March 24, 2019

Margrit Lent Parker Named DBA Young Lawyer of the Year

MargritLentParker

This is Part 3 of a series of posts about the DBA Award winners (for Part 1, click here; for Part 2, click here). The article originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of The Docket.

Margrit Lent Parker isn’t sure why she’s been crowned Young Lawyer of the Year. In fact, her first reaction was confusion. And that’s exactly why she’s the best choice—she continuously gives her time to the bar association while working tirelessly at her firm, expecting nothing in return.

Now, Parker is gaining recognition for all of those times in which she says “I just saw something that needed to be done and did it.”

Take the Colorado wildfires and floods, for example. Parker volunteered to be the District Representative for the ABA Young Lawyers Division, and decided that their old disaster plans needed reworking. So, she put together a committee to draft a new one. Just a few months later, the Colorado wildfires began. Parker helped to set up a legal helpline and find volunteers. Then, the Colorado flooding occurred, and they had the basis to put more of a plan in place. Along with the helpline and call for volunteers, they created a website. Their efforts served more than 600 flood survivors.

Parker is very involved with the DBA and CBA, and also has thrown much of her time into the Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program (CAMP). “Working on that was so rewarding,” she says.

A recent transfer to the new Childs McCune firm, Parker is a down-to-earth attorney who loves to ride horses in her (rare) free time. In college, she started out on the veterinarian track and graduated with a double degree in Equine Science and Zoology. She loved the year she spent after college working in Kentucky on a Thoroughbred farm and at an equine hospital, but decided that law was her calling. She now mixes her passion and profession by working with the veterinary and equine industries.

One thing is certain when it comes to Parker’s future in the legal profession: She’ll continue to do what needs to be done—then more.

Save the Date—The 9th Annual Attorneys’ Night Out is Thursday, May 15

On Thursday, May 15, 2014, the Denver Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and The Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People will host the 9th Annual Attorneys’ Night Out at the Blake Street Tavern. The event will take place from 5:30 pm to 9 pm.

All members of the community are welcome to enjoy drinks and appetizers while benefiting The Legal Center. Tickets are $25 ahead of time or $35 at the door, and each attendee receives admission to the event, a drink ticket, and delicious appetizers. Click here to purchase tickets online.

For information on sponsorship activities for the Attorneys’ Night Out, contact Julie Busby, Director of Development for The Legal Center, at (303) 862-3507

Practice Area Preview: Tax Law—Tuesday, Feb. 25

Please consider joining the CBA Tax Law Section and the DBA YLD for Practice Area Preview on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at Rock Bottom Brewery. Everyone is encouraged to attend! The free event includes an informal discussion, complimentary drinks, appetizers and networking. Trevor A. Crow from Dufford & Brown P.C., Tyler C. Murray, President of The Law Offices of Murray & Wright, P.C., Lani A. Payne from KPMG, and Olena Ruth from the Merriam Law Firm will provide insight to attendees on what it is like to work as a young lawyer in the field of tax law. The  networking starts at 5:30 p.m. RSVP online or to lunches@cobar.org or call 303-860-1115, ext. 727.

Floodgates: Riding the Wave of New Immigration Practitioners

KatharineSpeerBy Katharine Speer

Comprehensive immigration reform looks more promising now than at any time in the last 15 years. Approximately 11 million unauthorized immigrants—your neighbors, co-workers, and classmates—could benefit from the proposed changes. More immediately, the Supreme Court just eliminated DOMA’s barrier to same-sex spousal visa petitions, and about a third of the U.S. population now lives in a marriage-equality state.

What does this mean for young lawyers? A lot of prospective clients in a frequently overlooked area of the law and the chance to put your law degree to work making dreams come true!

Corny, perhaps, but true.

At the same time, immigration law is notoriously complex; equal parts rewarding and frustrating.

Remember your administrative law class? Your favorite subject? Yeah, me neither.

Where does a young lawyer begin when faced with such a challenge? First, why not talk to some immigration lawyers to see if the practice area interests you? We don’t bite, and you can find a bunch of us at AILAlawyer.com. If this piques your legal interest, consider taking a pro bono case through the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network. You will be matched with a client in desperate need of your services and an experienced mentor.

