(as amended to January 2020)


Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees meets monthly throughout the year to set the overall policy and direction of the association and to address management issues. Contact the Governance Liaison at the bar office to submit an issue for board consideration.  All persons submitting agenda items will be notified of the date and time of the scheduled board meeting in order to allow for presentations. 


Office Hours. The DBA office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday. The DBA staff must be notified when meetings are scheduled at the DBA office at times other than normal working hours as notice must be given to the building security to arrange to be here or open the office.

Conference Rooms. The DBA has multiple conference rooms available by appointment, subject to availability. 

Phones/Offices. We have a member office with a phone available on a temporary basis for members to use. Please call the front desk to confirm availability. 

Refreshments. The area outside of the conference rooms is equipped with refrigerators stocked with refreshments and hot water for coffee and/or tea. 

Staff Assistance. The DBA staff is available to assist committees in the following ways:

  • Reserve conference rooms for meetings. Reservations should be requested through the DBA staff as far in advance of each meeting as possible to avoid conflicts in scheduling.
  • Send out notices of meeting if notified to do so within a reasonable period of time prior to the meeting. We suggest at least three weeks advance notice to give members adequate time to plan.
  • Reproduce and distribute meeting minutes to committee members, however, it is the responsibility of the committee to take and prepare minutes.
  • Provide public relations assistance. (See Section D) 


The following awards are presented by the Denver Bar Association. Award nominations are routed through the Awards Committee.

Award of Merit. Recognizes outstanding leadership, competency, ethics, professionalism, community service and contributions to the DBA and the legal profession.  Acknowledges outstanding service rendered in the interest of the improvement of the administration of justice. Criteria: A lawyer, judge or law professor who is a regular member of the DBA and whose distinguished career exemplifies these attributes.

Volunteer Lawyer of the Year. Honors a DBA member who in the last year has performed extraordinary pro bonolegal representation or provided exceptional voluntary service to cultural, civic, educational or charitable causes. Criteria: A lawyer, judge or law professor who is a regular member of the DBA.

Young Lawyer of the Year Award. Recognizes outstanding service as defined by ethics, professionalism and contributions to the DBA, legal profession and community. Criteria: A lawyer who is a DBA member and is younger than 37 or been in practice less than five years.

Judicial Excellence Award. Honors a DBA member of the judiciary for extraordinary service as defined by outstanding contributions to the legal community and who reflects the highest ideals of the judiciary in ethics, professionalism and judicial temperament, and community service. Recognizes exceptional contributions to the improvement of the judicial system.  Criteria: A judge or magistrate who is a regular member of the DBA and whose distinguished career demonstrates these attributes and service to the public and the practicing bar.

Education in the Legal System Award. Honors teachers and/or schools that exhibit outstanding dedication to teaching students about civics, the American legal system and the Rule of Law. The DBA will provide a monetary gift in an amount and allocation to be determined by the DBA Board of Trustees. The gift will be used for educational purposes in the above described areas at the teacher’s school and/or the school being honored. Criteria: A teacher in a Denver school and/or a Denver school educating students from kindergarten to twelfth grade

Award for Outstanding Programs/Projects.  Acknowledges those programs or projects that uphold the highest traditions of the legal profession such as ethics, professionalism, education, access to justice, community service or promoting charitable causes.  Recognizes exceptional collaboration between members of the bar. Criteria: A program or project affiliated with the DBA.


The ABA is an enormous and diverse entity with dozens of departments, committees and divisions. It is also a wealth of information and a valuable resource for state and local bars on almost any issue or project that a bar association is confronting. The key is knowing who to contact at the ABA.

In almost all circumstances, your first point of contact at the ABA is the Division of Bar Services (312/988-5352). The division serves as the principle link between the ABA and state/local bar associations. This means that the division can not only provide you with information on ABA activities, but can direct you to a state or local association that can be of assistance. If the division cannot answer your inquiry directly, they can refer you to the appropriate ABA official, division, or committee. The director of the division is Roseanne Lucianek. Pamela Robinson and Elizabeth Derrico are the associate directors.

The ABA has numerous national conferences. The three that are budgeted annually are:

NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF BAR PRESIDENTS - Held the Friday and Saturday prior to the ABA Annual Meeting (early August) and the ABA Mid-Year Meeting (early February). The president is invited to attend the annual meeting; the president-elect is invited to attend the mid-year meeting.

