Denver Bar Association
December 2007
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What More Can You Do? Volunteer!

by DBA President Elsa Martinez Tenreiro

December is my favorite month of the year. Colorado becomes a winter wonderland. I love to admire the fresh dusting of snow and the brilliant sun glittering in a wonderful array of colors on my way home from work. At night, the holiday lights throughout Denver and the suburbs give the city a warm glow. 

However, as I think about the coming year, I realize that it is the people who make Colorado a beautiful place to live. There are so many dedicated and compassionate individuals who help our communities. 

I would like to thank everyone who has volunteered during 2007. Whether it was for one hour or many hours — through work with DBA programs like Lawline 9, community events like the People’s Fair, or in school classrooms — every minute has made a difference in someone’s life. I am extremely proud of the programs run by the DBA and the DBA committees. We reach people in all sectors and walks of life through our programs. 

As January approaches and we make plans for the new year, I would like to ask you to consider volunteering. Make the commitment. Our committees comprise volunteers, and it is difficult for those people to also recruit others to staff the programs. Although it feels great to have someone personally give you a call or send you a letter inviting you to join our volunteer ranks, I can tell you that those who seek volunteer opportunities are more appreciated. Their willingness to come forward and say, "I am available"; "I can help"; and "This program matters to me" is so important.

Pro Bono Opportunities

Volunteer for:

Denver Regional Mock Trial
High School Mock Trial
Lawline 9
People’s Fair
We the People class curriculum
Classroom Speaker’s Bureau
Constitution Day
Homeless Veterans’ Stand-Down
Collections Clinic
Small Claims Clinic
Bankruptcy Clinic
Legal Night at Mi Casa
Legal Night at El Centro de San
Juan Diego
Doing Your Own Divorce Clinic
Divorce in Spanish
Legal Lines


To volunteer for any of the above programs,
contact Carolyn Gravit at
(303) 824-5323 or

Those who step up in this regard get a wonderful sense of satisfaction that keeps them coming back year after year. There is a sense of accomplishment and internal reward when we commit to helping others. There are so many ways to get involved: doing pro bono work through Metro Volunteer Lawyers; giving legal advice at Legal Night clinics, Lawline 9, the Veteran’s Stand-down or the People’s Fair; helping in classrooms with mock trials, Constitution Day presentations or the We the People program; helping at the pro se clinics at the Denver District and County Courts; or helping to educate the public about our judicial system.

We are leaders and role models in our community, and we are privileged to have attained careers in the legal profession. We come from diverse backgrounds and work in legal jobs across the spectrum. However, we are in a privileged class of educated people, which puts us in a unique position to give back to our community. At the last swearing-in ceremony, Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey reminded us of our oath to use our "knowledge of the law for the betterment of society." She urged all new attorneys to consider helping those who need legal assistance and cannot afford legal counsel. We should do the same.

When you think of your New Year’s resolution for 2008, please think of volunteering. I promise you that whatever you volunteer to do — be it fundraising for Children’s Hospital, donating backpacks for the school supply drive, providing pro bono legal services or coaching a mock trial team — you will make a significant difference in someone’s life, and you will be thanked for your efforts and consideration. You will be making Colorado a better place to live. I can assure you that there is a volunteer opportunity that fits your lifestyle, your schedule, your strengths and your interests. Have a great December and a wonderful 2008.

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