Okay, so you’ve finished your pro bono case, and now you’re hooked. How do you become a competent immigration lawyer? One way is to land a job as an associate at an immigration firm, but these scarce positions can be highly competitive and may require years of experience. Another way is to start your own firm or an immigration practice within an existing firm. If you choose one of these options, the following could be your life raft.

  1. Reach out ~ Join the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the Immigration Section of the Colorado Bar Association. Meet all the immigration lawyers you can. They will be your best resource.
  2. Don’t reinvent the wheel ~ Ask about the best treatises and research tools for your immigration niche. Check out free resources from the National Immigration Project, American Immigration Counsel, AILA (which you joined, right?), and other non-profits.
  3. Address language and cultural differences ~ No one can be proficient in every language and culture. Learn to work with translators and interpreters. Understand that your clients may see the judicial system differently and take time to talk through their fears, expectations, rights, and responsibilities.
  4. Expect the unexpected ~ Each immigration case is unique. The stakes for your client may range from career advancement, to family unity, to protection from torture. Take time to assess (and re-asses) every case to be sure you are safeguarding your client’s immediate and long-term interests.

Don’t stop here. Your curiosity, sense of adventure, and willingness to admit what you don’t know will serve you well as an immigration practitioner. When the wave of new immigration lawyers hits, your preparation will help you ride the tide to an intellectually and personally rewarding career.

Katharine Speer is a solo immigration practitioner in Denver. She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Colorado Chapter of AILA, chairs the Spanish Speaking Lawyers Committee of the Colorado Bar Association, and participates in Denver Legal NightGreeley Legal Night, and Ya Es Hora De Ciudadanía. She hopes to see you there! In the meantime, she can be reached on her homepage, by email, on Twitter, orLinkedIn. She also writes for the DBA Young Lawyers Division blog, where this post originally appeared.

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.

Realizing the Dream: Equality for All — Law Day Celebrations Across the State

I Have A DreamOn Wednesday, May 1, 2013, pro se litigants in the First Judicial District will have an opportunity to meet with an attorney for 15 minutes to discuss their civil, criminal, domestic, juvenile, or small claims case. There is no cost for the meeting. The event is part of 2013 Law Day celebrations, and it will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the atrium of the Jefferson County Courts building (100 Jefferson County Parkway in Golden).

Law Day is celebrated nationally each year on May 1. President Dwight Eisenhower established the first Law Day in 1958 to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. In 1961, Congress issued a joint resolution (codified at 36 U.S.C. § 113) designating May 1 as the official date for celebrating Law Day. The theme of this year’s Law Day is “Realizing the Dream: Equality for All.” 2013 is the 150th anniversary of the emancipation proclamation, and the 50th anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. The legacy of the Civil Rights Movement can be seen in the strides that have been made against discrimination based on race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, disability, and sexual orientation.

The Colorado and Denver bar associations are also sponsoring events to celebrate Law Day. On May 1, there will be a special showing of the movie “Lincoln” at the Mayan Theater in Denver, with a CLE program presented by Hon. John Madden prior to the movie. Tickets are available through the CBA. On May 2, the DBA Young Lawyers Division will host a Law Day Reception at The Lobby, where the winners of the Law Day Art Contest will be recognized. RSVP to both events or either event by emailing lunches@cobar.org or calling the CBA at (303) 860-1115.

Students who participated in the DBA’s Law Day Art Contest will have their work featured at the Denver Art Museum through May. The winners of the art contest are featured on the cover of the May edition of The Docket, and all of the artwork from participating students is shown in the May edition. It is amazing and inspiring to view the adorable and creative works of these talented kids.

The El Paso County Bar Association is also hosting many Law Day events beginning on April 27 with Ask-A-Lawyer for Senior Citizens at the Colorado Springs Senior Center. On Saturday, May 4, they are hosting a Waldo Canyon Fire Tree Planting Service Project; download the registration form here. On Thursday, May 16, KKTV Channel 11 will host a Call-A-Lawyer event. To volunteer, email Pikes Peak pro bono. There will be a Law Day Race on May 17 at Monument Valley Park; registration will be on www.active.com. Finally, on Tuesday, May 21, there will be a Law Day Luncheon and awards ceremony in the Grand Ballroom of the Mining Exchange Hotel. Click here to RSVP.