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BAR EXECUTIVES - A 2-day conference for bar executives held the Wednesday and Thursday prior to the National Conference of Bar Presidents.

BAR LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE - An annual 2½ day intensive training program for bar presidents-elect held each March in Chicago.



As a result of the unique relationship between the CBA and the DBA, shared office space and staff, there are expenses that are not easily allocable to either Association. The role of the JMC is to determine the appropriate allocation of joint expenses between the associations. The major expense items that are analyzed by the JMC are rent, salaries/benefits, and other general and administrative expenses. The CBA and DBA Budget Committees will then meet separately to evaluate their current programs, plan for next year and to make recommendations to the JMC as to staffing and facility needs. With the input from the Budget Committees, the JMC will finalize their part of the budget. The JMC is comprised of several Budget Committee members in order to ensure some continuity in the process.


The Budget Committee, which is comprised of members of the Board of Trustees, is charged with developing and presenting the entire budget to the trustees. The Budget Committee reviews all revenue line items and expense line items, including department budgets and committee budgets. The Budget Committee also makes recommendations with respect to the general fiscal policies and financial conditions of the DBA.

The Budget Committee will meet to evaluate current programs and to plan for the future. Recommendations will be made to the JMC on staffing and facility needs.


The Budget Committee presents the budget to the Board of Trustees for approval in May. Specific policy or programmatic issues are brought to the attention of the Board of Trustees at this time.


One of the most important functions of the president-elect is participation on the Budget Committee. This gives the president-elect some input for programs during his or her year and is a wonderful orientation on the functions and projects of the association.




1. The objective of the DBA's investment program is to obtain the maximum possible return on surplus funds while assuring protection of invested assets.

2. Because the DBA is a non-profit organization, investments should not be designed for speculation.

3. Investments must be made in such a manner as to insure sufficient liquidity to meet operating and contingency expenses.

Types of Investments and Approval Process

1. The executive director, assistant executive director or director of finance and the treasurer are permitted to invest short term cash surplus for up to an average maturity of 1-1/2 years without Board of Trustees approval in federal or state fully insured:

a.money market funds,
b.certificates of deposit at commercial banks or savings and loan institutions,
c.money market funds that invest in government backed securities, or
d.managed fund account, meeting above objectives.

2. Investments in securities (stocks and corporate bonds) may be made only under a policy approved by the Board of Trustees.

3. Any investment for a period of over an average maturity of 1-1/2 years may be made only if approved by the Board of Trustees.

Investment Supervision

1. Upon the recommendation of the treasurer, the Board of Trustees may hire the services of a professional investment advisor to assist with placement of investments.

2. The deputy executive director and the treasurer shall report on the status of all investments on a quarterly basis to the Board of Trustees.Adapted 12/92



Board of Trustees/Committees/Board of Governors

1. No reimbursement for members and/or committee chairs for travel to meetings.

2. No reimbursement for Board of Governors representatives. The Board of Governors represent the local bar associations and some local bars pay a portion of the costs of the representatives. If there is a change in the Board of Governors meeting policy, a change in the reimbursement policy can be considered at that time.

President and President-Elect

1. Reimbursement is made to the president and the executive director, as well as spouses, to attend the annual meeting of the ABA. Reimbursement is made to the president-elect and executive director, as well as spouses, to attend the mid-year meeting of the ABA.

2. Reimbursement is made for the president-elect and executive director to attend the Bar Leadership Conference.
ABA Delegates

Annual Meeting

ABA Reimburses: No expenses are reimbursed.

DBA Reimburses: Registration fee, travel costs, meals and lodging for one delegate to attend each day the House of Delegates meets.

Mid-Year Meeting

ABA Reimburses: Travel costs based on coach or economy rate and ground transportation. (Reimbursement requests are submitted to the ABA Policy Administration Office by using the form provided by the ABA.)

DBA Reimburses: Expenses for one delegate to attend each day the House of Delegates meets. There is no registration fee for the mid-year meeting. (Reimbursement requests are submitted to the DBA Office.)

Additionally, each delegate makes his/her own hotel and air reservations. Please utilize the ABA airfare discount program that accompanies the registration materials. Usually the fare quoted through the ABA discount will nearly equalize a "Saturday night stay" rate.

