Zak grew up in Boulder and learned the ropes in the highly regarded Alameda County Public Defender’s Office in Oakland, California. Zak has represented over 1,000 adults charged in crimes ranging from DUI to domestic violence to serious assaults and sex assaults to homicide. Zak has won jury trials in Colorado District, County and Municipal courts and California.
A native of Boulder and graduate of Boulder High, Zak understands the locale. Although Boulder can be a town of temptation for some, local law enforcement is strict. As the saying goes: “Boulder: Go there on vacation and come back on probation.” University of Colorado students may find that a criminal charge will have a serious impact because of potential discipline from the Office of Student Conduct. Zak knows a young person’s missteps should not result in a lifetime smear on their future and will work hard to protect his clients’ reputations. Record sealing is an important part of the firm’s practice.
While bartending in Berkeley, California, Zak began to tutor inmates at San Quentin Penitentiary in both English and writing. Inspired by working with such exceptional yet undervalued people, he went to law school at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. During law school, Zak learned about criminal defense through internships with both the Alameda County Public Defender and San Francisco Public Defender.
After law school, Zak spent over seven years working for the Alameda County Public Defender’s Office in Oakland. Alameda County is the oldest Public Defender’s Office in California and boasts a highly regarded, national reputation. As a Public Defender, Zak represented criminal defendants in Oakland and throughout Alameda County. Oakland is a city with a high crime rate, and Zak represented over 1,000 adults charged in crimes ranging from DUI to homicide. During his years at the Alameda County Public Defender’s Office, Zak earned a reputation for working aggressively on behalf of his clients. He is a successful trial lawyer who is at ease in front of judges and juries. His clients enjoy the benefit of his personable style.
In 2009, Zak returned to his roots in Colorado and began a solo criminal defense firm where he continued to litigate trials, but also added appellate and post-conviction work to his practice. Zak and Kristan Wheeler formed Malkinson Wheeler Law in 2010 until Kristan Wheeler was appointed to the bench in 2015. Zak and Nancy Salomone formed Malkinson Salomone, LLP in 2016 until Nancy Salomone was appointed to the Boulder County District Court bench in October 2017. Zak has now opened the Law Office of Zachary Malkinson and continue to be a dedicated defender. Zak has presented on legal topics to the Boulder County Bar Association and recently, in 2017, to the Colorado State Judicial Conference. Zak has been a long-standing panelist for the Professional Standards Review committee of the City of Boulder Police Department. In 2016, Zak was selected as one of three finalists for the governor’s consideration for Boulder County Court judge.
Zak is a member of the Colorado Bar Association, Colorado Criminal Defense Bar and the Boulder County Bar Association. He is still licensed in California. He enjoys spending time with his family, has a marginal commitment to yoga and is still trying to convince his kids that supporting Colorado basketball teams is worthwhile.