Denver Bar Association
June 2008
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How Far We Reach Shows Just How Far We Can See

by Elsa Martinez Tenreiro

 

Martinez Tenreiro

As president of the Denver Bar Association during the past year, I have become intrinsically involved in its day-to-day operations. As my term comes to a close, I’d like to take a moment to share how awe-inspiring it has been to see the far-reaching impact that the Bar, and all of its activities, have on our legal profession and the Denver community.


By choosing to be a DBA member and by actively participating in its organization, committees and governance, we become the owners of our Association. The last message of my presidency will be, “Get involved.” There are several ways to do so, all of which directly benefit you, your profession and your community.


Take the time to participate in one of our committees or programs. The DBA has Committees for everyone, regardless of your area of practice and interests. If you are not currently a member of a DBA Committee, click on “Committees” on the Bar’s home page and see what is there for you. Participating in a Committee is an opportunity to stay in-the-know, as well as to contribute what you’ve learned. It is good to do both.


One of the best ways to get involved is to take a case for Metro Volunteer Lawyers, which arranges pro bono legal services to the indigent people in the Denver metro area. Not only will you be helping your client and the community, the perspective you gain will help your career. Become an active part of our membership, which believes in access to justice and providing legal services to those who cannot afford them. Donate to the annual Barristers Benefit Ball, a fun-filled charity bash that serves as the primary fundraiser for MVL.


Perhaps you’d like to get your feet wet with a short-term opportunity to get involved. Give legal advice at Legal Night clinics. Take calls with Lawline 9. Help out at the Veteran’s Stand-down or the People’s Fair. Help in classrooms with mock trials, Constitution Day presentations or the We the People program. Help make a difference at the pro se clinics at the Denver District and County Courts. Help to educate the public about our judicial system. Write about local legal interests for The Docket; this newsletter has given me a chance to express my visions for diversity and volunteering in the legal profession. Drop in for a DBA board meeting, typically on the second Thursday of the month. Get in the habit of checking out DBA’s online calendar for other current activities, committee meetings, services and volunteer opportunities that appeal to your unique interests.


If you have not experienced all of the other benefits of the DBA, you’re really missing out. Remember that we provide our members with a variety of continuing legal education programs. We offer opportunities every day to network with other DBA members, from highly experienced senior attorneys to Young Lawyer Division members, and for everyone in between.


DBA members do not always agree on everything, but we strive to be inclusive and provide an outlet for all members. The DBA has room for everyone, because we share certain core values and beliefs that are at the very heart of our system of government and society. We value the Rule of Law; fair, impartial, and well-functioning courts; the separation of powers and representative democracy.


I want to thank the DBA Board of Trustees, the Committee Chairs and the volunteers for their hard work in making this year an enjoyable one for me.


I also would like to take this chance to extend my most grateful appreciation to the real heroes: the DBA staff. They are all exemplary and do an outstanding job. It has been my privilege to work closely with them and I feel that they are the ones who should be recognized. They make holding the office of DBA President nearly effortless. I could not have wished for a better support system. They are intelligent, dedicated, well organized, insightful, cooperative and friendly. They are all extremely approachable and are able to answer any questions or concerns. Through all the trials, personal and professional, I have faced this year, they have enabled me to remain focused, organized and on track. Their boundless enthusiasm and energy are valued and appreciated.


I will be passing the gavel to Mark Fogg, of Kennedy, Childs & Fogg, who will provide outstanding leadership to the DBA and will continue to advance this association in all respects. Please join us for free food and drinks at the DBA Annual Awards Party on Tuesday, June 10 at 5:30 p.m. at the Colorado History Museum, 1300 Broadway, in Denver. RSVP to lunches@cobar.org.


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