Generally speaking, if the house meets Monday and Tuesday, the association reimburses for two days on the assumption delegates will spend Sunday and Monday nights at the site and head home Tuesday p.m. Certainly, if the house runs over, or you cannot get out on Tuesday, an additional day will be permitted.

Young Lawyers Division

1. Reimbursement of travel cost and a per diem to cover food and lodging.


1. Committees cannot exceed the amount they were budgeted without prior approval from the appropriate governing body.

2. Committee members are not reimbursed for travel expenses associated with meetings.

3. Committee members, with the approval of the chair, can be reimbursed for incidental photocopying, telephone and postage costs. Larger administrative projects should be coordinated through the DBA offices.

4. Meal function costs, including luncheon meeting expenses, are not reimburseable.

5. Committees are expected to cover their direct expenses for CLE programs unless a special subsidy has been granted.

6. Any monies generated by committee activities must be submitted to the DBA for placement into the general fund of the DBA.

7. All reimbursement requests should be approved by the chair before submission to the director of finance.

8. Cannot give or allocate monies from their budget to an outside entity without prior approval from the appropriate governing body.


Expenses for the spouses of the president, president-elect and executive director to attend various ABA meetings will be paid for.
Adopted 5/83

Heather Clark, Director
Alexa Drago, Manager
Jessica Volz, Specialist
Kate Schuster, Graphic Designer

The Communications and Marketing Department's main functions are to coordinate communications to members, work on recruitment and retention campaigns, build and maintain relationships with the media, and evaluating and enhancing membership benefits. To fulfill the function of recruitment and retention of members in the DBA, the department along with the DBA Membership Department, has identified several groups of attorneys and non-attorneys to target for membership. These include law students, newly admitted attorneys, public counsel, corporate counsel, non-members and non-renewing members. The retention of current members is also of primary concern. Several programs have been developed to work with these groups. In conjunction with the recruitment and retention function, the department is also responsible for maintaining all membership records and statistics.

The department is also responsible for developing and maintaining benefit programs and services for the membership. These currently include discount programs on travel arrangements, office supplies, YMCA membership, and computer services.

In the Communications and Marketing Department, we try our best to keep a good relationship with members of the media, to suggest good stories, and to head off unfair or incorrect publicity. We were told many years ago by a firm that did a study on attitudes toward the legal system that we shouldn't try some "slick" campaign, but instead needed to emphasize a low-key, long-term policy of trustworthy information aimed at reporters and editors. We want to be the place reporters call when they need to talk to a lawyer and know that they'll be put in touch with a knowledgeable attorney who will call them back quickly and speak in plain language about the subject at hand.

We don't just wait for a call, however. When a topic becomes the focus of attention (lack of water, for instance), we call reporters and ask if we can put on a seminar for them, starring lawyers deeply experienced in that area. We e-mail reporters often, complimenting them on a story, adding a comment, or sometimes, offering a gentle correction.

We ask that you also hold reporters accountable for what they write. A study done in the wake of plagiarism and other ethical charges against two New York Times reporters showed that many people don't take the trouble to call or e-mail in corrections because they don't think reporters care. We think they do care. Please e-mail or call them when you see a mistake or believe that a story is unfair. Pass along a compliment even more quickly. Reporters are more careful when someone is watching. Please be that someone who watches.


RECRUITMENT AT LOCAL LAW SCHOOLS: The DBA encourages law students to join the CBA and the DBA if they plan to live and/or practice in the Denver area. To encourage active involvement in a local bar, the DBA, along with several other bar associations, waives membership dues for law students as long as they join the CBA. The DBA Membership Department works closely with the University of Denver College of Law and the University of Colorado School of Law to stimulate bar involvement.

MEMBER E-NEWSLETTER:  D-Brief is an electronic newsletter e-mailed to more than 8,000 members every other Tuesday. If you have a Denver event, send information to hclark@cobar.org.

NEWS RELEASES are sent to statewide media outlets on officers, DBA and member awards, mock trial competitions, etc.

MEDIA VISITS/RELATIONS are coordinated by this office. If there is a legal issue that comes to light because of a high-profile case or other hot topic, we will set up meetings to help educate reporters. Reporters also call for experts on legal topics and we refer them to members who can provide background information or quotes for stories.