For more information on Colorado’s Law Day events, click here. To see the CBA press release regarding Law Day, click here. For the ABA page about Law Day 2013, click here.

Wee Give Children’s Charity Drive Being Hosted by CBA and DBA Young Lawyers Divisions

Thursday, February 21, 2013, marked the kick-off of the 3rd annual Wee Give donation drive to benefit WeeCycle, a local organization that collects gently used baby gear and donates it to needy recipients throughout the city. The Wee Give drive will run through March 31.

WeeCycle is in need of high-demand baby items, such as cribs manufactured after 2011, car seats manufactured after 2008, strollers, pack-and-plays, swings, high chairs, breast pumps, bouncy seats, and unopened formula and diapers. They also accept monetary donations or gift cards to retailers of baby gear, such as Target or Walmart. They do not accept clothes.

Donations may be dropped off at the CBA offices in the Wee Give barrel, or checks can be made out to CBA YLD with “Wee Give” in the memo line. If your firm would like to host a Wee Give barrel, contact Denise Lynch or Carlos Migoya.

Coworking: A New Means For Startup Real Estate

Joel Jacobson_pictureWhen deciding on commercial real estate, new entrepreneurs and solo attorneys should consider coworking as a viable real estate model. Coworking presents the opportunity for individuals from diverse fields to work daily or monthly in a shared, commercial environment at a reasonable price despite being employed by different industries or companies. Unlike some traditional commercial arrangements, one need not commit to a term of several years. Lawyers should know that coworking is an exciting and attractive real estate arrangement that brings together quality, low cost, and flexible exit options. This is a trend on the rise in Colorado uniting individuals in small businesses.

Recently, I began spending time at one such space in Denver – Creative Density.  This space is not only populated by technology entrepreneurs and free-lance website developers, but also attorneys and writers. At its core, coworking is not only about shared office space, but also about fostering a collaborative community. The less experienced and boot-strapped entrepreneurial client may be best advised to consider real estate that takes into account shared community, price sensitivity, and flexibility surrounding lease terms in the event that the business does not succeed. When asked why attorneys should care about coworking, the owner of Creative Density, Craig Baute said, “When advising clients on starting a business, coworking is an excellent way for them to reduce risk, expenses, and grow their network and skill set. Since it is a flexible option it grows with them and starts at a much lower rate compared to other office solutions for small businesses.”

Further, attorneys starting their own solo practice should consider this type of real estate arrangement for themselves if concerned about location, price-point, or future growth. Coworking is a flexible option that can quickly respond to new law practice dynamics and aid client development along the way. Mr. Baute agrees, noting that “lawyers have been sharing offices for years to lower costs, but this is a way to get to work with people outside of the industry, expand your network, and learn new valuable skills.” Similarly, a recent piece from the Harvard Business Review highlighted an attorney successfully utilizing a coworking arrangement to develop his new company. The attorney founded a business offering a transparent way to disclose legal terms within the social media context and was quite satisfied with coworking because the arrangement presented “ultra-flexibility and low overhead.”

It is important for Colorado attorneys to be aware of the coworking real estate model when advising entrepreneurial clients or considering a solo practice. To understand a client’s real estate desires, a lawyer must assess the client’s financials, business savvy, and likelihood of success. Coworking presents an arrangement that is affordable, permits one to quickly build out a diverse social network, and is flexible. Such a model can potentially lead to new clients, new investors, or new resources to aid in completing work. These characteristics certainly increase the probability of business success. In sum, coworking should be considered because the arrangement hits the mark of affordable pricing and early exit options.

Joel Jacobson is a Contracts and Operations Associate with H.B. Stubbs Company, LCC – a national design and fabrication firm headquartered near Detroit, MI for exhibits displayed by technology and automotive companies. He focuses on contracts, employment law, and a variety of non-legal business issues. Joel serves on the Executive Council of the Denver Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and has an interest in topics impacting start-up companies in the Denver entrepreneurial community. He can be reached by email at jmjacobson1@gmail.com or on Twitter @J_m_Jacobson.

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.