August 21, 2017

IAALS: Let’s Stop Choosing Law School Like It’s 1999

Alli_Gerkman_bw_2014

This post originally appeared on IAALS Online, the blog for IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver, on April 29, 2014.

By Alli Gerkman

I was preparing for a presentation to prospective law students last month when I realized it has been 15 years since I was standing in their shoes, trying to make the right decision about law school. I wanted to tell them about resources they should be looking for—beyond law school rankings—but as I tapped into all the resources I know of, one thing became very clear: we’re still asking prospective law students to make one of the most important decisions of their lives almost the same exact way we were doing it in 1999. And probably 1989, for that matter.

Which is pretty funny (and tragic), if you think about everything else that has happened in the last 15 years. “Google” became a verb. Our smart phones let us talk to anyone at any time—by video. Cars drive themselves. And, more relevant to the concept of choosing law school, all of our decisions have been made easier through individualized recommendations. When I go to the New York Times, it recommends articles based on my usage. My Amazon home screen recommends books based on past purchases. And Spotify introduces me to new music based on what I play. All of these used to be dominated by generic recommendations—newspapers were driven by “front page” articles, booksellers touted bestseller lists, and Billboard charted the top hits in the country. These generic recommendations persist (and provide some value), but they have been richly supplemented by individualized recommendations that drive our choices.

In the world of choosing law schools, we have the generic rankings and recommendations—including US News & World Report, and a number of others that have popped up over the years—and these provide a certain value, but they hardly give the whole picture and they certainly don’t provide prospective students with individualized information about a decision that, in the end, is very personal.

We’re trying to help with that. Last year, Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers launched Law Jobs: By the Numbers, an employment calculator that allows you to review school employment numbers based on the criteria you care about most. With the American Bar Association’s release of the 2013 employment numbers, we made the tool easier for prospective students to use by adding a Q&A tool that walks you through each factor, explains what it is, and lets you decide whether you want to include it in your final calculations. At the end of the Q&A, you get a personalized list of schools based on your personal selections (here’s one example). Lots of groups will tell you which law schools are best, but only Law Jobs: By the Numbers lets you decide for yourself.

This is just the first step, but we think it’s a step in the right direction. Perhaps US News & World Report rankings won’t go away anytime soon. And perhaps that’s okay, so long as, like other industries, we find ways to supplement the generalized rankings with individualized information that allows prospective students to make choices about where to go to law school that are, in the end, right for them.

Alli Gerkman became the first full-time Director of Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers, a national initiative to align legal education with the needs of an evolving profession, in May 2013. She joined IAALS in June 2011 as Online Content Manager, developing and managing all IAALS web properties, including Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers, and became IAALS’ Director of Communications in August 2012. She brings significant professional development experience to the initiative, having spent five years in continuing legal education, first as a program attorney organizing multi-day conferences for a national provider and then as program attorney and manager of online content for Colorado Bar Association CLE. While at CBA-CLE, she developed an online legal resource that was the recipient of the Association of Continuing Legal Education’s 2011 Award of Professional Excellence for use of technology in education. She has written and presented nationally to continuing legal education providers, bar executives, and lawyers. Prior to her work in continuing legal education, she was in private practice.

The opinions and views expressed by Featured Bloggers on CBA-CLE Legal Connection do not necessarily represent the opinions and views of the Colorado Bar Association, the Denver Bar Association, or CBA-CLE, and should not be construed as such.

IAALS: Integrating More Professionalism and Ethics into Law School Curriculum

This post originally appeared on IAALS Onlinethe blog for IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver, on February 10, 2014.

Alli_Gerkman_bw_2014By Alli Gerkman

In his Voices from the Field interview, Bill Walters, Partner at Heizer Paul and former president of the Colorado Bar Association, suggests that law schools need to expose students to the various career options they have following law school, which extend far beyond the traditional big firm practice of law. For example, dual degree programs, like dual J.D./M.B.A. programs, allow law students to use the skills they’ve learned in combination with business skills to potentially and more successfully run a business after graduating.

As to better preparing law students for practice, Walters suggests that the first year curriculum should remain largely traditional through use of the Socratic method and fundamental courses. However, in the second and third year of law school, professors should use different pedagogical methods to teach students, like experiential course offerings. Walters also underscores the importance of having practicing attorneys teach students.