THE DOCKET:  This is your DBA newsletter, mailed to all DBA members, as well as some interested members of the public and media.  We want The Docket to be relevant to your practice and to your life. Let us know what you want to read about. Send us your news, photos and events to publish in the Legal Affairs, FYI or Picture This. Submit an article you wrote, or write a letter to the editor. Or, join the committee. Contact us: Email hclark@cobar.org or jvolz@cobar.org for story ideas and email kschuster@cobar.org for Legal Affairs.

BAR NEWS: The Communications and Marketing Department provides content a monthly column in The Colorado Lawyer, reporting on what various local and specialty bar associations are doing. If you've got a great project, let others know through this column. We also like to do short profiles on outstanding members. Contact Heather Clark, hclark@cobar.org.

We welcome your suggestions, comments or criticism about what we do. Our efforts are aimed at helping the legal community and if you can think of other ways for us to do that, we invite you to call us.

The life and vitality of the organized bar is its membership. The Department of Membership Services was established in 1987 in response to a growing concern over the time and financial demands being placed on attorneys, and the potential impact these demands could have on the bar association in terms of a decline in membership. The department currently has one full-time staff person and on part-time staff person (the office is shared with the Colorado Bar Association).The Department of Membership Services is responsible for the administration of DBA’s committees, maintaining all membership records and statistics, and the membership renewal process.


The DBA Membership Department is responsible for collection and record keeping of annual dues for DBA members. 


There are many attorneys registered as "inactive" with the Colorado Supreme Court. Believing that some of these persons would be interested in joining the DBA, even though they are not practicing law, the Membership Services Committee in 1989 proposed creating an Inactive membership status. The Board of Trustees approved this membership category on a trial basis. In 1991, inactive membership was created on a permanent basis.

To be eligible for inactive membership, the attorney must be registered as inactive with the Colorado Supreme Court. Inactive members receive all benefits of active membership, except the right to vote or to hold office.



Senior (8+ years) — $170.00
Intermediate (4-7 years) — $155.00
Junior (1-3 years) — $115.00
Government Employee-Senior  (8+ years) — $140.00
Government Employee-Intermediate (4-7 years) — $110.00
Government Employee-Junior (1-3 years) — $80.00
Retired (over 65 and not practicing law full time)01$95.00
Inactive (on inactive status with the Colorado Supreme Court) — $95.00


The Public Legal Education Department works with the Denver Access to Justice Committee, and the Democracy Education Committee to provide the community with information, education and assistance in the understanding and use of the legal process, to enhance public trust in the legal profession, to give direction and opportunities for members to participate in these efforts and to coordinate these efforts with other community organizations.

The Public Legal Education coordinates various programs to provide member attorneys the opportunities to provide law-related education and legal information, improve communication and expand relationships in the community through voluntary service.

The following educational programs are available.



For debtors only (not creditors), the volunteer attorneys provide general overview information regarding bankruptcy and the process with the recent Federal law changes, and provide tips and helpful hints. These clinics are held at the federal Bankruptcy Court (U.S. Customs House, 721 19th Street) on the 2nd Tuesday and 4th Wednesday of each month from 1:30-3 p.m.


This free informational clinic provides an overview of the divorce process (with and without children), allocation of parental responsibility actions and forms related to both actions.  Volunteer attorneys provide information on filing for a divorce without the assistance of an attorney, and will cover divorce and allocation of parental responsibility procedures and forms, child custody, child support, maintenance and property division. Participants should bring forms to the clinics. (available here: www.courts.state.co.us). This clinic is informational only and questions are welcomed.  These clinics do not provide legal advice or representation nor do they directly assist in completing court forms. This clinic is presented at 1437 Bannock Street Courtroom 311 on the third Wednesday of each month from noon-1:30 p.m.


This free informational clinic provides an overview of the divorce process (with and without children), allocation of parental responsibility actions and forms related to both actions.  Volunteer attorneys provide information on filing for a divorce without the assistance of an attorney, and will cover divorce and allocation of parental responsibility procedures and forms, child custody, child support, maintenance and property division. Participants should bring forms to the clinics. (available here: www.courts.state.co.us). This clinic is informational only and questions are welcomed. These clinics do not provide legal advice or representation nor do they directly assist in completing court forms. The clinics are scheduled by and held at the offices of the office of Economic Development (1200 Federal Boulevard room 1018).  This clinic is offered the 3rd Tuesday of each month 5:30-7 p.m.


