April 20, 2019

Don’t Miss Stir Cooking School on August 5 to Benefit CWBA

10563040_10152223678188803_7465217832007536902_nThe Colorado Women’s Bar Association is hosting Stir Cooking School on August 5, 2014 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Learn tricks of the trade while working side-by-side with professional chefs. This fun-filled event with cooking experience, gourmet food, and cocktails, benefits the CWBA’s lobbying and public policy efforts.

Register by August 1. Registration forms are available for download here. Participants can also RSVP on the CWBA’s event Facebook page. Or, call the CWBA at (303) 539-3994. Registration is $100 per person, but CWBA members registering at full price can bring non-members at $60 per ticket. The event will take place at 3215 Zuni Street in Denver.

Don’t miss this fun chance to learn cooking skills while benefiting the Colorado Women’s Bar Association!

Crowdfunding: A New Means For Start-up Capital (Part 2 of 2)

This is Part 2 of a two-part series. Click here for Part 1.

On April 5, 2012, President Barack Obama signed The JOBS Act (“Act”) into law and Title III of the Act empowers the SEC to set rules for companies to raise capital through crowdfunding. Crowdfunding will permit entrepreneurs to advertise and seek financing from the general public in relatively small amounts in exchange for an interest in their company. These provisions present great opportunity for new companies and investors alike because start-ups can seek capital from a broad pool of investors and investors can seek financial return through the internet from a company that resonates with them. Permitting a diverse group of unaccredited investors as a shareholder base in a company is a large change in securities regulation.

However, there are significant concerns as to whether the SEC will set rules providing adequate flexibility. Currently, Title III of the Act substantially burdens both issuers and funding portals. Regarding issuers, a sweeping scope of individuals in the company must sacrifice limited liability: directors, partners, principal executive officers, principal financial officers, controller, or any person who offers or sells the security in the offering.  Regarding funding portals, there will be financial costs in providing administrative aid to investors and registering with the SEC. Finally, the language in the Act provides for much disclosure and many regulations that do not significantly depart from current requirements for companies at the IPO stage. For both issuers and funding portals, the regulatory costs may be too great.

Additionally, companies will face uncertainties surrounding later rounds of financing and subsequent restructuring if they decide to crowdfund. It will be vitally important for a company to consider the impact that crowdfunding will have on its projected funding model and its ultimate exit strategy. First, companies should consider whether they plan to seek funding from angel investors, venture capitalists, or other traditional sources because such sources might balk at getting involved with a broad base of unaccredited investors. Second, companies should consider that many restructuring plans require a degree of shareholder approval and such shareholder approval could prove difficult and expensive with a crowdfunded shareholder base. Although speculative, these concerns should be contemplated with each client.

Crowdfunding is an exciting legal development that attorneys should monitor as they advise their business clients. The interest surrounding this funding model is justified because crowdfunding has the potential to change the capital raising landscape for start-up companies overlooked by traditional funding sources. Yet, it remains to be seen whether the SEC will implement rules that address current concerns regarding financial costs and issuer liability. Additionally, companies who seek angel or venture capital funding need to be aware of the pragmatic consequences from accepting funds from the general public. In sum, when the rules are promulgated by the SEC crowdfunding should be considered as a potential funding source for start-up companies, but careful scrutiny should be paid to clients’ future plans.

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.

Crowdfunding: A New Means For Start-up Capital (Part 1 of 2)

This is the first part of a two-part series. Stay tuned for Part 2.

Between the Colorado Business Law Institute and Denver Startup Week, October was ripe with exciting events for attorneys in Denver interested in the entrepreneurial community. After speaking with attorneys and entrepreneurs alike, it is clear that great interest exists surrounding the forthcoming federal regulations in The JOBS Act (“Act”) pertaining to “crowdfunding.”  Although there is hope that this funding model will be a great source of capital for wanting entrepreneurs, legitimate concerns exist that regulations will be too strict when implemented at the Federal level.  This two-part piece will briefly introduce the idea of crowdfunding, explore how it fits with traditional start-up financing options, and identify potential issues.

