What is the Barristers Benefit Ball and why should I consider going?
The Barristers Benefit Ball (BBB) is a celebration of pro bono work. It is an event put on annually by the Denver Bar Foundation, and 100 percent of the proceeds help fund Metro Volunteer Lawyers (MVL). MVL is a pro bono program collectively sponsored by the Adams/Broomfield, Arapahoe, Denver, Douglas/Elbert and First Judicial District Bar Associations. MVL’s mission is “to bridge the gap in access to justice by coordinating the provision of pro bono legal services by volunteer lawyers within the Denver Metro Area to people who could not otherwise afford legal services for their civil legal issues.” As well as a critical fundraiser for MVL, the BBB is a fun-filled evening that affords a unique opportunity to network and socialize with colleagues, bar association presidents, and judges.
What makes MVL special?
MVL was established in 1966 by a group of young lawyers. They called it the “Thursday Night Bar” because the founding attorneys met with clients every Thursday evening at the Legal Aid offices in Denver. The attorneys provided what help and advice they could in person on Thursday nights and then met the next morning to discuss clients’ matters and assign themselves cases that could not be completed during the Thursday night sessions. These lawyers’ efforts perpetuated a long tradition of volunteerism and public service by Colorado lawyers. The Thursday Night Bar was renamed in 1998 to reflect the program’s growth and expansion. MVL continues to operate out of Colorado Legal Services’ offices. The CBA still gets calls asking about the Thursday Night Bar, reflecting its longstanding popularity.
Why should I support MVL?
MVL recruits volunteers to represent a population of people who otherwise would not be able to afford legal assistance. MVL coordinates with Colorado Legal Services for the intake of cases. Over the years the program has grown and is constantly striving to serve a larger population. Today, in addition to matching clients with volunteers for their cases, MVL also runs the Family Law Court Program, Post-Decree Clinics, Power of Attorney Workshops and Legal Night at the Denver Indian Center. MVL is constantly extending its reach to increase the help it provides. The programs serve Adams, Arapahoe, Douglas, Jefferson and Denver counties. For more information and to sign up, visit denbar.org/mvl and its Facebook page.
MVL by the numbers:
In 2016, MVL referred 492 cases to attorneys, assisted 373 people through its family law court program, assisted 297 people through clinics and helped 53 elderly persons with power of attorney documents. This amounts to 1,215 people served, all with only three full-time and two part-time employees. Still, this positive impact cannot continue without your help. The BBB is MVL’s only fundraiser.
COME ONE, COME ALL: A Trip Around the World Awaits!
Whether you are a new lawyer, or a seasoned professional, come join us at the 2017 Barristers Benefit Ball. The Ball will be commemorating its 29th year with “Around the World” to celebrate our diverse cultures and heritage. Dress to celebrate an international culture. (Black-tie attire is optional).
We will be offering food from around the world during cocktail hour. A plated dinner followed by regional desserts will finish the night in style. We are excited to be joined by the Jerry Barnett Orchestra, which has a history of keeping us on the dance floor with tunes to please all generations.
All proceeds above the cost of the event go directly to MVL. There are a variety of ways for you or your firm to participate and help raise funds for this important cause. You can purchase a table for 10 or buy individual tickets. Sponsorship opportunities at the Silver, Gold and Platinum levels are also available. To become a sponsor, contact Melissa Nicoletti at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.
Even if you are unable to attend, we encourage you to purchase raffle tickets before the event for some fabulous prizes. You do not need to be present to win. A portion of your contributions are tax deductible. D
A special thanks goes to BBB Committee Chairs Kenzo Kawanabe and Jennifer Jaskolka, DBA President-elect Franz Hardy, MVL Director Toni-Anne Dasent, and Melissa Nicoletti.