Legal Aid Foundation https://www.legalaidfoundation.org Thu, 28 Mar 2019 17:17:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 67730709 Putting the “Fun” Back in Fundraising https://www.legalaidfoundation.org/putting-the-fun-back-in-fundraising/ https://www.legalaidfoundation.org/putting-the-fun-back-in-fundraising/#respond Fri, 22 Feb 2019 17:41:19 +0000 https://www.legalaidfoundation.org/?p=960

“During March, young attorneys from more than 60 law firms will lead the annual Associates Campaign to raise money for the Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado.  Now in its 15th year, the Associates Campaign has proven extremely successful in building on the strong history of support for civil legal aid in Colorado.

Read the full article by Reagan Larkin about the 2019 Associates Campaign in the February/March 2018 edition of the Docket here.

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2017-18 Campaign for Justice Successs https://www.legalaidfoundation.org/2017-18-campaign-for-justice-successs/ https://www.legalaidfoundation.org/2017-18-campaign-for-justice-successs/#respond Fri, 06 Jul 2018 01:25:48 +0000 https://www.legalaidfoundation.org/?p=946 Lawyers and law firms from across the state came together to raise over $2 million in the Legal Aid Foundation’s annual fundraising drive for Colorado Legal Services. The funds will be used to provide necessary legal assistance in serious civil matters for Coloradans who cannot afford counsel.

The ongoing success of the Legal Aid Foundation’s annual campaign is a direct result of the enduring commitment of the Colorado legal community to improving access to our civil justice system. This year, law firm giving accounted for 61 percent of the total amount raised, with 123 donor firms giving at the Leadership Level of $450 per Colorado lawyer in the firm. Donations from individual lawyers reached a record level as well.

“Our donors help provide quality legal representation to low-income Coloradans facing potentially life-changing problems,” said Legal Aid Foundation Executive Director Diana Poole.  “As a result of their commitment and generosity, some of the most vulnerable members of our community will not be forced to navigate a complex legal system alone, often with devastating circumstances.”

Colorado Legal Services provides legal representation and advice through a network of 13 offices around the state, as well as easy-to-understand, online self-help information and state-of-the-art interactive forms for use in civil proceedings.

About the Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado
The Legal Aid Foundation is the fundraising arm of Colorado Legal Services, which provides free legal assistance to low-income Coloradans who are facing serious civil legal problems.

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2018 Associates Campaign: Protecting Colorado’s Most Vulnerable https://www.legalaidfoundation.org/2018-associates-campaign-protecting-colorados-most-vulnerable/ https://www.legalaidfoundation.org/2018-associates-campaign-protecting-colorados-most-vulnerable/#respond Mon, 05 Mar 2018 18:04:34 +0000 https://www.legalaidfoundation.org/?p=939 The March edition of Colorado Lawyer included a compelling article about the Associates Campaign and the important work of CLS’s Health and Elder Law Unit.

“The Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado (LAF) kicks off its 14th Annual Associates Campaign on March 1, 2018. During this month-long campaign, young lawyers will lead efforts in a friendly competition to raise funds for Colorado Legal Services (CLS), the only agency in the state that offers free civil legal services to indigent and underserved populations in every single county. If your firm did not participate last year, there is still time to sign up for the 2018 Associates Campaign by contacting Kelly Bossley, associate director of LAF, at (303-863-9544 or kelly@legalaidfoundation.org. Donations can also be made to LAF by visiting legalaidfoundation.org and selecting “Donate Now.” The funds raised through the Associates Campaign and by LAF  throughout the year are critical to helping CLS continue its work of providing free legal services to thousands of Coloradans who would otherwise be unable to afford legal representation. The case study below helps highlight this important work.