Crowdfunding will enable companies to raise capital by seeking funding from a large number of unaccredited investors in relatively small amounts without violating SEC registration and solicitation rules. Title III of the Act specifically permits companies to leverage the internet for this purpose through “funding portals.” At its core, crowdfunding is a simple idea. By way of example, it will enable entrepreneurs from various geographic locations to advertise the efficacy of their start-up entity through social media outlets to individuals in Denver, among other locations, and an interested Denverite could then invest limited funds with that start-up entity. As a result, a wider base of capital will exist for start-up companies to tap into, thereby complementing traditional funding avenues. This is important because less than two percent of start-up companies are ultimately funded by traditional angel investors or venture capitalists.

Crowdfunding rules and regulations are currently being debated and will be issued by the SEC in 2013 – nothing is final yet. As it stands, Title III of the Act will permit participating companies to sell up to $1 million in securities while remaining exempt from the requirements of Section 5 of the Securities Act. In addition to this cap, proposed restrictions on investors will limit crowdfunding investing to an amount tied to their annual income or net worth. Despite these restrictions, this is an exciting shift in the investment paradigm for entrepreneurs because the new rules will remove the strict restrictions on companies advertising and selling securities to unaccredited investors. Instead, companies will be able to solicit investments directly from unaccredited investors through an intermediary funding portal.

Crowdfunding is not a new idea. Rewards-based crowdfunding has been in existence for years without violating SEC rules and is popular for philanthropic and entrepreneurial causes. In this model, individuals invest money with a company or individual, but only as a donation or for some type of reward – there is no expectation of financial profit. Additionally, some companies are beginning to use existing state securities laws which exist in many states, including Colorado, to setup investment crowdfunding platforms that carefully work within the federal framework. This is a detailed topic beyond the scope of this entry.

This is Part 1 of a two-part series. Stay tuned for Part 2.

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.

Support The Legal Center at the 7th Annual Attorneys’ Night Out!

For the seventh year, The Young Lawyers Division of the Denver Bar Association is hosting Attorneys’ Night Out to raise funds for The Legal Center for People with Disabilities & Older People. Join us on June 20, 2012, from 5:30 to 9:00 pm at The Blake Street Tavern and a enjoy great night out complete with appetizers and cocktails, a silent auction, scotch tasting, and much more.

Some of the items being auctioned at the event include: memberships to local cultural venues, custom artwork, restaurant and vacation excursions, one-night stay at the Magnolia Hotel, two-night stay at the M Resort in Las Vegas, Maruca designer handbags, Rockies tickets, and much, much more. For a full listing click here.

This event is open to everyone, even non-attorneys. If you are a member of the community who enjoys good networking and an opportunity to support the mission of The Legal Center, this event is for you! We strongly encourage your attendance at this year’s event to raise essential funding.

Purchase your $25 tickets today by clicking here or contact Joshua at (303) 722-0300 for more information about this fun-filled evening! A student discount of $5.00 off your ticket price is available with the promo code 2012ANO-STU. Tickets may also be purchased at the door for $30.

The Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People is an independent non-profit organization specializing in civil rights and discrimination issues.  They protect the human, civil, and legal rights of children and adults with developmental disabilities, people with mental and physical disabilities, people with HIV, and older people throughout Colorado (in education, employment, public accommodations, and housing related issues).

Wheels of Justice Leans into a New Season: June 6 Kick-Off Party at the Denver Athletic Club

It was just seven years ago that Wheels of Justice made its first appearance in the Courage Classic, a three-day bike tour that raises money for Children’s Hospital Colorado. Last year, it boasted 213 riders and raised $290,000, making it the ride’s top fundraising team for the second year in a row. In its first six years, the team has raised more than $1.3 million for Children’s Hospital Colorado.

On Wednesday, June 6, 2012, Wheels of Justice will kick off its seventh season in style on the rooftop of the Denver Athletic Club (DAC) with free food and drinks. Hear from patient families and doctors about the impact the team’s fundraising has on the Children’s Hospital Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.

And:

  • All attendees will receive a free two-week pass to the DAC.
  • The first 23 people to RSVP will be invited to join a special rooftop spin class at the DAC during the summer.

Whether you’re a veteran Wheels of Justice teammate or a first-year rider, come out on June 6 for the camaraderie and leave with the inspiration and determination to make a big difference while riding your best ride yet!