Finally, Walters advocates for integrating more professionalism and ethics into law school curriculum to help produce law school graduates that are better prepared for the practice of law and serving clients. He suggests that schools need exposure to these issues beyond the Rules of Professional Conduct. By “infusing” the curriculum with ethical issues, students can better understand the issues in the context of practice. Walters suggests that a student who attends a law school that emphasizes professionalism by modeling ethical behaviors will have an advantage interviewing with law firms and will increase the potential for the student to get hired.

Hear more of Bill Walters’ suggestions for reforming legal education in his Voices from the Field interview below.

William E. (“Bill”) Walters, III, has practiced law for more than 36 years in Denver, Colorado. His practice focuses on advising nonprofit organizations, trade and professional associations, and for-profit business entities. Bill also has expertise in antitrust and trade regulation law. 

From 1978 to 1981, Bill was an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Colorado. He was President of the Denver Bar Association from 2001 to 2002 and is a former Chair of the Colorado Lawyers Committee. He was President of the Colorado Bar Association from 2008 to 2009 and served on its Executive Council and Board of Governors for many years. 

Alli Gerkman became the first full-time Director of Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers, a national initiative to align legal education with the needs of an evolving profession, in May 2013. She joined IAALS in June 2011 as Online Content Manager, developing and managing all IAALS web properties, including Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers, and became IAALS’ Director of Communications in August 2012. She brings significant professional development experience to the initiative, having spent five years in continuing legal education, first as a program attorney organizing multi-day conferences for a national provider and then as program attorney and manager of online content for Colorado Bar Association CLE. While at CBA-CLE, she developed an online legal resource that was the recipient of the Association of Continuing Legal Education’s 2011 Award of Professional Excellence for use of technology in education. She has written and presented nationally to continuing legal education providers, bar executives, and lawyers. Prior to her work in continuing legal education, she was in private practice.

The opinions and views expressed by Featured Bloggers on CBA-CLE Legal Connection do not necessarily represent the opinions and views of the Colorado Bar Association, the Denver Bar Association, or CBA-CLE, and should not be construed as such.

New Study Examines Overlooked Process for Selecting Key Federal Judges

Quality Judges, an initiative of IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver, has just released A Credit to the Courts: The Selection, Appointment, and Reappointment Process for Bankruptcy Judges. This study provides the first in-depth examination of the process for selecting U.S. bankruptcy judges, highlighting the similarities and differences among the regional circuits.

Unlike other federal judges, bankruptcy judges are not appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Since 1984, they have been chosen by the judges of the federal circuit in which they will serve. According to U.S. Judicial Conference regulations, the judicial council in each federal circuit may appoint a merit selection panel to review applications for bankruptcy judge vacancies and make recommendations regarding potential nominees to the council. But until now, no empirical study has explored whether the judicial councils use such panels, who serves on these panels, and how the panels’ screening processes work.

“Despite the number of cases processed in these high-volume courts, and their significance in the financial lives of individuals and businesses alike, very little was known about how the judges who preside over these courts come to be on the bench,” said Malia Reddick, Director of the Quality Judges Initiative at IAALS.

The IAALS study is based on interviews with 25 bankruptcy judges and 11 participants in the selection process—including circuit and district judges, bankruptcy practitioners, and academics, as well as questionnaires completed by the 12 regional circuit executives.

Researchers learned that the judicial council in every circuit uses a merit selection panel in screening applicants for bankruptcy judge vacancies, but these panels vary extensively in composition and operation. For instance, while merit selection panels in some circuits are composed only of judges, other circuits exclude judges from participating on these panels. Panels also range in size from three to nine members. Additional differences, as well as similarities, in bankruptcy judge selection processes across the circuits are highlighted in the report.

Participants were unanimous in praising the products of the selection process. As one now-chief bankruptcy judge who has been on the bench for more than two decades summed it up: “They generally pick the best person, and it truly is merit selection. I’m proud of the way bankruptcy judges are selected. To me it is the best merit selection process we have.”

Quality Judges is an initiative of IAALS dedicated to advancing empirically informed models for choosing, evaluating, and retaining judges that preserve impartiality and accountability.

IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver, is a national, independent research center dedicated to continuous improvement of the process and culture of the civil justice system.

Alli Gerkman is Director of Communications for IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver. IAALS is a national, independent research center dedicated to continuous improvement of the process and culture of the civil justice system.

The opinions and views expressed by Featured Bloggers on CBA-CLE Legal Connection do not necessarily represent the opinions and views of the Colorado Bar Association, the Denver Bar Association, or CBA-CLE, and should not be construed as such.