Protecting the Elderly: A Case Study

‘One of the best measures of a country is how it treats its older citizens.’ – President Barack Obama

View the rest of the article

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March Brings Flowers, Basketball Madness and the Associates Campaign https://www.legalaidfoundation.org/march-brings-flowers-basketball-madness-and-the-associates-campagin/ https://www.legalaidfoundation.org/march-brings-flowers-basketball-madness-and-the-associates-campagin/#respond Tue, 20 Feb 2018 20:41:28 +0000 https://www.legalaidfoundation.org/?p=934 “If it’s springtime in Denver, many at local firms know that they will soon get a knock on the door, their phones will ring, and their inboxes will fill up with emails from their peers asking them to donate to the Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado as part of the annual Associates Campaign.”

Read the full article by Kyle Brenton about the 2018 Associates Campaign in the February/March 2018 edition of the Docket here.

 

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LAF Trustee Selected for Colorado Supreme Court https://www.legalaidfoundation.org/laf-trustee-selected-for-colorado-supreme-court/ https://www.legalaidfoundation.org/laf-trustee-selected-for-colorado-supreme-court/#respond Thu, 14 Dec 2017 22:00:33 +0000 https://www.legalaidfoundation.org/?p=924 Congratulations to Legal Aid Foundation Trustee Melissa Hart who was just selected by the Governor to fill the vacant seat on the Colorado Supreme Court!

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Gov. John Hickenlooper on Thursday announced that he’s chosen University of Colorado law professor Melissa Hart to fill a vacant seat on the Colorado Supreme Court, solidifying his impact on the panel by choosing arguably the most left-leaning of the three women nominated for his consideration.

Melissa Hart
Provided by the University of Colorado Boulder

Melissa Hart

Hart — who records show is a registered Democrat — replaces Allison Eid, a conservative jurist who left the state’s most powerful court when she was tapped by President Donald Trump to serve on the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The choice is Hickenlooper’s fourth on the seven-member panel, whose members serve a two-year term before going before voters for retention and an additional 10 years on the bench.

Hart was considered by Hickenlooper in 2015 for an earlier vacancy on the Colorado Supreme Court, but he passed on her in favor of Justice Richard L. Gabriel.

Hart received her undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard, and her work at CU focuses on constitutional law, employment discrimination, legal ethics and legal professionalism.

Hart, who is known for her liberal-leaning stances, clerked for Justice John Paul Stevens on the U.S. Supreme Court and practiced law for several years in Washington, D.C., including as a trial attorney at the Department of Justice, before becoming an educator.

She has since taken on several pro bono cases in recent years and penned an amicus brief defending the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s ruling against a Lakewood baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex couple because it was against his religious beliefs.

Hart has also represented clients seeking Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, status.

“Through my work in legal ethics, I have increasingly focused my work on addressing the significant lack of legal services for poor and moderate-income people,” she wrote in her application for the seat. “The reality of our legal market today is that more than 70 percent of individuals could not afford to hire an attorney to address important legal needs. This affordability of lawyers for most people is a crisis.”

Hart spoke to the media at length about Neil Gorsuch after Trump nominated him to the U.S. Supreme Court, calling him a “great pick” in a CNN interview.

A judicial nominating commission also put forth Marcy Glenn, a partner at the Denver office of the law firm Holland & Hart, and Pattie P. Swift, an Alamosa judge experienced in water law, as choices for Hickenlooper.

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Colorado Gives Day: Help Provide Justice for All https://www.legalaidfoundation.org/colorado-gives-day-help-provide-justice-for-all/ https://www.legalaidfoundation.org/colorado-gives-day-help-provide-justice-for-all/#respond Tue, 05 Dec 2017 18:23:44 +0000 https://www.legalaidfoundation.org/?p=918 It’s Colorado Gives Day today, and you can make a big difference for some of the least fortunate and most vulnerable members of our community by supporting Legal Aid. Donate here to help ensure that low-income Coloradans are not left to face serious civil legal problems alone.

