The Colorado Bar Association’s Podcast

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Stairway to ATJ - Diversity and Justice

How does race impact access to justice? In our second installment of Stairway to ATJ, we explore how race affects a person’s access to and experience with the legal system. Carey Degenaro kicks this episode off by introducing us to the COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project, an organization tackling the eviction crisis and in need of volunteers. Co-hosts, Mia Kontnik and Anthony Pereira, have a compelling conversation with Jes Jones, criminal defense attorney and core organizer for the Colorado chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and Allison Neswood, Deputy Director of Strategic Priorities for the Colorado Center on Law and Policy. Together, we break down how access to justice is connected with diversity, equity, and inclusivity, digging into the structural barriers facing communities in the realms of criminal justice, health care, and public benefits. Jes and Allison share heart-felt stories of perseverance and success.

In this week’s wrap, Eyes on ATJ, we discuss efforts to enhance diversity on the bench, the disproportionate impact of COVID on communities of color, and the ABA’s 21-day racial equity challenge.

If you have a topic you would like to hear about or a program we should highlight, please email us at ATJPodcast@cobar.org.

Modern Law Revolution - The Wonders of Unbundling - 3 of 3

In the final installment of our three-part series on billing, Erika Holmes and guest host, Lauren Lester, take a deep dive into unbundling. Special guests, Amy Skogerson and Andrea McGinn of Iowa, walk us through the inspiration for their 100% unbundled practice, The Law Shop, and the freedom that unbundled legal services has brought to their clients and the freedom and work-life balance it has brought to them.  

Gettin Legal With It - Tanya Sevy

What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you first started out? Denver civil litigation attorney, Tanya Sevy, gives practical advice on how keeping an open mind can get you to your dream job a lot faster than tunnel vision. From her clerkship with Judge Ross B.H. Buchanan to her current position as a member of the Trial Section at Moye White, Tanya details her career path, highlights her clerkship, and walks us through the day to day of a civil litigation attorney.  

Gettin Legal With It - Laura Wolf - Careers in Civil Rights

Sometimes law schools have a difficult time helping students find their career path. Laura Wolf knew that she wanted to work in civil rights but wasn’t quite sure how to get there. After extensive research in the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary, she landed a federal clerkship with Judge R. Brooke Jack­son. From there she worked for prominent Denver civil rights firm Rathod Mohamedbhai where she became Partner. Now she has co-founded Wolf Guevara LLC where she is “committed to ensuring that each and every person in our community is afforded the right to dignity, equity, and opportunity.” Laura has also founded Spark Justice Careers  where she helps individuals on their path to careers in civil rights. Laura Wolf is the 2020 recipient of the prestigious Gary McPherson Outstanding Young Lawyer award which recognizes a young Colorado lawyer for his or her outstanding contributions to the legal profession and the community.

Stairway to A.T.J. - First Episode

How has access to justice been affected by COVID-19 and the virtual world we find ourselves in? The inaugural episode of Stairway to ATJ focuses on virtual Access to Justice. Jenny Wherry is featured in the Pro Bono Corner and describes Alpine Legal Services’ success with their new ask-a-lawyer hotline. She also puts out the call for Spanish-speaking lawyers! Co-hosts Mia and Anthony sit down with Jennifer Levin from Disability Law Colorado and Sara Price with Frazer-Abel Law. Jennifer tells us about the confusion and difficulty families are facing in trying to obtain appropriate accommodations in this virtual world we are all trying to navigate. Jennifer also shares how Colorado is ahead of the curve in many ways when it comes to ensuring equity in voting. Sara walks us through the day to day realities of lawyering in a virtual world, and provides some perspective on new remote notarization laws. The episode wraps up with Eyes on ATJ, where Mia and Anthony discuss important and enduring access to justice issues. They discuss the effect interest rates have on legal aid, the brewing evictions storm, and legal deserts across the country and right here in Colorado. 

Please click here for the ABA Profile of the Legal Profession including a new chapter on legal deserts discussed in Eyes on ATJ. If you have a topic you would like to hear about or have a program or issue you want to discuss on Stairway to ATJ please email us at ATJPodcast@cobar.org.