Both Legal nights are sponsored by the Colorado lawyers committee, DBA Young Lawyers Committee and Denver Access to Justice Committee.  Legal Nights allow you to meet with an attorney free of charge and get information in the areas of Immigration, credit, housing, landlord/tenant, employment and family law. Attorneys provide referrals to appropriate agencies.   Spanish interpreters will be available.  Legal Night at Mi Casa is located at 360 Acoma Street, Denver, CO 80204 on the third Tuesday of each month from 5:30-7 p.m.  Legal Night at El Centro San Juan Diego is located at 2830 Lawrence Street, Denver, CO 80205 on the first Wednesday of each month from 5:30-7 p.m.


Attorneys instruct participants on Colorado's Small Claims and Collections court procedures. Small Claims is offered on the 3rd Tuesday of each month; Collections is offered on the 3rd Thursday of each month.The classes are held at the City and County Building Civil Division (1437 Bannock Street room 164) from 11a.m. -1 p.m. 



The Denver Bar Association, in partnership with Channel 9, sponsors a weekly legal information call-in program at Channel 9 called "Lawline 9." Volunteer attorneys field legal questions over a broad spectrum of the law, providing general legal information, options and agency referrals. LawLine 9 - Every Wednesday, 4:00 - 6:30 p.m. - 303-698-0999 


Schools may call the DBA to request attorneys for special speaking engagements. These requests are for various legal topics and general career awareness in the law. Presentation ideas are available for volunteers through the Public Legal Education Department.


The Democracy Education Committee administers and coordinates the Denver Regional Mock Trial Competition. Many volunteer attorneys, judges and paralegals assist by coaching, presiding over, and scoring the students during this hands-on experience.


The Democracy Education Committee Coordinates Constitution Day which is held the week of September 17.  Volunteers teach students of all grade levels about the Constitution. 


On May 1st of each year, Democracy Education Committee celebrates Law Day by accepting entries of art submissions from K-5 grades in DPS schools.  The theme is based on the American Bar Association’s theme for this week.  Any Denver Public School is welcome to participate.  The Democracy Education Committee picks the winner and the student and teacher receive a Target Gift Certificate and their art work is published in the Docket.


Volunteer attorneys provide free legal information at this annual event. The DBA collects consumer legal information from the Colorado Judicial Branch, Colorado Attorney General’s Office and the Denver District Attorney’s Office (Economic Crimes Unit). Attorneys distribute the information available, as well as answer legal questions. The DBA also provides information about our legal clinics and outreaches program. 


The Public Legal Education Department has a references library of law-related educational materials that are available to the public. These include: videos and printed materials, classroom lesson plans (constitutional studies, practical law, street law, etc.) and in-class mock trial scripts.


Denver Public Schools contact the Public Legal Education Department to recruit volunteers for We the People Hearings.  These hearings are for middle and high school students.  Volunteers listen to a presentation given by a group of students about the Constitution and rate / give feedback to the group.  


The DBA ATJ Committee is started a partnership with Bridging the Gap at Mile High United Way. This program assists youths who are aging out of foster care.Each month BTG offers a program called Java & Juice. These are monthly meetings held in a coffee shop or other gathering place.  A guest speaker discusses a topic and has a conversation with the young attendees. A DBA volunteer (or two) is needed for each session. The DBA volunteer will discuss important topics that pertain to youth between the ages of 14 and 24 using the CBA Public Legal Education guide, “So, You’re 18 Now... A Survival Guide for Young Adults: Rights and Responsibilities.” This guide covers topics such as: citizenship, renting, leases, marriage, paternity, estate planning, employment, pay, police stops, warrants, buying and selling a car, liens, auto insurance, and DUI/DWI.


This committee shall develop, coordinate, administer, and manage projects and programs to educate the public regarding democracy, legal principles, practices and institutions. It shall coordinate and add value to democracy education and associated activities in Denver schools to enhance public knowledge of and trust in the legal profession. The committee shall give direction to and opportunity for members of the legal profession to participate in these efforts and to coordinate such efforts with other bar associations and community organizations.