New Report Is a Manual for Implementing Short, Summary, and Expedited Civil Action Programs

Recognizing that there is widespread concern that the civil justice system is too complex, costs too much, and takes too long, a new report provides recommendations for designing short, summary, and expedited (“SSE”) programs and calls for implementation of such programs on a national scale. The report, A Return to Trials: Implementing Effective Short, Summary, and Expedited Civil Action Programs, is co-authored by IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System; the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA); and the National Center for State Courts (NCSC).

A Return to Trials builds on the work of the NCSC, which recently detailed existing SSE programs around the country, and goes further by making recommendations for implementing, conducting, and measuring effective programs.

The NCSC studied SSE programs that had been implemented in six state courts. “The most surprising thing about those programs,” explained Paula Hannaford-Agor, who directed the research project, “was how creatively they were designed to address very different local conditions that were obstructing access to trial. Although they all shared the same basic objectives, the programmatic details differed considerably. It was those details, which derived from negotiations among key stakeholders in each program, that really contributed to their success.”

A Return to Trials would not have been possible without jurisdictions, like California, that have already begun to implement SSE programs, but it was written for jurisdictions that have not yet taken that step. Many lawyers and judges in those jurisdictions have been eager to use the report to make SSE programs a reality in their courts.

“Short, summary and expedited jury trials benefit lawyers, courts, jurors, and—most importantly—litigants,” said Michael Maguire, House Counsel for State Farm in Orange County, California, and member of ABOTA’s National Board of Directors. “These programs improve access to justice by cutting down the expense and delay of litigation. Significantly, trial results are the same. In New York, South Carolina, Nevada and California, the ratio of plaintiff to defense verdicts is the same as in longer, more expensive traditional trials.”

“We need solutions to the backlogs and delays that are dominating the civil justice system,” said Thomas Fain, a partner at the law firm of Fain Anderson VanDerhoef in Seattle, Washington. “Because the work of these three organizations transcends state lines, this report is positioned to guide our consideration of a short, summary, and expedited program here in Washington.”

Alli Gerkman is Director of Communications for IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver. IAALS is a national, independent research center dedicated to continuous improvement of the process and culture of the civil justice system. This post originally appeared on IAALS Online, the IAALS blog, on October 30, 2012.

The opinions and views expressed by Featured Bloggers on CBA-CLE Legal Connection do not necessarily represent the opinions and views of the Colorado Bar Association, the Denver Bar Association, or CBA-CLE, and should not be construed as such.

Judicial Performance Evaluation Results Released as Voter Tool in Judicial Races

This fall, judges are running in contestable elections in 32 states and standing in yes/no retention elections in 17 states. Judicial elections are typically low-information contests, where voters may cast their ballots based on party affiliation, name recognition, or ballot position rather than on qualifications and experience.

But in a handful of states, voters will have the benefit of broad-based and objective evaluations of incumbent judges’ performance on the bench and, in one state, of the judicial potential of their challengers. These states include Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Utah.

Each of these states has a judicial performance evaluation program, through which court users assess the legal ability, impartiality, temperament, and communication skills of the judges with whom they have interacted. Results of these surveys of court users are summarized and shared with voters, often in conjunction with objective data (e.g., reversal rates, case management statistics) and a voting recommendation.

Two recent polls highlight the need for readily available, nonpartisan information about judges running for reelection or standing for retention. In Indiana, where appellate judges and some trial judges stand for retention, a 2011 poll found that nearly one-third of respondents do not vote regularly in judicial elections, and the most common reason given for not always voting on judges is a lack of useful information. When asked whether they would find public performance evaluations helpful, two-thirds said it would be of great or some value.

Similarly, a 2012 voter poll in Minnesota—where judges run in contestable, nonpartisan elections—found that three-fourths of respondents would support the creation of a balanced public performance evaluation commission that would review judges’ performance and publish evaluation results.

“These polling results demonstrate that voters need more information to make informed decisions about the judges appearing on their ballots,” said Dr. Malia Reddick, director of the IAALS Quality Judges Initiative. “Judicial performance evaluation programs fill this void.”

“For more than three decades, the American Judicature Society has supported the use of judicial performance evaluation programs as a valuable informational tool for voters in judicial retention elections,” said AJS Executive Director Seth S. Andersen. “Surveys and exit polling demonstrate that voters use JPE results to make better-informed decisions on judges standing for retention. The key is to ensure that evaluation results are disseminated widely and are readily available to voters.”

“To be fair and impartial, judges must be protected from special interest and partisan influence while remaining accountable to the law and constitution,” said Bert Brandenburg, Executive Director of Justice at Stake. “By focusing on competence instead of ideology, JPE’s enable the public to choose fair, high-quality judges.”

