April 20, 2019

What to Do Now That You’ve Passed the Bar Exam

dba logoEditor’s note: There are several ways to become a licensed attorney in Colorado. This article is targeted to those Class C applicants who passed the Colorado bar examination.  If you are waived on a motion or have taken the Uniform Bar Exam and been cleared, click here for more information on your next steps.

Congratulations! You’ve passed the bar! Here are some next steps you should take while you wait to be admitted to practice law.

Complete your admission requirements and become familiar with helpful resources available to you

Even though you’ve passed the bar, you’re not quite a lawyer yet.  You still have a few more steps before you can become a full-fledged ESQ.

Visit the Employment Ads

You’re (almost) a lawyer! Time to find a job and start your legal career. New jobs from around the state are posted daily to the Colorado Bar Association’s employment webpage and via CBA’s twitter account. You can search for jobs and set up alerts so that new positions go straight to your inbox.

If you’re hoping to hang your own shingle, be sure to check out the CBA’s Law Practice Management Department’s resources and sign up for the Solo Small Firm Section.

Start Networking

Denver’s legal community is large, but there are many ways to network.  Check out the Denver Young Lawyers Division to join a smaller community of attorneys new to the practice of law, or attend DBA events to meet attorneys from different practice areas. DBA also offers 16 committees and myriad volunteer opportunities, which makes connecting with people in your practice area easy. Don’t forget to connect with DBA members and other new attorneys on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, too.

Write for The Docket and the DBA Young Lawyers blog

Be an active voice in the legal community! We know you have something to say, and we invite you to say it in The Docket and the Young Lawyers blog. Send an email to hclark@cobar.org with your ideas. Writing for The Docket or the blog is a great way to get your name out there and to show knowledge on your résumé and  LinkedIn.

Celebrate!

Now is the time to begin celebrating. Spend some time with your dog! Call your mom! Toast with some friends! Cheers to you—passing the bar exam is a huge accomplishment, and you did it!

Candidates who took the July 2014 bar exam will learn whether they passed the exam in early October via the Colorado Supreme Court’s website.

 

By Heather Clark, the communications and marketing director for the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations, and managing editor of The Docket. She can be reached at hclark@cobar.org.

All Are Welcome at Denver Lawyers’ Arts & Literature Reception on September 10

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The winners of the The Docket’s Third Annual Arts & Literature Contest have been announced, and a reception will be held on September 10, 2014, in their recognition and to honor all entrants. This year’s winners are Barry Bartel (photography and sculpture), Joel Sayres (fiction), Ilona Dotterrer (nonfiction), Erin Agee (poetry), and Brett Godfrey (painting). Their works are featured in the September 2014 issue of The Docket.

Everyone is welcome to attend the reception and enjoy complimentary drinks and appetizers at the DBA offices on September 10, 2014 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. RSVP by September 5 to lunches@cobar.org, or register online here.

The Law Firm Throwdown Wants You to Sweat for Charity

12014-SE-Law-Firm-ThrowdownA new kind of legal challenge is launching this fall! Sweat Equity is stirring up some healthy competition among attorneys in Colorado with the debut of The Law Firm Throwdown.

Any firm in the state can sign up to be a part of this energizing challenge to increase fitness levels while raising money for charity.

The challenge will begin in early October, and each participating firm starts by throwing $250 into the “Winner’s Pot.” Your employees will track their physical activity for six weeks using the Sweat Equity website and mobile app, ending just before Thanksgiving . Participants with FitBits can also link those accounts to upload their data. Scores are determined by daily steps and time and intensity of workouts. Leaders among the law firms are based on a point-by-person average so that firms of any size can compete equally.

Along with a kick-off webinar for participants, Sweat Equity will provide communication, tips and tech support throughout the challenge. Incentives are also offered – for instance, one team will win “Most Improved,” and receive a special, separate amount to give to charity at the end.

Live leaderboards allow firms to check in on their status throughout the six weeks. The winning group then gets to choose which charity they want to donate their portion of the “Winner’s Pot” to. This challenge offers a unique twist in that if the winning team earns 80% of the overall points, they get 80% of the pot to donate. So, even if a firm doesn’t win but gathers 20% of the points, they will receive 20% of the pot to donate as well.

Once the winning firm is announced, there will also be an event to honor them with a trophy and check for charity. Sweat Equity sends out press releases about the challenge and winner.

Instead of just writing a check to charity, join the Law Firm Throwdown to build group morale, drum up healthy competition, and motivate your employees to move as well. With so many amazing organizations – such as Metro Volunteer Lawyers and the Legal Aid Foundation – in need of donations, we encourage you to sign up your firm today! Contact Sara Epstein at 303-503-4756 or sarap@teamsweatequity.com.