The DATJ Committee endeavors to increase the availability of free and low cost legal services and legal education programs for poor, low and moderate income persons in metropolitan Denver. The committee administers and evaluates programs, and recruits volunteer lawyers for legal service opportunities (both legal advice and legal information) that suit their interests and availability including: pro se clinics on various legal topics such as family law, bankruptcy and small claims court proceedings; annual events such as the Homeless Vet Stand Down; various "call-a-lawyer" programs offered by TV or radio stations; and other such programs or events as needed. The committee regularly evaluates legal needs of poor, low and moderate income persons in the community, and the best ways to meet those needs. The committee works in cooperation with the DBA staff, Metro Volunteer Layers and its governing board, United Way, the Young Lawyers Division and other CBA and DBA committees, various specialty bars, Colorado Legal Services and other organizations (e.g., El Centro De San Juan Diego, Mi Casa Resource Center, the Office of Economic Development, Denver District and County Courts).


Guidelines for Use of Bar Services & Staff

Office Hours. The DBA hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The DBA staff must be notified when meetings are scheduled at the DBA office, especially at times other than normal working hours as notice must be given to the building security to arrange to be here or open the office.

Conference Rooms. The DBA has five conference rooms available by appointment on the 9th floor. The conference room capacities are: one conference room will accommodate 30 persons, two rooms will accommodate 20 each, another 12 and the smallest will accomodate 4.

Non-Smoking Offices/Meetings. The DBA offices are designated as being a non-smoking environment. All of the conference rooms are also non-smoking areas.

Parking Validation. The DBA will validate members' parking coupons when visiting the DBA office for Committee Meetings.

Phones/Offices. Generally, there are phones and/or an office available on a temporary basis for members to use. Please ask the staff to locate a vacant office/phone for you.

Refreshments. The area outside of the conference rooms is equipped with a coffee maker, water, refrigerator and sink. Coffee is available to members and visitors at no cost. Soft drinks may be purchased from the machine in the kitchen.

Staff Assistance. The DBA staff is available to assist committees and sections in the following ways:

  • Reserve conference rooms for meetings. Reservations should be requested through the DBA staff as far in advance of each meeting as possible to avoid conflicts in scheduling.
  • Send out notices of meetings if notified to do so within a reasonable period of time prior to the meeting. We suggest at least three weeks advance notice to give members adequate time to plan. The Colorado Supreme Court requires 2 weeks notice to ensure time to grant CLE credit for an event.
  • Reproduce and distribute meeting minutes to committee members. It is the responsibility of the committee to take and prepare minutes.

Finance Department

1. Committees that need funds only for mailing notices and conference calls have a budget of zero as these expenses now come out of the General Committee Budget for all the committees.

2. Committees that have ongoing projects have been assigned budget based on last year.  For new projects that come up during the year, you can request funds from the Committee Contingency Budget. These requests will be reviewed quickly so that you can start on your projects.  Requests for less that a $1000 go to the Executive Director and those larger will go to the Executive Council.  New projects that do not require additional funds must be approved by the Deputy Executive Director.

3. Committee funds are not to be used to provide free CLE programs.  All CLE programs should be self-supporting by charging an appropriate fee .

4. Committee funds are not to be used to provide free lunches to committee members.  Staff can assist in ordering lunches and those attending will be required to pay for their lunch.

5. Committee funds are not to be used to make donations to charitable activities or other organizations.  Activities designed to be fund raisers can only give the charity the net after all expenses.

6. Staff is available to send out meeting notices and to assist in meeting setup and general coordination.  Staff is not available to take minutes of the meetings, generate information for the website or handle other administrative tasks that can be divided up between committee members.  If you put the people on your committee to work, your committee will have increased attendance and the committee will accomplish more during the year. 

Metro Volunteer Lawyers (MVL), formerly known as The Thursday Night Bar Program (TNB), was established in 1966 when members of the Young Lawyers Section of the Denver Bar Association agreed to provide legal services at no cost to indigent persons in Denver. The attorneys met with clients in either the Five Points area of Denver or in the northwest section. The attorneys then met on Friday mornings to review the intakes and refer them to their friends for pro bono representation. Approximately 20 lawyers volunteered the first year. Eventually, a DBA staff person was responsible for the referral of cases to pro bono attorneys.

In 1998, a contest was held to rename the program to better reflect the program’s growth and expansion. The name of the program was changed from The Thursday Night Bar to Metro Volunteer Lawyers. Staff now consists of an Executive Director, a Legal Services Coordinator, a Family Law Court Program Coordinator, and a Program Assistant.