Alli Gerkman is Director of Communications for IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver. IAALS is a national, independent research center dedicated to continuous improvement of the process and culture of the civil justice system. This post originally appeared on IAALS Online, the IAALS blog.

The opinions and views expressed by Featured Bloggers on CBA-CLE Legal Connection do not necessarily represent the opinions and views of the Colorado Bar Association, the Denver Bar Association, or CBA-CLE, and should not be construed as such.

“Know Your Judge” Website a Tool for Colorado Voters in Judicial Races

This November, in addition to executive and legislative candidates, Colorado voters will be deciding whether or not to retain Colorado judges. Under Colorado’s system for selecting and retaining judges, all judges who will appear on the ballot must undergo a performance evaluation, the results of which are provided to the public as a tool for casting an informed retention vote. A website—www.knowyourjudge.com—is helping voters locate this information for the judges who will appear on their ballot.

Know Your Judge directs voters to the information provided by the Colorado Office of Judicial Performance Evaluation, including evaluation results for judges in each county, and court of appeals judges and supreme court justices who appear on ballots statewide. In addition to the evaluation results, which are presented in both narrative and detailed form, there is a recommendation of “retain,” “do not retain,” or “no opinion” for each evaluated judge based on that judge’s performance on the bench. These recommendations are carefully formulated by the Colorado Commissions on Judicial Performance, based on comprehensive data collected as part of the evaluation process.

Official judicial performance evaluation programs have been established in 17 states and the District of Columbia, and in seven of these states performance evaluation results are provided to voters for use in retention elections. The broad-based and objective performance information collected by these programs is particularly important given the growing number of anti-retention efforts against state court judges on the basis of individual rulings with which special interests may disagree. In both Iowa and Florida this election cycle, state supreme court justices standing for retention are facing anti-retention campaigns on the basis of a particular court decision. In Iowa, a similar effort in 2010 was successful in unseating the three supreme court justices standing for retention that year. Neither Iowa nor Florida has an official JPE program for the benefit of voters.

The Know Your Judge website was developed in 2010 to help draw attention to this resource for voters, and to provide Colorado citizens with information about how their judges are selected, evaluated, and retained. In a 2010 post-election poll, judicial performance evaluations were the most commonly mentioned source of information about Colorado judges, and more than 4 in 10 Coloradoans who visited the Know Your Judge website found it helpful in making their voting decisions.

The effort is sponsored by the Colorado Bar Association, in partnership with the Colorado Judicial Institute, the League of Women Voters® of Colorado Education Fund, and IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver.

Alli Gerkman is Director of Communications for IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver. IAALS is a national, independent research center dedicated to continuous improvement of the process and culture of the civil justice system. This post originally appeared on IAALS Online, the IAALS blog.

The opinions and views expressed by Featured Bloggers on CBA-CLE Legal Connection do not necessarily represent the opinions and views of the Colorado Bar Association, the Denver Bar Association, or CBA-CLE, and should not be construed as such.

Regulation Counsel Says Law Students Need More Exposure to Professionalism

This post originally appeared on the Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers blog. Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers is an initiative of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) that leverages the Carnegie Model and the work of law schools and professors committed to legal education reform to align legal education with the needs of an evolving profession by providing a supported platform for shared learning, experimentation, ongoing measurement and collective implementation.

We recently sat down to talk with John Gleason. As Regulation Counsel for the Colorado Supreme Court, he directs the office of the Court responsible for lawyer admissions, registration, regulation, and client protection. In 2010, Gleason was appointed by the Arizona Supreme Court to investigate and prosecute Andrew Thomas, the former Maricopa County Attorney—a prosecution that last week ended in the disbarment of Thomas and one of his lieutenants, and the suspension of another attorney in Thomas’ office.

Gleason often meets lawyers when they are at their most vulnerable—under investigation for misconduct—and he believes new lawyers need more guidance on professional issues. Recent graduates, he says, are often referred to his office for minor misconduct issues. “There are an enormous number of issues that are not covered in law school. In fact, probably most issues related to professionalism are not covered in law school.”

Hear more from John Gleason below or click here to view the rest of his interview.

Alli Gerkman is Online Content Manager for IAALS, where she manages, edits, and creates content for IAALS and Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers.