Details

Pre-Party Team Ride: June 6, 2012, 5:00-6:00 pm (meet at DAC)

Kick-off Party: June 6, 2012, 6:00-8:00 pm

Where: Denver Athletic Club Rooftop, 1325 Glenarm Place, Denver CO

RSVP: Kate Schuster, kschuster@cobar.org

HB 12-1236: Changing Regulations Related to Paid Solicitations

On February 6, 2012, Rep. Ken Summers and Sen. Cheri Jahn introduced HB 12-1236 – Concerning the Regulation of Charitable Solicitations and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill makes several changes to the laws governing charitable solicitations. The bill excludes grant writers from the definition of “paid solicitor” unless the grant writer’s compensation is computed on the basis of funds raised from the grant. The bill specifies that fundraising on behalf of a named individual is not a charitable appeal and therefore the fundraiser does not have to register with the secretary of state.

In addition, the bill eliminates the need for a charity to request a 3-month extension for the filing of its initial or annual financial report with the secretary of state if the charity has filed for an extension with the internal revenue service.

The bill clarifies that only monetary contributions must be deposited with a financial institution. The bill requires paid solicitors, near the beginning of a telephone solicitation, to disclose that a contribution is not tax-deductible, if that is the case, before soliciting the donation and to state their full and complete name. The bill appropriates $41,440 to the department of state from the department of state cash fund for implementation of the act. The bill cleared the House on March 6. On March 15 the Finance Committee approved the bill and moved it to the Committee on Appropriations.

Summaries of other featured bills can be found here.

Colorado Women’s Bar Association Hosting Book Drive to Benefit Employment Services

The Colorado Women’s Bar Association is hosting a book drive to benefit the Center for Work Education and Employment (CWEE). CWEE provides programming geared toward three goals:

  1. Preparing for Employment
  2. Finding Employment
  3. Keeping Employment

Literacy and reading are the backbone of CWEE’s instructional curriculum. CWEE maintains a reading room and holds regular reading classes to advance the reading skills of CWEE participants and their children.

CWEE will accept new or gently used books and magazines for children and adults, but no textbooks. The organization also has a “wish list” for magazine subscriptions on Amazon.com and would love to receive a subscription to the Denver Post.

See the flier below for more details and drop-off locations.

Colorado Women’s Bar Association Book Drive

The Legal Center and the DBA Young Lawyers Division Team Up for the Colfax Marathon

Did you set a fitness resolution for 2012? Are you a runner, jogger, or walker?

If so, then consider joining other Denver Bar Association Young Lawyers Division members in conjunction with The Legal Center on May 19 and 20 in the marathon, half marathon, Urban 10 miler, 5K, or 3K (walk or run) from City Park in Denver!

Visit www.coloradocolfaxmarathon.org, click on Charity Partners, and find out how you can register for, support The Legal Center, or otherwise share in the spirit of Colorado’s largest charity partnership event.

Over 70 charities are partnering with the Colorado Colfax Marathon, and this year we hope to have extensive involvement from DBA YLD members (by participating, raising dollars in support of The Legal Center, and joining The Legal Center team)! And, if you have already registered, it’s not too late to help out The Legal Center.

Register by January 25 to take advantage of early-bird registration fees; registration is open until May 19.  Contact Matt Larson at mlarson@irelandstapleton.com or Blair Dickhoner at blairdickhoner@gmail.com to find out how you too can complete your personal New Year’s Resolution by participating in one of the Colfax Marathon Events and/or joining a marathon relay team with your fellow DBA YLD members!

Support Colorado History and the Capitol Dome Project by Attending Benefit Film Premiere

Colorado Preservation, Inc. has announced that a new film, Centennial Statehouse: Colorado’s Greatest Treasure, will premiere on Friday, February 3, 2012 at the Colorado Convention Center during the 2012 Saving Places Conference. All proceeds from the event will support distribution of the film to more than 1800 Colorado schools and libraries and will help support the Share in the Care Colorado campaign to restore the capitol dome.

“The general public is invited to this fundraising film premiere that celebrates Colorado and showcases the magnificent history of our State Capitol,” Colorado Preservation Inc.’s conference coordinator Nicole Moore said.  “Jim Havey’s compelling documentaries really bring to life historic structures and we are very excited to close our annual historic preservation conference with the debut of this new film.”

“Our State Capitol is an iconic symbol reflecting the past, present and future of all Coloradans,” Director Jim Havey said. “This film takes you behind the scenes and tells the stories of the people who built and have worked in this magnificent building.  It is a story that inspires a deep appreciation for Colorado’s history, from the turbulent territorial era and the protracted process of constructing a Capitol building, to the distinctive adornments utilizing glass, marble, bronze, textile and pigment to form unique portraits of the people and events that influenced the state’s development.”