Resolve to Be More Civil

becky_byeBy Becky Bye

October is a bit of a new year for attorneys. The month marks a time when the Colorado bar admits hundreds of new attorneys, wide-eyed and anxious to begin practicing law. It is also a time where many law firms and other entities hire new attorneys to allow more senior attorneys to eventually transition out to retirement or other opportunities beyond their current practice.

I suggest, given that this is a time for new beginnings for all attorneys, that all attorneys also assess their practice and make some professional resolutions. One resolution I propose is for attorneys to practice with more civility and add camaraderie to their everyday practice.

The inherent adversarial nature surrounding the practice of law can easily polarize opposing counsel, opposing parties, and other people involved in any legal matter, whether it be a transactional matter or in the course of litigation. Many unfortunately interpret the language that “… a lawyer must act … with zeal in advocacy upon a client’s behalf…” to include unwarranted viciousness toward the opposing counsel, opposing parties, and even attorneys’ own office colleagues and peers. Subsequently, any negativity that results in the course of practicing law can create a negative perception of attorneys by the public and help trigger a general lack of civility within the practice of law.

Over the course of my legal career (which is relatively short in comparison to many others out there), I have often heard people complaining about how mean attorneys can be to each other. I also have heard more senior attorneys lamenting about their observations of newer attorneys being rude and unprofessional. In sum, many attorneys do not take the privilege of practicing law seriously.

Many of these attorneys believe that they cannot reconcile advocacy and respect with getting along with the opposing counsel, or even common decency. However, I beg to differ based on my own observations. All of the most respected legal minds of the Denver community and lawyers known nationally have several things in common. Of course, they were excellent, smart, and diligent legal scholars, but they also were known for their professionalism in all of their interactions.

Additionally, when I recently received the honor of an American Inns of Court Pegasus Scholarship, I was able to witness barristers (masters of the art of “advocacy” on behalf of clients in the United Kingdom) for six weeks in England. One of my foremost observations from this experience, which still resonates with me today, is that in spite of being known for their advocacy and legal eloquence, the barristers, even on opposing sides of a legal matter, worked together to the point where they coordinated a case before a tribunal. I was shocked when I attended breakfasts, lunches, and other meetings, between barristers of opposing parties, to discuss the next chain of events in their trial or hearing and what types of questions they would be asking their witnesses. In the courtrooms themselves, the barristers were pleasant and displayed a substantial amount of fellowship toward each other. It was soon very clear that this was the most effective way to represent clients, as courts and parties in legal proceedings were not bogged down in an unproductive exchange of communications with the intention of bullying the other party. The parties and courts could cut through that superfluous, tangential aspect of legal representation to get to the real issues at hand.

Although I understand the British legal system differs from ours in many respects, and not all aspects of it translate over to our legal system, all attorneys can still learn from trying to resolve small issues among attorneys in a courteous, respectable way. When things get too heated between opposing attorneys, ego and anger can unfortunately drive a case to go in the wrong direction, which is ultimately detrimental for clients and the legal system as a whole.

One of Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary definitions for “professional” is “exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace.” I urge you to take this definition to heart as a legal professional, and to conscientiously resolve to be sincerely courteous to everyone you encounter.

This article originally appeared in the October 2013 issue of The Docket.

Becky Bye is a public attorney. She received her J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2005. Bye is actively involved in the legal community, including serving on the University of Denver Law’s Alumni Council and the DBA Docket Committee. She is a past chair of the CBA Young Lawyers Division. Bye may be reached at beckybye@gmail.com. 

Calling All Creative Lawyers – Enter Your Work in Creative Arts Contest

Are you an attorney with an artistic inclination or a way with words? The submission period is open to enter your creative works in the 2013 Denver Lawyers Arts & Literature Contest, sponsored by The Docket. Contest submission categories include: Writing—Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Humor; and Visual Arts—Painting (watercolors and oil/acrylic/mixed media), Drawing, Sculpture, and Photography. In all categories, the subject matter is open to the artists’ choice—no legal subject matter is required. Deadline to enter is 11 p.m. on  Monday, April 15. Winners will be recognized in the September issue of The Docket.

When entering, consider these guidelines: Writing entries should not exceed 1,500 words. For visual entries, please only send a digital file showing the work, not the original piece. Please do describe the scale of the work; if helpful to understanding the work, please provide multiple photo views of the work (particularly if submitting for Sculpture). In Photography submissions, please explain how the shot was obtained, as well as any post-production (i.e., Photoshop).

All Denver Bar Association members are eligible to enter the contest, except staff of the DBA, members of The Docket Committee (the judges), and any of these groups’ immediate family. For full entry details and rules, click here; download an entry form here. Questions? Email Sara Crocker at scrocker@cobar.org.