Help Wheels of Justice Fundraising End on a High Note

The first day of the Courage Classic ends on a high note. And by high, I mean that you bike to the top of Vail Pass. It was one of the only times on the ride that I thought, What kind of crazy people do this? It’s a question easily answered: the kind of crazy people who want to raise money for kids who are fighting for their health, maybe even so that someday they’ll have shot at Vail Pass, too.

The Courage Classic raises money for Children’s Hospital Colorado (CHC) and you participate by joining a cycling team. I joined Wheels of Justice, a team of lawyers (and friends of lawyers), which supports the CHC’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. They have a strong track record and strong leadership from Heather Purcell and others. Last year alone, they raised $250,156, making them the top fundraising team of the 2010 Courage Classic.

This year, the team has exceeded its 2010 fundraising by pulling in $265,056. This is an incredible accomplishment, but it’s not quite enough. We have friendly rivals in Gears of Courage, a team of doctors, patients, donors, nurses, and volunteers, which has blown away its previous fundraising efforts by pulling in $264,484.

It’s so close that we know we can still pull ahead with one final push. You can support Wheels of Justice riders and Children’s Hospital Colorado before August 31, 2011, by clicking here and donating to a rider.

Even better, you can plan to ride next year, July 21-23, 2012. I’ll see you at the top of Vail Pass.

Register Now: Announcing Speakers and Topics for Thursday’s Ignite Program

As we already reported, the Denver Bar Association is holding an Ignite event on the Future of the Legal Profession on June 9 at 5:30 pm, at 1900 Grant Street, Third Floor, Denver. There is no cost to attend, but we do ask that you RSVP to lunches@cobar.org or (303) 860-1115, ext. 727. Food and drink will be served and the presentations will begin at 6pm.

We are pleased to announce the eight presenters and their five-minute topics!

  • Phil Shuey – The Future: All Bets Are Off!
  • The Honorable Russ Carparelli – Businesses, Crafts & Trades
  • Casey Cassinis – Microspecialization: Think Outside the Kennel
  • Phil Nugent – The Future of Law Firm Marketing & Business Development
  • Paul DeLauro – Integrated Wealth Planning
  • Becky Bye – Lawyer Mentoring Based on the Inns of Courts’ Model
  • Barbara Cashman Hahn – Letting Love out of the Closet
  • Brian Gryth – Creativity and the Future of Law

See you there!

Senior Law Day Receives National Recognition

Congratulations to the CBA and CBA-CLE volunteers and staff who make Senior Law Day happen each year. The public service and education initiative is the 2011 recipient of the LexisNexis Community & Educational Outreach Award, which honors bar associations that have demonstrated commitment to outstanding public service or law-related public education.

Senior Law Day educational events take place around the state, allowing Colorado’s seniors access to an extensive array of resources on aging, including the updated Senior Law Handbook, which is published by CBA-CLE.

The largest event takes place in Denver County on July 23, 2011, at the Merchandise Mart. If you are interested in exhibiting, please contact Nicoll Stapleton at nstapleton@cobar.org.

You can read the CBA press release in full here:

DENVER— The National Association of Bar Executives (NABE) has honored the CBA Senior Law Day program with the 2011 LexisNexis Community & Educational Outreach Award.

Each year, the NABE honors bar associations that are committed to and performed outstanding public service or law-related public education with the LexisNexis Community & Educational Outreach Award. The award evaluates the program based on the overall quality, effectiveness, adaptability, and degree of innovation and originality of the program along with the scope, importance, and duration of benefits derived by the target audience.

Senior Law Day is a free, annual education seminar specifically designed help seniors, their adult children, and caregivers navigate the myriad changing laws, issues and relationships facing this growing population. By providing information and resources on legal concerns and topics, these workshops enable seniors to address their individual needs.

Taught by attorneys and other professionals in the field of elder care, more than thirty topics are discussed at the seminars. Workshops include the latest developments in Medicare, Medicaid, Family Relationships, Estate Planning, Assisted Living and Nursing Home Issues, Hospice and Palliative Care, Guardianship for Adults, Lifelong Learning and the Aging Brain, and Veterans’ Benefits. Attendees also receive a comprehensive handbook written in clear, plain language with further information on the topics. Colorado Bar Association and Colorado Bar Association CLE now organize the main event and partners with many other Colorado organizations, companies, individual attorneys, and law firms to provide this valuable learning experience.

Since the University of Denver Sturm College of Law started the program in Denver in 1999, the program has grown from approximately 300 attendees at the initial Senior Law Day in Denver, to more than 2,000 in attendance today. The event is held in several locations around the state including Boulder County, Colorado Springs, Denver, Durango, Jefferson County, Larimer County and Pueblo.

