Associate Leadership in the Time of COVID

DENVER— The Legal Aid Foundation’s 2020 Associates Campaign, which concluded on April 15th, raised nearly $230,000 for legal aid in just six weeks. An impressive result even under normal circumstances, the fact that it was accomplished despite a global pandemic and a completely shuttered economy makes it truly extraordinary. And the timing couldn’t be better as the need for legal aid is expected to increase dramatically in the coming months.

The Associates Campaign, which typically runs through the month of March, kicked off this year, as usual, on March 1st, just days before the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Colorado. The effort, led entirely by young lawyers, got off to a strong start, but as law firms transitioned to remote work and schools closed, a decision was made to pause the Campaign.

Despite the challenges of working from home and balancing child care and home-schooling demands, the dedicated young lawyers responsible for the Campaign reignited it on April 1st, and thanks to newly improvised fundraising strategies, including Zoom happy hours, the end result surpassed all expectations. Over 77 percent of associates at 65 Colorado law firms donated to legal aid, and over 400 others in the legal community supported the cause as well. In addition, 33 firms achieved 100 percent participation among their associates.

“The need for legal aid over the coming months will be greater than ever as more Coloradans face economic hardship, housing disruptions and consumer credit problems,” said Legal Aid Foundation Board Chair Eric Olson. “This support means that more Coloradans will get the legal help they need to navigate a frightening and uncertain future.”

This was the 16th year that Colorado’s young lawyers have demonstrated their commitment to equal justice through their leadership of the Associates Campaign. The Campaign is organized as a friendly competition between similarly-sized firms, and although all participating firms contributed to the incredible success of this year’s Campaign, the results of its competitive aspects are as follows:

Total of $228,080 was raised from 1,176 donors

Largest Associate Per Capita Gift:

Larger Firms: WilmerHale

Mid-Sized Firms: Otten Johnson Robinson Neff & Ragonetti

Smaller Firms: Bartlit Beck

Broadening Participation:

Larger Firms: Sherman & Howard

Mid-Sized Firms: Ballard Spahr

Smaller Firms: Fairfield & Woods

Largest Overall Total:

Larger Firms: Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Mid-Sized Firms: Ballard Spahr

Smaller Firms: Fairfield & Woods

100 Percent Associate Participation:

Armstrong Teasdale

Ballard Spahr

Bartlit Beck

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Burns Figa & Will

Chipman Glasser

Davis Graham & Stubbs

Fairfield & Woods

Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath

Foster Graham Milstein & Calisher

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

Greenberg Traurig

Haddon Morgan Foreman

Harris Law Firm

Hogan Lovells

Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe

Jones & Keller

Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell

Keating Wagner Polidori Free

Koenig Oelsner Taylor Schoenfeld & Gaddis

Kutak Rock

Littler Mendelson

Merchant & Gould

Milgrom & Daskam

Moye White

Nelson Mullins

Otten Johnson Robinson Neff & Ragonetti

S&D Law

Sheridan Ross

Sherman & Howard

Sherr Puttmann Akins Lamb

Snell & Wilmer