The subject matter of MVL cases varies. Colorado Legal Services handles the initial client intake process and then sends selected cases to MVL for referral. A majority of cases are domestic relations. Other case types include consumer, bankruptcy, landlord tenant, real estate, wills/POA, guardianship/conservatorships, probate, and tax issues. MVL does not handle criminal matters of any kind. We connect eligible clients with volunteer attorneys. Once a potential client has completed intake by calling the CLS intake number at (303) 837-1313, the Legal Services Coordinator reviews the file and begins contacting volunteer attorneys to try to place the case.

MVL coordinates and manages monthly Family Law Court Program clinics in Douglas, Denver, Adams, Arapahoe, and Jefferson Counties. The Family Law Court Program ("FLCP") assists clients with relatively uncomplicated, “uncontested” divorce or custody matters where the other party is not represented by an attorney. MVL also coordinates and manages post-decree clinics for domestic relations cases in Denver and Jefferson Counties. MVL recruits volunteer attorneys and paralegals, and collaborates with community partners to provide pro bono legal services to those in need.

Each District Court in the metropolitan area where the FLCP and/or MVL post-decree clinics are held provides space for the volunteers and MVL staff to prepare documents and to meet with clients. The Courts have also set aside specific dates on which the FLCP Permanent Orders Hearings are scheduled. Volunteer attorneys, law students, and legal support staff, recruited by MVL, are available to assist the clients through the court process. On the day of Permanent Orders Hearings, each client meets individually with a volunteer attorney. The attorney then represents the client for a brief hearing. Following the court hearing, pertinent court documents are copied and provided for all interested parties. If the case is not resolved on the court day, MVL may set the case for a subsequent court date or assist the client in obtaining individual representation.

From January 2009 through December 2010, MVL had 1311 Volunteer Attorneys in our database designated as willing participants on our panel. During that time, 367 Volunteer Attorneys took MVL cases. The Family Law Court Program Coordinator handles approximately 400-500 case files at any given time. In a year, the FLCP generally serves about one-half of the MVL applicants who open a case and carry it through to permanent orders. From January 2009- December 2010, the FLCP handled 1020 of our 2179 referred cases. People who did not receive individual representation from a volunteer attorney did receive some services from MVL, such as a referral to a volunteer, an opportunity to participate in the FLCP or a post-decree clinic, legal advice, or other recourse information.  Some applicants for MVL services do not follow through with pursuing the services or with conducting their cases.  When the TNB program began over 40 years ago, it was sponsored solely by the DBA. At the present time, MVL is cosponsored by the bar associations of the First Judicial District, Adams/Broomfield, Arapahoe and Douglas-Elbert counties. Program policy is established by a governing board consisting of representatives of these bar associations. 


Metro Volunteer Lawyers (MVL) and Colorado Legal Services (CLS) have an integrated intake system. Clients must contact CLS and be interviewed to determine financial and case type eligibility. Other clients are referred through special arrangements with Project Safeguard and Rocky Mountain Immigration Advocacy Network. MVL only handles civil legal matters.

Clients accepted by MVL are referred on a no-fee or low-fee basis according to their incomes as determined by the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) prepared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  To be eligible for MVL’s services, an applicant’s income and assets must fall within these guidelines.

Clients must pay an administrative fee in the amount of $30.00 before they are referred to MVL volunteer attorneys. The $30.00 administration fee assists MVL and the volunteers to cover administrative costs such as service of process, copies, faxes, telephone calls, and postage.

Clients whose gross monthly household income is more than 125% of FPG (up to 150%) are referred on a low-fee basis: they pay $400 in attorney's fees, plus $299 in filing fees for bankruptcy cases, $100 for wills, and $55 an hour for all other types of assistance.

Clients may also be responsible for paying attorneys for any out-of-pocket expenses that exceed the $30.00 administrative fee.  Such expenses may include photocopying, postage and long distance calls.  These additional expenses generally do not exceed $20.00.

FLCP (Family Law Court Program) clients will be assessed a onetime $55.00 administrative fee if the opposing party is located in Colorado.  However, if the opposing party is located out-of-state, the client will be required to pay $75.00 because the cost to serve process outside of Colorado is more expensive.

Potential and current clients are advised that any material misrepresentation by them of their income or assets can be grounds for them to be disqualified from further representation by MVL or its volunteer lawyers. Clients are required to inform MVL or their attorney of any change in their financial circumstances that may render them ineligible for no-fee or low-fee assistance. MVL maintains a panel of volunteer attorneys who have indicated a willingness to do pro bono cases. Any attorney licensed to practice in Colorado is eligible for the panel. MVL maintains malpractice insurance to cover attorneys representing MVL clients.