This summer, the public will have several opportunities to attend a Senior Law Day program. Scheduled events are for Jefferson County on June 11at the WaterStone Community Church in Littleton; July 23 at the Merchandise Mart in Denver; and August 13 at the Plaza Hotel Conference Center in Longmont. For more information on Senior Law Day and upcoming events and locations, please visit http://seniorlaw.annualcle.com.

Ignite the Legal Profession on June 9: What’s Your Big Idea?

Five minutes. Twenty slides. Fifteen seconds per slide.

There aren’t too many rules at Ignite events. Inspire your audience or scare it. Make ’em laugh or make ’em cry. If you find yourself presenting at an Ignite event, the approach you take is entirely up to you, as long as it can be captured in five minutes, 20 slides, with 15 seconds per slide.

Ignite events started in Seattle in December 2006, when two people from O’Reilly Media decided it would be fun to mix networking, beer, and big ideas. The result was the first of many Ignite events, not just in Seattle, but around the world. Colorado is home to at least three city-based Ignite events—in Boulder, Denver, and Fort Collins.

In 2010, several people attending the American Bar Association’s TECHSHOW in Chicago organized an “Ignite Law” program for people interested in the future of law practice. Sixteen lawyers, legal editors, and practice management partners presented to a full room on topics like “What a Law Firm Can Learn from Zappos.com”; “The Big Law-Solo Partnership: Outsourcing Innovation and the Lessons of Tommy Supreme”; and “Agile Legal Management: What Law Firms Can Learn from the Software Industry.”

This year, I managed to get my hands on a ticket to the sold-out second year of Ignite Law in Chicago, which gave the stage to such legal tech leaders as Carolyn Elefant, Kevin O’Keefe, and Dennis Kennedy, and covered topics like “Apps for Justice: Code to the Rescue”; “(Lack of) Privacy 2.0: Law in the Age of Transparency”; and “Bespoke Legal Services in an Off-The-Rack Culture.” The overarching theme of the night was technology, which was fitting, given its connection to TECHSHOW.

Each presenter, in rapid succession, presented his or her idea. The presentations were illuminating, inspiring, and occasionally controversial, but the conversation they generated in the room and throughout the conference was even better.

Ignite Law was not my first Ignite event. I have been to events in both Boulder and Denver, and every time, I’ve walked out holding tight to a spark. Maybe it was the kind of spark that leads me to improved email inbox management, or maybe it was the kind of spark that changed the way I looked at a broader issue, like online privacy. But each time, it sparked some kind of change in my life, big or small. I guess that’s why they call it Ignite.

Ignite empowers ordinary people to put forth extraordinary ideas that, when shared with the right mix of people, can transform an industry. This is why we’re bringing an Ignite program to the Denver Bar Association for Member Appreciation Week. We know our engaged and diverse membership has no shortage of opinions on what the future of the legal profession will look like, so the DBA is giving members the opportunity to lead that conversation.

I guess that leaves only one question: What’s your big idea about the future of the legal profession?

You have five minutes. Go!

If You Go: Ignite Law “The Future of the Legal Profession,” June 9

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at CBA–CLE, 1900 Grant St., Suite 300.There is no cost to attend for DBA members. Food and beverages will be provided. RSVP to lunches@cobar.org or (303) 860-1115, ext. 727. If you’re interested in presenting or want more information, please email Alli Gerkman at agerkman@cobar.org.

The Docket eFile brings features from your favorite Denver Bar Association publication to you digitally. When you see the logo, you’re reading an article from The Docket. You’ll also still be able to read the full issue online at denbar.org/docket.

Watch the Race to the Bottom for Coverage of the 43rd Annual Rocky Mountain Securities Conference

University of Denver’s TheRacetotheBottom.org will once again be covering our Rocky Mountain Securities Conference, now in its 43rd year, so be sure to follow along.

From TheRacetotheBottom.org:

The Race to the Bottom is pleased to announce it will be attending the 43rd Annual Rocky Mountain Securities Conference in Denver May 6, 2011. The Race to the Bottom has covered this event with great success the last several years, past coverage can be found here. Additionally, we look forward to covering this year’s conference. We will blog the event on May 6th and provide more detailed coverage in the following days. This year’s conference promises significant discussions regarding Dodd-Frank. We thank the Colorado Bar Association for allowing us to attend and blog about the issues and presenters.

Are you a blogger who is interested in covering an upcoming event? Contact me at agerkman@cobar.org.