Let’s Celebrate Pro Bono Week All Year


Who inspires you? Specifically, who inspires you to volunteer your time as an attorney? That is the Denver Bar Association’s Access to Justice Committee’s focus this year in celebrating National Pro Bono Week.

Officially, Pro Bono Week runs from Oct. 19 to 24, but the ATJ Committee has so many events to observe pro bono work and volunteerism that the celebration could not be contained to just one week.

The committee kicked off the celebration with an article in the September issue of The Colorado Lawyer, written by ATJ committee Co-Chair Noah Patterson and committee member Shelly Dill-Combs, entitled “Lawyers Embracing the Spirit of Pro Bono Publico.” The article outlines how two forward-thinking lawyers played significant roles in the foundation of modern-day pro bono publico efforts and truly inspired others.

On Wednesday, Oct.22, the ATJ Committee will put its own members to work manning the phones for LawLine 9—a program that has run for twenty-one years and provides valuable information and referral services to community members on various topics nearly every week of the year. The next day, at noon, several attorneys will participate on a panel at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law to discuss the benefits of providing pro bono work. The ATJ Committee members hope their enthusiasm for pro bono work will inspire such service in a new crop of lawyers.

The following week, on Thursday, Oct. 30, the DBA’s ATJ Committee is proud to present its headline event: a one-man performance by Judge Sandy Brook as Clarence Darrow, a play written by David Rintles (based on the book “Clarence Darrow for the Defense,” by Irving Stone). The show will be at Miners Alley Playhouse, 1224 Washington Avenue, in downtown Golden, at 7:30 p.m. It will run from Oct. 30 through Nov. 2, but the ATJ Committee will be hosting the special event on Thursday, Oct. 30 and invites lawyers to join committee members for drinks and networking at the playhouse before the show. We are lucky to be a part of this exciting event, which has had successful runs in Washington D.C., Indiana and Florida and is making its Colorado debut. For more information or to purchase tickets to the event, contact Miners Alley at 303-935-3044 or visit minersalley.com.

Judge Brook will be presenting a one-hour CLE co-sponsored by the DBA Access to Justice Committee and the Colorado Access to Justice Commission on Friday, Oct. 31, entitled, “How to Be a Modern Day Clarence Darrow in the Courtroom Without the Ethical Pitfalls.” The CLE-accredited program is intended to elaborate on the performance and allow for discussion about ethical issues and pro bono work. You do not need to attend the Oct. 30 performance to benefit from the CLE. The CLE will be held at 1900 Grant Street, third floor small classroom from noon to 1 p.m. and will cost only $10. One ethics CLE credit has been approved.

The Denver Bar Association’s Access to Justice Committee is proud to celebrate National Pro Bono Week and invites you to participate and become inspired to carry the spirit throughout the year. Should you have any questions about the events or the committee itself, please contact Co-Chairs Alison Daniels at adaniels@thelegalcenter.org or Noah Patterson at pattersonnoah@hotmail.com.


The ABA’s Pro Bono Celebration focuses the nation’s attention on the increased need for pro bono services during these challenging economic times and celebrates the outstanding work of lawyers who volunteer their services throughout the year. It is essential that the entire legal community engage in conversation and action that results in equal access to justice for all. The energy generated by the National Pro Bono Celebration is a powerful force that helps us build a just legal system. For more information visit probono.net/celebrateprobono.

By Alison Butler Daniels and Noah Patterson. Noah Patterson is an assistant attorney general at the Colorado Attorney General’s Office and a Co-Chair of the DBA Access to Justice Committee. Reach him at pattersonnoah@hotmail.com. Alison Butler Daniels is a Supervising Attorney at The Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People specializing in protecting the rights of people with disabilities. Reach her at adaniels@thelegalcenter.org.