Contributions to the Legal Aid Foundation help support Colorado Legal Services (CLS), which provides free legal services to over 10,000 Coloradans every year, giving priority to the poor, elderly and disabled in greatest economic and social need. Unfortunately, for every client served by CLS, at least one income-eligible client is turned away because of inadequate resources.  CLS has only 50 lawyers statewide to serve nearly 800,000 income-eligible Coloradans.  By comparison, there are nearly 500 public defenders in the state to serve the indigent in serious criminal matters.

As lawyers, we know first-hand the value and necessity of quality legal representation when faced with a potentially life-changing legal problem. This is especially true of low income individuals and families, whose basic survival may depend on being able to stay in their home, protect themselves from abuse or exploitation, or secure food and necessary health care.

Making a Colorado Gives Day donation is quick and easy, and all donations made today will receive a proportional “boost” from a $1 Million Incentive Fund.  Please join lawyers from around the state today in helping Colorado move closer to fulfilling the promise of “justice for all.”

—– See full article appearing in Legal Connection here.

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Access to Justice Heroes https://www.legalaidfoundation.org/access-to-justice-heroes-diana-poole-and-jon-asher/ https://www.legalaidfoundation.org/access-to-justice-heroes-diana-poole-and-jon-asher/#respond Sun, 15 Oct 2017 16:46:25 +0000 https://www.legalaidfoundation.org/?p=930 The CBA President’s Message in the October 2017 edition of the Colorado Lawyer profiled Legal Aid Foundation Executive Director Diana Poole and Colorado Legal Services Executive Director Jon Asher.

Read the article here.

 

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2017-18 Campaign for Justice Success https://www.legalaidfoundation.org/record-support-for-legal-aid-3/ https://www.legalaidfoundation.org/record-support-for-legal-aid-3/#respond Mon, 17 Jul 2017 21:58:40 +0000 https://www.legalaidfoundation.org/?p=897 Lawyers and law firms from across the state came together to raise nearly $2 million in the Legal Aid Foundation’s annual fundraising drive for Colorado Legal Services. The funds will be used to provide necessary legal assistance in serious civil matters for Coloradans who cannot afford counsel.

The ongoing success of the Legal Aid Foundation’s annual campaign is a direct result of the enduring commitment of the Colorado legal community to improving access to our civil justice system. This year, law firm giving accounted for 61 percent of the total amount raised, with 117 donor firms giving at the Leadership Level of $450 Colorado per lawyer in the firm. Donations from individual lawyers reached a record level as well.

“The response this year was particularly gratifying in light of the current threat to federal funding for civil legal aid,” said Legal Aid Foundation Executive Director Diana Poole. “Private support has never been more important to ensure that the most critical legal needs of low-income Coloradans do not go unattended.

Colorado Legal Services provides legal representation and advice through a network of 13 offices around the state, as well as easy-to-understand, online self-help information and state-of-the-art interactive forms for use in civil proceedings.

About the Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado
The Legal Aid Foundation is the fundraising arm of Colorado Legal Services, which provides free legal assistance to low-income Coloradans who are facing serious civil legal problems.

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Real Stories of Legal Aid in Colorado https://www.legalaidfoundation.org/real-stories-of-legal-aid-in-colorado/ https://www.legalaidfoundation.org/real-stories-of-legal-aid-in-colorado/#respond Fri, 05 May 2017 21:48:09 +0000 https://www.legalaidfoundation.org/?p=896 Supporting access to justice is an investment in people. These stories of six CLS clients included in the Denver Bar Association’s June edition of The Docket illustrate the lifeline that legal aid represents for families who desperately need help navigating the legal process. Without the continuation of this vital assistance, thousands of Coloradans will be denied the equal access to justice that is fundamental to our democracy. 

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Colorado Legal Services (CLS), our statewide, staffed civil legal aid program, is the backbone of Colorado’s legal aid delivery system, and 40 percent of its annual budget comes from the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). Even at current funding levels, CLS is forced to turn away at least one income-eligible person for every person it is able to serve as a result of inadequate resources. If Congress approves the proposed elimination of federal funding for legal aid, the problem will get much worse.

