Colleen M. Dowdall

Colleen M. Dowdall


Colleen M. Dowdall


Areas of Practice

  • Access Disputes and Litigation
  • Zoning Law
  • Real Estate Transactions and Litigation
  • Local Government

Bar Admissions

  • Montana, 1981
  • U.S. District Court District of Montana, 1981
Missoula, Montana


  • University of Montana School of Law, Missoula, Montana
    • J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence - 1981
  • University of Montana, Missoula, Montana
    • B.A., Bachelor of Arts - 1978, With Honors

Colleen Dowdall’s many successes representing clients in land use, access and easement disputes, have revolved around her breadth of knowledge and experience working both in a governmental role and in private practice throughout her career.  She leaves no stone unturned and effectively uses the information she uncovers to help represent her clients. 

Colleen Dowdall began presenting Public Road Law seminars in 1988-89 to lawyers, surveyors and real estate professionals as a Deputy County Attorney.  Her perspective was always from the government side of things, but then in the early 90s Colleen decided to get her feet wet in client matters by moving to private practice at the law firm of Worden Thane and Haines. Later on, Colleen returned to the Missoula County Attorney’s office, and for 13 years she represented Missoula County in land use matters, drafting and redrafting local regulations in response to legislative changes, and then sitting with county boards and agencies while they implemented these changes.  Colleen continued to teach road and easement seminars until 2003, her knowledge enhanced by the many access issues she addressed as a Deputy County Attorney.

In 2006 Colleen went back to private practice at her previous firm, currently known as Worden Thane P.C.  She now has the legislative history and regulatory background to ensure that various local governments understand the limitations of their power when dealing with her clients in land use, access and easement issues.  She has also had the opportunity to test her knowledge of road and easement law in courts across the state of Montana, resulting in successful outcomes for her clients.

Honors and Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America®, 2011-2014
  • BV®Distinguished™rating, Martindale-Hubbell®

Pro Bono Activities

  • United Way
  • Kiwanis Club of Missoula

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • State Bar of Montana
  • Western Montana Bar Association
  • Montana Defense Trial Lawyers

Past Employment Positions

  • Worden, Thane and Haines P.C., Associate, 1989 - 1993
  • Missoula County, Deputy County Attorney, 1993 - 2006