Clients are referred for representation in one of three ways. First, an individual client may be referred to an individual attorney. The client is expected to contact the attorney and initiate the attorney-client relationship. The attorney then provides whatever services are necessary and appropriate to conclude the client's matter.

Second, if the client has an uncontested divorce or custody matter, the client may be referred to the Family Law Court Program. Currently operating in Denver, Adams, Arapahoe, Douglas, and Jefferson Counties, the program offers legal assistance to clients in initiating their cases and provides volunteer attorneys to represent the clients at final orders hearings, scheduled once a month in each jurisdiction.

Third, if the client has a post-decree domestic relations matter, the client may be referred to a post-decree clinic in Denver or Jefferson Counties where Faegre & Benson, LLP, Holland & Hart, and The Johnson Sauer Legal Group, LLC offer unbundled legal services to pro se parties.

CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION IN COLORADO, INC., is the nonprofit corporation organized to serve as the educational arm of the Colorado Bar Association and the Denver Bar Association, and is exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. CLECI offers a full range of educational services, including live programs, audio and videotapes, and publications.

CLECI's mission is to educate, improve and continually develop the professional competency and capabilities of all members of the Colorado legal profession and other interested parties, while being financially self-sustaining.

Each year, over one thousand of Colorado lawyers and judges volunteer their time and expertise as speakers, authors, editors and advisors to help CLECI fulfill its mission to serve the needs of the Colorado legal community. Without the dedicated support of the thousands of Colorado lawyers and judges who have generously donated their time and expertise as authors, editors, speakers and advisors over the years, CLECI would be unable to fulfill its mission.

CLECI is financially self-sustaining. Revenues are derived from course tuition, sales of publications, audio and video courses, and web based training. These revenues are, in turn, used for additional course and book development. CLE in Colorado, Inc. is committed to provide educational opportunities in all fields of law, rather than focus exclusively on the profitable topics. Profit-generating projects sustain projects that cannot be self-supporting. CLECI's goal is to meet expenses for overall operations while implementing as many cost-saving measures as possible, consistent with maintaining program quality.

The DBA, CBA, their sections and committees, co-sponsor many of their programs with CLECI.

The body that oversees the process of accrediting continuing legal education programs for CLE credit, and keeping track of CLE credit for all licensed Colorado attorneys, is the Supreme Court Board of Continuing Legal and Judicial Education. The Supreme Court Board is located at 600 17th Street, Suite #520-S, Denver, Colorado 80202, telephone (303) 866-6500. 


LIVE PROGRAMS: CLECI presents approximately 100 live programs each year. Many of the programs are planned and cosponsored by the various substantive sections and committees of the Colorado and Denver Bar Association. The length of the live program varies, from one-half day programs to multi-day annual symposia/institutes.

VIDEO REPLAYS: Most of the live programs are recorded for replay at locations around the state. Video replay registrations include a copy of the course manual.

AUDIO RECORDINGS: Most of the live programs presented are also available for sale on audio CD's along with the course manual. Attorneys may claim CLE credit for listening to the audio CD's under the homestudy provision of CRCP 260.

COURSE MANUALS: Course manuals from live programs are available for purchase after the live program.

WEB-BASED TRAINING: CLECI is now offering on-line web-casting of some live programs. Internet based information delivery continues to be a priority for CLECI to serve the members of the association. Developments in web delivery improve continuously.

PUBLICATIONS: CLECI publishes a series of deskbooks and handbooks in different practice areas for Colorado practitioners. Topical areas include litigation, ethics, estate planning, real property, business law, domestic relations, criminal, and employment. Publications are kept current by supplements, as needed. CLE in Colorado also publishes the Annual Survey of Colorado Law, a reference work that includes all major developments -- case law, legislation and administrative developments -- in 30 areas of the law.

PRO BONO TRAINING: The CLECI Board of Directors has committed to furnish affordable training for attorneys who volunteer to provide Pro Bono services. Registrants may attend these courses for a nominal charge, if they undertake at least one pro bono case in the area that is the subject of the program. Recent programs have been offered in family law, immigration, disability law and elder law.


The Denver Bar Association advances professionalism with the legal community and promotes justice in the broader community.