Through a network of 13 offices across the state, CLS provides free legal services to more than 10,000 Coloradans a year: victims of domestic violence, families facing foreclosure or eviction, veterans seeking lawful benefits, seniors, and people with disabilities. CLS also plays a vital role in supporting pro bono programs across the state by screening cases and training private attorneys, many of whom have limited experience in the kinds of civil problems experienced by low-income Coloradans.

Real Stories of Legal Aid in Colorado

Supporting access to justice is an investment in people. The following stories of six CLS clients illustrate the lifeline that legal aid represents for families who desperately need help navigating the legal process. Without the continuation of this vital assistance, thousands of Coloradans will be denied the equal access to justice that is fundamental to our democracy.

Cancer Patient Facing Eviction

For many people dealing with housing issues, legal aid is the difference between keeping their homes and being forced onto the street. CLS recently assisted a client in the final stage of terminal cancer who had fallen behind on her rent because she had not received her Social Security benefits in a timely manner. Due to her illness, she was unable to appear in court to defend herself in the eviction proceedings and was being forced out of her apartment despite only having a matter of weeks or months to live. CLS’s Homeless Prevention Unit in Denver got involved and was able to successfully negotiate with the landlord to dismiss the eviction judgment and vacate the writ of restitution. This enabled the client to stay in her home for the remainder of her life.

Abuse Victim Seeking to Escape Dangerous Marriage

Legal aid reduces domestic violence by helping victims escape violent situations and achieve independence. CLS’s Grand Junction office assisted a woman who suffered second- and third-degree burns over a large portion of her body when her husband of nine years threw fuel around her legs and feet in anger and set her on fire. The woman underwent a lengthy series of treatments followed by daily visits from a homecare nurse and was unable to work for three months. CLS helped her obtain a permanent civil protection order and divorce from this abusive and dangerous man, who is also being prosecuted for his crimes.

Grandparents at Risk of Losing Their Family and Mobile Home

Legal assistance can also help keep families together. CLS’s Colorado Springs office assisted a couple who had lived in a purported age “55 and older” mobile home park since 1990. In 2016, they sought temporary custody of their grandchildren following a finding of parental neglect. When the grandparents informed the mobile home park owners that their grandchildren were moving in with them, the mobile home park initiated an eviction proceeding. The threat of eviction was even more devastating for the couple because the mobile home they owned was too old to be moved to another park. After unsuccessfully trying to negotiate a resolution, the couple sought help from legal aid in filing a lawsuit against the mobile home park in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, alleging violations of the federal Fair Housing Act’s prohibition on discriminatory housing practices based on familial status. During the early stages of the litigation, and after the federal magistrate chastised the park’s owners in open court, a settlement was reached that allowed the grandparents to remain in the mobile home park with their grandchildren.

Disabled Woman Abandoned and in Need of Home Health Care

With the assistance of legal aid, individuals with disabilities are able to secure necessary home health care benefits so they can continue living independently. A disabled woman sought help from CLS’s La Junta office when her husband and in-home caretaker abandoned her. Her husband had taken her to a doctor’s appointment and then never returned to pick her up, taking her motorized wheelchair with him. Eventually it became clear that it was his intent to leave the marriage and their together life in Colorado. The woman was heartbroken by her husband’s sudden abandonment and desperately needed assistance to meet her multiple medical needs. With the help of legal aid, she was able to find new home health care services and obtain a divorce.

Veteran Harmed by Illegal Employment Practices

Legal aid can also help hold employers accountable when they engage in illegal behavior. A veteran sought assistance from CLS’s Grand Junction office after being told by a prospective employer that Americans need not apply because the employer was bringing in low-paid “H2A” employees from South Africa. The law allows for the employment of foreign workers only if there are no U.S. citizens willing to do the job. CLS represented the veteran and brought a suit against the company and the company’s employment recruiter for employment discrimination with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, EEOC and ultimately in federal court. CLS was able to secure a favorable monetary settlement for the ex-marine and convinced the recruiting company to change its practices in positive ways that should protect other U.S. citizen workers in the future.

