A bit about me.

I graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1995. After clerking for a Circuit Court Judge in Multnomah County I began practicing criminal defense in 1997. Since then I have always been a criminal defense lawyer. From 1997 until 2005 my practice was primarily in state court. I worked as a sole practitioner and as an associate for two small criminal defense firms in the Columbia Gorge and Portland. My practice focused on defending folks charged with serious felonies. In 2003 I was admitted the federal bar. That same year I became a founding member and managing partner of a four-lawyer criminal defense firm in Portland. After 2005 my practice shifted primarily to defending people charged with serious and/or complex criminal cases in federal court.

After 13 years of managing a small firm, in January of 2018 I formed the Law Office of Andrew M. Kohlmetz LLC. Over the years I found that managing a busy office was taking time away from what I really loved: the practice of law. My solo practice allows me more time to devote to each one of my clients, ensuring that they get my undivided attention and the best legal representation I can possibly provide.

Drop me a line.

I never charge for an initial consultation. In addition to answering some of your many questions, an initial conversation will allow us the opportunity to determine whether or not we are a good fit for each other. I pick and choose my cases with the same care that my clients exercise when they select me to represent them.

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My Philosophy & My Credentials

Andrew Kohlmetz reading book


Our court systems are meat grinders. The courts, especially Oregon's state courts, are overworked and underfunded. There are great institutional and structural pressures to resolve cases without much thought and effort. Process is often more important than substance. One of the most critical roles of the criminal defense attorney is to make the client and the client's case stand out from the mass of cases processed every day. In order for this to be accomplished, the lawyer and the client must spend a great deal of time together. Criminal cases do not arise out of a vacuum, but rather occur within the broader context of the client's life. The criminal case is often a small part in the much larger life-story of the client. The system works to strip the criminal case of its broader, more personal context and history. The defense lawyer's task is to make sure the client's story is told, that the rich uniqueness of the client is not lost in the system's mechanical processing of cases.

In order to best represent my clients I actively limit the number of clients I have at any given time. That is is because the cases I usually accept are complex felony matters, where the stakes to the client are extreme. In these types of cases each of my client's deserves the most attentive and diligent representation I can provide. By actively limiting my caseload I can spend the time necessary with each client to develop those unique facets of the client or the case that transform their case from the ordinary to the extraordinary. My clients are never just files on the prosecutor's or the judge's desk.


University of Oregon School of Law
Juris Doctor, 1995

Hobart College
B.A., cum laude, 1990

Activities & Affiliations

  • Governor's Asset Forfeiture Oversight Advisory Committee, Member
  • Portland Defense Consortium, Board of Directors Member
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member
  • Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Member

Bar Admissions

  • Oregon State, District of Oregon, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals