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Welcome to Metro Volunteer Lawyers


Co-sponsored by the following Bar Associations: Adams/Broomfield, Arapahoe, Denver, Douglas/Elbert, and First Judicial District

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.”

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Welcome to Metro Volunteer Lawyers

Co-sponsored by the following Bar Associations: Adams/Broomfield, Arapahoe, Denver, Douglas/Elbert, and First Judicial District

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.”

DONATE"I Need Help"Volunteer


Contact

 

Our Programs

Metro Volunteer Lawyers provides free and low-cost civil legal services through multiple programs: Referrals, the Family Law Court Program, Post-Decree Clinics, the Legal Clinic at the Denver Indian Center, and the Rovira Scholar.

A.  Referrals

MVL recruits and coordinates volunteer attorneys to represent people who otherwise could not afford legal assistance. Colorado Legal Services handles the initial client intake process and sends selected cases to MVL for referral.

 

MVL recruits and coordinates volunteer attorneys to represent people who otherwise could not afford legal assistance. Colorado Legal Services handles the initial client intake process and then sends selected cases to MVL for referral. You can contact Colorado Legal Services by calling 303-837-1313. Once a potential client has completed an intake through Colorado Legal Services and has been accepted into our Referral program, MVL's Legal Services Coordinator further reviews the file and begins contacting volunteer attorneys to try and place the case.

Although we will exercise every effort to do so, MVL offers no guarantee that we will successfully find an attorney to take your case.

MVL refers the following types of civil cases to volunteers on a pro bono (free) or low-fee basis:

  • Adoption
  • Bankruptcy (only low-fee, no pro bono)
  • Conservatorships/Guardianships (To provide for the protection and oversight of people who cannot care for themselves or their affairs because of their age (children or the elderly) or conditions that affect their ability to think and act for themselves (such as Alzheimer's, etc.)
  • Consumer Debt (such as: car repossessions, contracts/warranties, miscellaneous debt collection matters)
  • Domestic/Family Law, both through the Family Law Court Program and otherwise.
    • Divorce (Dissolution of Marriage)
    • Custody (Allocation of Parental Responsibilities)
    • On a very limited basis, "post-decree" matters arising after divorces, such as enforcing parental responsibility rights (also sometimes called "custody"), parenting time (also sometimes called "visitation"), or child support orders
    • Protection orders for victims of domestic violence
  • Estate planning
    • Wills
    • Living wills
    • Power of Attorney
    • Trusts
  • Immigration ( in cooperation with Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network)
    • Appeals of denials of residency
    • Political asylum
    • Representation of inmates at the INS ("Wackenhut") Detention Center
  • Landlord/Tenant
    • Wrongful Evictions
    • Security deposit disputes
    • Mobile home issues
  • Probate
  • Will contests
  • Mental health issues
  • Real estate (for matters such as: fraudulent transfers, property line disputes, HOA disputes)
  • Social Security Disability- Denial of benefits claims and Continuing Disability Reviews
  • Tax (such as innocent spouse or audit issues)
  • Tort Defense (such as uninsured motorists sued for personal injuries or property damage caused in accidents) If you believe you have a tort claim, you should look for an attorney who will help you on a contingency fee basis.

We are unable to accept criminal cases of any kind.

B.  Family Law Court Program

The vast majority of the clients served by MVL need assistance with their domestic relations cases. Therefore, in an effort to accommodate as many people as possible, MVL developed its Family Law Court Program (“FLCP”). We coordinate and manage monthly FLCP clinics in Douglas, Denver, Adams, Arapahoe, and Jefferson counties.

FLCP Schedule and Sign-Up Sheet Now Available! Sign-up Now!


MVL’s Family Law Court Program (“FLCP”) assists clients with uncomplicated, uncontested divorce or custody matters, where the other party is not represented by an attorney. FLCP clients represent themselves, appearing pro se, but are assisted through the process by MVL. Clinics take place each month in Douglas, Denver, Adams, Arapahoe, and Jefferson counties. The program accepts approximately 500 clients per year!

FLCP clients are all people who have previously contacted and conducted an intake interview through Colorado Legal Services. You can contact Colorado Legal Services by calling 303-837-1313.

The general FLCP process is as follows: Step 1: In order to be considered for FLCP, you must first apply to Colorado Legal Services through its regular intake process. Colorado Legal Services will determine if the case is appropriate for FLCP, and if so, refer the case to the program. You will be notified whether your case was sent to Metro Volunteer Lawyers (“MVL”), and then MVL will inform you whether or not you have been accepted into the program. Step 2: If accepted into FLCP, you will be notified about the date, time, and place of your first appointment. On this date, you will be assisted with completing the legal documents necessary to initiate your family law case. An MVL staff member, volunteer attorney, law student, or other legal professional will be there to guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have. The documents necessary to initiate your case will vary, but typically include a Statement of Understanding, a Motion to Waive the Filing Fee, a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or Allocation of Parental Responsibility, a Sworn Financial Statement, and a Service of Process questionnaire.

 

Accepted FLCP clients prepare their petitions with the help of an MVL staff member, volunteer attorney, law student, or other legal professional.