Tickets can be ordered now at www.haveypro.com and cost $18 in advance and $20 at the door for the premiere.  Special patron tickets to a pre-screening reception that includes appetizers, drinks, and a meet and greet with the film’s director and other local dignitaries are also available.

Click here for more information about the event.

Share in the Care Colorado is the campaign to restore the Colorado Statehouse dome and a unique opportunity for all who love the Centennial State to come together to safeguard “the People’s House” for future generations. Click here for more information and to watch the trailer for the film.

Colorado Preservation, Inc., founded in 1984, promotes historic preservation in our State by providing information, education, training, expertise, and advocacy and partners with historic property owners, non-profit organizations, educators, and local governments throughout the Rocky Mountain region.  The annual Saving Places Preservation Conference is the second largest historic preservation conference in the country and offers workshops, educational sessions, tours, and special forums along with a preservation marketplace. The theme for the 15th annual Saving Places Conference is The Power of Heritage and Place. Click here for more information.

Dance Off Among Past Presidents Planned for 2012 Barristers Benefit Ball

The dance competition at this year’s “Dancing with the Bar Stars for MVL” Barristers Benefit Ball will feature three past presidents, but this year there’s a twist—in addition to those that you’ll see on the dance floor—the dancers will team up with their spouses for the competition.

So, which past presidents will be busting a move for your enjoyment (and to benefit Metro Volunteer Lawyers)? Former Denver Bar President and Colorado Bar President-elect Mark Fogg and Pat Fogg, former Colorado and Denver Bar President Bill Walters and Christy Cutler, and former Denver Bar President Elsa Martinez Tenreiro and Steve Theis will compete.

In case you missed last year’s inaugural dance off, Cyndy Ciancio took the People’s Choice Award and the top fundraising award for her performance with professional dancer Tim Edgar to Donna Summer’s “Last Dance.” She, Hubert Farbes, Vicki Johnson, and John Moye were paired with professional dancers and showed off their routines in a “Dancing with the Stars”-like competition. Click here to see their practice videos and video of the performances at the ball. Cyndy will also perform before the competition at this year’s ball.

There will be more on the dancers in the coming months in our Docket eFile, but to know who will wow the legal community with their moves, you’ll have to get a ticket to the ball. Tickets for the May 5 event at the Grand Hyatt in Denver are on sale now here.

Colorado’s Justice Crisis

It’s a perfect storm.  Although overused, that metaphor so accurately captures what is happening with respect to Colorado’s legal aid delivery system that it is difficult to avoid.  Just as in a perfect storm, a rare combination of circumstances has resulted in a crisis of unprecedented magnitude.

Colorado Legal Services (CLS) is the only program in the state that provides free legal assistance (advice, brief service, and full representation) in civil matters to low-income individuals and families in every Colorado county.  With 14 offices around the state, it operates like a legal emergency room, serving low income Coloradans at greatest risk and in greatest need.  In 2010 alone, CLS provided assistance to over 11,000 indigent clients facing serious legal problems that directly implicated their health, safety, stability and sufficiency.  With few exceptions, CLS clients live at or below 125% of the federal poverty guideline (which translates to an annual income of $13,613 for an individual and $27,938 for a family of four).  They include senior citizens, victims of domestic violence, veterans, persons with mental and physical disabilities, and other particularly vulnerable Coloradans.

Even before the recession, the need for legal aid among the poor outstripped available resources.  A study in 2005 found that for every client served by CLS, at least one person seeking help was turned away because of insufficient resources.  The Great Recession and its aftermath have made the situation dramatically worse, as more and more low-income Coloradans experience the significant legal problems that accompany acute economic distress and prolonged unemployment.  With the deterioration of the labor and housing markets, rising fuel and food costs, and depleted savings, more Coloradans are facing eviction, foreclosure, delinquent child support, hunger, financial distress, bankruptcy, and domestic violence.  In addition, prolonged un- or under-employment means that the number of people eligible for legal aid continues to rise.  The most recent Census Bureau survey found that there are now over 750,000 Coloradans who are income-eligible for services.

Amidst this rising tide of need, CLS is experiencing devastating funding losses that threaten to compromise its ability to meet even the most serious legal needs of the poor.  Federal funding, with strong bipartisan support, has long been a financial foundation for legal aid.  Yet, notwithstanding the increased need for legal services and the value of those services in stabilizing families in crisis, just before Thanksgiving, Congress approved a budget bill for 2012 that includes a 14.85% cut in funding for legal aid programs such as CLS.  This translates into a loss for Colorado of over $605,000.

This latest reduction in federal funding comes on top of other funding losses suffered over the last two years totaling nearly $1 million.  Most notable among these is the drop in funding from COLTAF, the Colorado Lawyer Trust Account Foundation.  The extended period of very low interest rates that we are experiencing (now expected to continue until at least mid-2013) has decimated COLTAF’s revenue, which is comprised solely of the interest earned on lawyers’ trust accounts, and although COLTAF has a reserve, built in better times for just such times as these, it is rapidly being depleted.  Even with the reserve, COLTAF funding for CLS has dropped by $630,000 over the course of the last two years, and COLTAF is projecting another cut to CLS of at least $520,000 in 2012.

Also important is a loss of $165,000 in state funding for legal services for victims of domestic violence.  Whether the state will be in a position to restore that funding for fiscal year 2013 remains to be seen, but an actual increase in the state appropriation, and certainly one anywhere near the magnitude necessary to cover for other losses, is not in the cards, given the state’s current budget constraints.  All told, by the end of 2012, CLS will likely be down over $2 million, or more than 20% of its funding just two years ago.

All of these funding losses mean that CLS, already woefully understaffed, will shrink further, which will necessarily reduce the legal assistance available to low-income Coloradans, regardless of their legal need.  Already, where there were six CLS lawyers doing family law cases in the Denver metro area, which has an indigent population of nearly 300,000, now there will be only five;  where there were four lawyers handling evictions and other housing issues, three will have to suffice; and where there were three doing foreclosure defense, now there will be two.  Other parts of the state are faring no better.  In Grand Junction, with an indigent population in Mesa County of about 17,000, there are now only two CLS lawyers, where formerly there were three.  The CLS offices in Colorado Springs and Alamosa have each lost a paralegal, and the Durango office has lost the sole member of its support staff, leaving just three lawyers and a paralegal to serve the entire southwest corner of the state, including the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute Indian Reservations.  This serious understaffing is only going to get worse.

Bar-sponsored pro bono programs alone cannot be expected to pick up this much slack, particularly since they too are suffering from cuts in their COLTAF funding.  Nor can the court system, also suffering from inadequate funding, be expected to seamlessly absorb ever larger numbers of pro se litigants, especially if timely legal assistance would have eliminated the need for them to be there in the first place.  It is true that to maximize access for those in greatest need, a well-functioning civil legal aid delivery system must have well-managed pro bono programs; it must have a legal community committed to providing pro bono services to the poor; it must have self-help resources that make courts and administrative agencies accessible for those who are proceeding pro se; and it must maximize its use of technology to improve access in rural areas and otherwise.  But the backbone of any well-functioning system must be an adequately-funded, staffed legal aid program, with lawyers and paralegals, who are expert in dealing with the problems unique to low-income populations, and who are available on demand when low-income families are in crisis and time is of the essence.

The legal profession has a singular responsibility to respond to this crisis in our civil justice system.  CLS is the place of last resort for low-income families, the disabled, veterans and military families, and seniors who are facing serious civil legal problems.  If turned away, these Coloradans are effectively denied the rights, remedies, and protections afforded by the law, sometimes with devastating consequences – lethal injuries at the hands of an abusive spouse, a home lost to an unscrupulous lender, life on the street because of a wrongful denial of disability benefits.  As lawyers, we understand that the rule of law is in jeopardy when the protections of the law are not available to increasingly large numbers of our most vulnerable citizens.

The leadership of lawyers – whether in private practice or in-house corporate counsel, large firm or solo practice, government or nonprofit – is more important than ever in fulfilling our nation’s promise of equal justice for all.  The effect of CLS’ funding losses is calculable in terms of dollars lost, staff positions eliminated, and additional applicants for service turned away.  But the actual impact on the lives of low-income Coloradans, the damage to our communities, the tarnishing of our nation’s fundamental promise of equal justice, and the risk to our civil justice system and the rule of law is immeasurable.

Here are some things you can do to help:

  1. Give generously to the Legal Aid Foundation (http://www.legalaidfoundation.org/).
  2. Take a pro bono case from Metro Volunteer Lawyers (http://www.metrovolunteerlawyers.org/).
  3. Speak to your elected representatives (federal and state) about the importance of public funding for civil justice.
  4. Speak with your banker to ensure that the interest rate on your COLTAF account is as generous as possible.
Diana Poole is the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Foundation, which raises money for Colorado Legal Services, and COLTAF, which administers Colorado’s IOLTA program. She is also a member of the Colorado Access to Justice Commission.

