Matthew  R. Nilsen

Matthew R. Nilsen



An experienced urban planner and municipal policy wonk, Matthew Nilsen focuses his transactional real estate practice on land use, zoning and entitlements, development and government relations. He has specific experience in land use planning, zoning code and ordinance drafting, and community and economic development and policy work.

Prior to law school, Matthew worked as an urban planner, consulting for municipal clients nationwide, including the City and County of Denver, District of Columbia, City of Commerce City and many others throughout Colorado. He will be completing his master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Colorado Denver in 2024.

Matthew was previously a summer associate at Brownstein. While earning his law degree, Matthew interned for the municipal operations division of the Denver City Attorney’s Office and for the state services section of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. He also worked as a student attorney in his law school’s Community Economic Development Legal Clinic providing pro bono representation to nonprofits and small businesses on transactional matters.

Insights & Publications



J.D., 2023, University of Denver Sturm College of Law

B.S., 2012, Southeastern University




Colorado Bar Association

Denver Bar Association

NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association

Colorado LGBT Bar Association


Community Involvement


Board of Directors, Rocky Mountain Arts Association

Conference and Event Volunteer, American Planning Association



Sturm Law Scholar, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, 2020-2023

Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute Annual Student Award, 2023

Public Good Distinction Award, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, 2023

Scholastic Excellence Awards in Public Lands and Resources Law, Legislative Drafting, and Real Estate Transactions, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, 2021-2023

Etkin Johnson Student Scholar, Urban Land Institute, 2019-2020