Leadville, CO. She worked there for six years, until it closed. She was then an Assistant District Attorney. In 1989 Larkin moved to Denver and practiced private law there until 2010 when she retired. She handled employment law, occupational safety and health work, labor relations, and a small amount of criminal defense work.

According to Larkin she manages to still fill her time even now that she is retried. She is busy with volunteer work, assisting with the Aspen Music Festival and helps with fundraising for various organizations. Larkin was the original chair of the Koshare Foundation for approximately four years. She also enjoys training and riding mules.

For more information contact OJC Foundation Director Dillon Martin at 719-384-6821 or


Press Release Photo
Kate Shand-Larkin, a La Junta native, now living in Salida, is one of many OJC graduates who credit the college with helping them to set their life’s future path.