Gettin’ Legal With It - Raquel Hernandez - National Coming Out Day Special Episode

Please Note: This episode contains a detailed description of one person’s journey to coming out as LGBTQ. Part of that story depicts an episode of bullying which includes offensive language. The CBA does not condone the use of this language; however, we have not edited it out in an effort to remain true to this personal story.

What role does a lawyer have in social justice? A significant one. Not only are attorneys able to effectuate change, but they can also help educate and empower non-lawyers to speak for themselves. As a family law attorney, Raquel Hernandez has been on the front lines in the battle for LGBTQ rights and marriage equality. In honor of National Coming Out Day (October 11), we are proud to bring you Raquel’s personal parallel journeys to becoming an attorney and to understanding her identity as bisexual.

If you are interested in connecting with other out attorneys, contact the Colorado LGBT Bar Association. If are questioning your sexuality and are looking for assistance, please contact the Colorado Lawyer Assistance Program (COLAP) at 303-986-3345 or the LGBT National Helpline at 888-843-4564

Modern Law Revolution - Alternative Billing - Part 2 of 3

60% of civil litigants in Colorado appear without representation. By using alternative billing practices, you can tap into this huge market. But does alternative billing work? Is it a profitable model? In a word, yes. Alternative billing may be a lawyer-driven change, but it addresses a client-driven necessity. In this second installment on our three-part series Revolutionizing Your Billing, our friend Bob Glaves from the Chicago Bar Association returns to add to our discussion this week as we tackle new and emerging trends in billing such as unbundled, flat fee, fixed fee, sliding scale, subscription billing, and hybrid models. Get off the billable hour treadmill and discover a better way to run your practice!

Gettin’ Legal With It - Philip Nickerson

It’s amazing the things you can discover at a lunch and learn. Philip Nickerson had his sights set on B2B sports marketing, but while studying the business of sports at Baylor, he became interested in negotiating principles which led to his aha moment – what about law school? Now Philip has recently concluded his two-year federal clerkship for Judge S. Kato Crews where he was the only black clerk. Discover what brought him to this amazing experience and hear his advice for other attorneys of color who may be seeking clerkships or even just looking for mentors. For more information about federal clerkships and open positions, check out oscar.uscourts.gov

Modern Law Revolution - Evils of the Billable Hour - Pt 1 of 3

This week the MLR focuses on revolutionizing your billing practices. In this first installment of a three-part series, we tackle the evils of the billable hour. Feel like you're on a treadmill working against your own efficiency instead of having it rewarded? Tired of living your life in six-minute increments? Tired of focusing on the business of law instead of the practice of law? Don’t let the billable hour drive you away from your profession. The billable hour, by its nature, puts attorneys at conflict with their clients. Clients want problems to be solved as quickly as possible, but the billable hour removes a lawyer’s motivation for an expeditious resolution. Well, we are here to tell you that there’s a better way. As Executive Director of The Chicago Bar Foundation, Bob Glaves is responsible for leading and overseeing the CBF’s work that brings Chicago’s legal community together to improve access to justice for people in need and to make the legal system more fair and efficient for everyone. Hear him discuss the pitfalls of the billable hour and the ways out of its trap with hosts Erika Holmes and JP Box.

And look out for our next two installments where we will examine alternate billing models and take a deep dive into unbundling.

Gettin’ Legal With It - Nick Troxel

Much of the stress that law students feel comes from the notion that they must have every step of their journey figured out. A theme of our show is hearing from successful attorneys who all seem to say a variation on the same thing: let that go. As a mentor once told our guest Nicholas Troxel, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” (One of host Kevin Cheney’s new favorite quotes btw) Being open to course-changing opportunities is key to finding your niche. Nick had made up his mind that he was going to law school in Los Angeles, but then he came over the hill and saw Boulder for the first time and decided CU was where he belonged. But one decision made early on has stuck – Nick is a born entrepreneur. He knew he wanted to found his own firm. Today he is co-founder of Troxel Fitch, LLC. In this episode, Nick gets down into the details of what’s entailed when striking out on your own in the legal world.

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