For the Holiday Season, Share the Gift of Giving

For attorneys and legal professionals who reach out to some of the most disadvantaged in Colorado, the holidays are a time to give—and to get back even more. Those who give to others are happier than those who buy something for themselves, according to several studies cited in a 2010 article in Psychology Today. The amount of the gift didn’t seem to matter; it was the merely the act of giving that promoted happiness in people.

There are hundreds of attorneys, firms, and organizations that contribute and donate time throughout the year. Here are just some of their stories.

Mary Waters, an office administrator with Hogan Lovells in Denver says, “We adopt at least two families through the organization, Family Tree, and we collect contributions from the staff and attorneys. Many attorneys and staff choose to shop with their families and purchase some of the gifts. They always spend time with the families and they probably get as much joy doing this as the receiving families.”

The Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center puts on a Holiday Gift Drive and knows that the holidays can be especially hard for children in the child protection system. “They are separated from family and living in group homes or with foster families,” said Executive Director Stephanie Villafuerte. “They don’t write letters to Santa or dream of piles of gifts. They just hope someone will remember them. These children are just trying to survive and deal with very adult decisions; our gift drive is just one thing we do to help provide them a sense of childhood.”

Joni Edwards, office administrator with Husch Blackwell, helps organize the firm’s Adopt-A-Family project with Family HomeStead through Florence Crittenton Services, an organization that empowers struggling teen families to be productive members of the community. Liz Martinez, of Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell, recently was sworn in as a Court Appointed Special Advocate and is leading a holiday gift drive through the Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell Foundation for abused and neglected children served by CASA. “Sadly, when you look at the lists the kids put together, there are many items that we take for granted, like socks and other basics,” Martinez said. The WTO Foundation contributes funds to buy gifts and invites current employees, family members, and friends of the firm to participate, widening the giving circle.

Holland and Hart works on many community projects during the year. During the holiday season, they put together a few projects for the Lennox Guest Home, including a “Pie Party” and a craft fair, with staff manning tables. Funds are raised for a dinner and gift baskets for residents of the Lennox Guest Home. Staff also can pick names from a giving tree and buy clothes or toys for those served by the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center and Jewish Family Service.

Jodi Kopke, director of marketing with Kutak Rock, says, “Our firm participates in the Adopt-A-Family program during the holiday season. What started out as helping one family in 2000 has grown to helping four families in 2011. Some of the families we’ve been asked to help over the years include parents with a preemie 3-month-old boy and a 17-year-old helping her grandmother raise her siblings.” At the firm, not only can you donate items, but you also can be a “Shopping Elf” and buy presents, you can help assemble and wrap presents, and you can help Santa deliver presents to a family or individual.

If you’re interested in donating:
If you’d like to donate to the Rocket Mountain Children’s Law Center Holiday Gift Drive, but can’t make it to the center, Law Week Colorado staff will pick up donations at firms through the first week of December. Call (303) 292-1212 for more information.

The Colorado Bar Association adopts a family each year for the holiday season. For more information, please contact Heather Clark at hclark@cobar.org.

“In addition to participating in the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center Holiday Gift Drive, our firm started a campaign this year to buy 1,000 meals at the Denver Rescue Mission, and is also giving a large holiday donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society,” says Heather Baker, of Otten Johnson Robinson Neff + Ragonetti.

For 2011, the Harris Law Firm is taking part in the Adoption Exchange’s Holiday Hope Project, a stocking-stuffer program for teens in foster care. The firm has donated to the Denver Rescue Mission every Thanksgiving for the past seven years. This year, the firm collected enough donations from attorneys and staff to feed more than 300 homeless men, women, and children on Thanksgiving Day.

The act of giving doesn’t have to be monetary; it can simply be donating your time, helping out a friend or family member, or simply thanking those in your life who help you throughout the year. The legal world can be stressful and make incredible demands, but the generosity of the people in the Colorado legal community demonstrates that we believe in the philosophy of giving and service. By helping others, you will probably get something in return. It was expressed succinctly by Mahatma Gandhi, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Mary Dilworth is the Marketing Manager for CBA-CLE.

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.