Woman Threatened with Foreclosure Following Ex-husband’s Bankruptcy

Individuals unable to navigate complicated legal processes on their own often seek help from legal aid. The CLS Consumer Unit in Denver recently assisted a woman who was facing foreclosure as a result of her ex-husband’s bankruptcy filing. She and her ex-husband had owned the home jointly, and he had transferred his interest in their home to her, via a quitclaim deed, as part of their divorce. When her ex-husband later filed for bankruptcy, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee took the position that the conveyance of the house by her ex-husband to her for no consideration was fraudulent and demanded she submit $40,000 in equity in the house to the court. The client was terrified and unsure how to handle the situation, so she did not respond to the demand and the trustee ultimately filed an adversary proceeding against her in bankruptcy court. CLS defended the client arguing that the transfer did not meet the definition of a fraudulent conveyance and provided the trustee’s counsel with documentation showing substantial consideration for the transfer. The adversary proceeding was dismissed, and the client did not lose her home.

Conclusion

These stories vividly illustrate the value of legal aid, not only for those who receive services, but for all of us who believe that people should not be denied the rights and protections afforded by the law simply because they can’t afford counsel.

Read the entire article here.

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Record-Breaking 2017 Associates Campaign https://www.legalaidfoundation.org/record-breaking-2017-associates-campaign/ https://www.legalaidfoundation.org/record-breaking-2017-associates-campaign/#respond Thu, 06 Apr 2017 16:00:15 +0000 http://www.legalaidfoundation.org/?p=882 The 2017 Associates Campaign raised nearly $164,000 for legal aid during the month of March. This annual effort, led entirely by young lawyers, helps ensure access to civil justice for those who might otherwise go without.

Over 1,200 members of the legal community from 57 firms contributed and it’s virtually impossible to overstate the importance of this kind of support at this moment in history, given the threatened elimination of federal funding for legal aid. This was the 13th year that young lawyers have demonstrated their commitment and leadership through the Associates Campaign.

A Ceremony will be held on Wednesday, May 17th at the Colorado Bar Association, where all participating firms will be recognized and awards will be presented by Colorado Supreme Court Justice Will Hood.

Here are a few highlights from the 2017 Associates Campaign:

  • 87 percent of all associates made a donation
  • 35 firms achieved 100 percent associate participation
  • 105 more donors this year
  • $28,144 more was raised this year

And while all participating firms are winners in this profound achievement, here are the results of the competitive aspects of the Campaign:

Associate Per Capita Gift Winners

Larger firms:                     Davis Graham & Stubbs

Mid-Size firms:                Husch Blackwell

Smaller firms:                   Reilly Pozner

Non-Associate Total Winners

Larger firms:                     Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Mid-Size firms:                Dorsey & Whitney

Smaller firms:                   Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer

100 Percent Associate Participation Firms:

Akerman

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer

Ballard Spahr

Bartlit Beck

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Burg Simpson

Cooley

Davis Graham & Stubbs

Dentons

Faegre Baker Daniels

Fennemore Craig

Foster Graham

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

Haddon Morgan Foreman

Hoffman Crews

Hogan Lovells

Husch Blackwell

Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe

Jackson Kelly

Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell

Keating Wagner Polidori Free

Koenig Oelsner Taylor Schoenfeld & Gaddis

Kutak Rock

Merchant & Gould

Otten Johnson

Polsinelli

Reilly Pozner

Rollin Braswell Fischer

Ryley Carlock & Applewhite

Sheridan Ross

Sherman & Howard

Silver & Deboskey

Snell & Wilmer

Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell

WilmerHale

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