s a Seattle native who moved from California to Washington DC to Colorado, I took a different path into becoming a lawyer. I first decided to become a lawyer when I was working with autistic children as a behavioral therapist and noticed that some families received more funding and hours than others. This was because these families had an attorney who knew how to work the system. I saw the direct impact that an attorney could have on a family’s life and I knew from then on that I wanted to be an attorney.
Special needs, special education and family law were all categories that interested me but as a young attorney, it can be difficult to learn all of the different specialties. I began interning with Metro Volunteer Lawyers a few months after passing the bar and joining the Colorado Bar Association, which has helped me learn about family law through free CLEs, the court process of filing a divorce or APR, and elder law, estate planning, and probate. After a couple months, the opportunity to become a Rovira Scholar appeared and I took it!
The Rovira Scholar is a fellowship position made possible by a generous gift from Lois Ann Rovira, in memory and honor of her husband, the late Honorable Colorado Supreme Court Justice, Luis Rovira. The goal of the fellowship is to enhance the overall understanding of the complex and unique legal challenges presented in pro bono public service through the early training and professional development of outstanding law school graduates. The fellowship position is a minimum 60-month commitment and is awarded annually.
I am extremely grateful to Lois Ann Rovira for this amazing experience. Not only has MVL and the Rovira scholarship given me immense help in my practice area by providing me with the opportunity to learn, represent clients in court and gain a mentor, it has been personally rewarding and allowed me to be proud of the work I do. MVL helps people in need at one of the most stressful times of their lives — I feel like a superhero because I am helping a person out of a difficult situation.
My fellowship has been incredibly rewarding. I get to help people who do not understand their rights. Some of this work includes helping with the Post-Decree Clinic (people who have gotten divorced or APR), Family Law Court Program, Power of Attorney Clinic, and the Denver Indian Center Clinic. The access to pro-bono work that has been provided through being a Rovira Scholar is the perfect way to give back to the community, especially for a young attorney.
MVL offers several opportunities to volunteer at different comfort levels and levels of involvement. Through MVL and the Rovira Scholarship, I have received more experiential learning opportunities and networking possibilities with attorneys, magistrates, judges and school boards than I could have imagined. Both will be an asset as I continue my legal career. I feel as though the Rovira Scholarship has helped me grow immensely and I look forward to continuing my work with MVL in the future. D