Step 3: MVL will then file your case for you and arrange personal service on the opposing party. Service of process is typically done by a private process server or a sheriff. If the opposing party lives in Colorado, you will be asked to bring a money order in the amount of $55 to cover administrative costs. If the opposing party lives outside of Colorado, the amount is $75. If you cannot afford this fee, we encourage you to attend the appointment nonetheless. Once the opposing party has been served, MVL will then schedule your case for a Permanent Orders hearing (this is the hearing where a divorce judgment will enter, and where allocation of parental responsibilities will be decided). If the opposing party cannot be served despite substantial effort, MVL will assist you with serving by publication. Although undesirable because service by publication limits the orders a court can make, at times it is the only option to move the case forward. At least 91 days must pass after service of process before the case can be heard. Once scheduled, MVL will notify you of the date and time of the Permanent Orders hearing, as well as send the opposing party notice. Step 4: On the date of your Permanent Orders hearing, you will come to the court and meet with a volunteer attorney. You and the attorney will prepare the final paperwork required for your hearing. This will include assisting you with completing the applicable proposed orders that will be submitted to the judge at the hearing. This attorney will further prepare you for the hearing, and then represent you during the actual hearing. After hearing the case, the judge will typically enter permanent orders immediately. Your volunteer attorney will represent you solely for the duration of the hearing, and once it has concluded, he or she will be withdrawn from the case. Afterwards, you will receive a copy of the final divorce decree and/or permanent orders. MVL’s involvement in your case will then be complete. You may still, however, re-apply to Colorado Legal Services in the future if you are in need of legal assistance and unable to afford an attorney. I want to volunteer for FLCP! Download the 2016 FLCP Schedule and Sign-Up Form HERE. See also our page for volunteers for additional information.

C.  Post-Decree Clinics

MVL also coordinates and manages Post-Decree Clinics for domestic relations cases in Adams, Arapahoe, Denver, and Jefferson counties. The Post-Decree Clinics assist individuals with legal problems that arise after Permanent Orders have been entered in a Dissolution of Marriage or Allocation of Parental Responsibilities case.

Metro Volunteer Lawyers coordinates and manages Post-Decree Clinics for domestic relations cases in Adams, Arapahoe, Denver, and Jefferson counties. The Post-Decree Clinics are NOT walk-in clinics. The clients are all people who have previously contacted and conducted an intake interview through Colorado Legal Services. You can contact Colorado Legal Services by calling 303-837-1313. 

 Eligible clients are referred to MVL if they meet MVL's financial eligibility guidelines and if their case was heard in any of the counties listed above. These clinics are meant to assist pro se individuals with legal problems that arise AFTER Permanent Orders have been entered in a Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) or Allocation of Parental Responsibilities (Custody) case. At the clinic, volunteers review the client's court files, meet with the client, offer advice, and at times prepare relevant motions, pleadings, and/or proposed orders. The main goal of the clinic is to provide meaningful post-decree assistance for people who are representing themselves in ongoing litigation. The attorneys simply advise the clients regarding the limited scope of representation and indicate on each document they produce for the clients that they have assisted with the preparation of those documents. To read an article about MVL's Post-Decree Clinics, click HERE.

Post Decree Clinic Schedule

Jefferson County

100 Jefferson County Pkwy, Golden, CO 80401
Jury Assembly Room – 1st Floor
(9AM-noon)

January 13 Polidori, Franklin, Monahan & Beattie, LLC
February 10 Pelegrin & Radeff, pc
March 10 Smith & Cook LLC
April 14 Polidori, Franklin, Monahan & Beattie, LLC
May 12 Pelegrin & Radeff, pc
June 9 Smith & Cook LLC
July 14 Polidori, Franklin, Monahan & Beattie, LLC
August 11 Pelegrin & Radeff, pc
September 8 Smith & Cook LLC
October 13 Polidori, Franklin, Monahan & Beattie, LLC
November 17 Pelegrin & Radeff, pc
December 8 Smith & Cook LLC

Denver

1437 Bannock St, Denver, CO 80202
Room 431
(1:00-5PM)

January 24 Faegre, Baker, Daniels LLP; Denver attorneys
February 28 Denver attorneys
March 28 Faegre, Baker, Daniels LLP; Denver attorneys
April 25 Denver attorneys
May 23 Faegre, Baker, Daniels LLP; Denver attorneys
June 27 Denver attorneys
July 25 Faegre, Baker, Daniels LLP; Denver attorneys
August 22 Denver attorneys
September 26 Faegre, Baker, Daniels LLP; Denver attorneys
October 24 Denver attorneys
November 28 Faegre, Baker, Daniels LLP; Denver attorneys
December 19 Denver attorneys

Adams County

1100 Judicial Center Dr, Brighton, CO 80601
In training room next to self-help center
(9AM-noon)

Colorado Office of the Attorney General
February 17
April 21
June 16
August 18
October 20
December 15

Arapahoe County

7325 S Potomac St, Englewood, CO 80112
In Self-Help Center in Building 2
(9AM-noon)

Colorado Office of the Attorney General
January 26
March 23
May 25
July 27
September 28
November 16

D.  Legal Clinic at the Denver Indian Center

MVL began working in the spring of 2012 with the Denver Indian Center to provide a walk-in clinic each month. The clinic meets in the Denver Indian Center on the first Wednesday of every month. Metro Volunteer Lawyers sponsors and coordinates volunteers for the clinic.

D.  Power of Attorney Workshop

The Power of Attorney Workshop’s goal is to provide advanced planning documents to low-income clients, with a focus on serving low-income seniors. Volunteer attorneys assist clients with financial powers of attorney, medical powers of attorney, and living wills.

“The first duty of society is justice.” –Alexander Hamilton

make an IMPACT

By becoming involved with Metro Volunteer Lawyers, you can assist
those in need while helping shape your profession’s future.

In many cases, lawyers can identify and resolve legal issues without going to court or can resolve court cases more efficiently and fairly than persons representing themselves. The provision of legal services helps stabilize families, saves taxpayers money, reduces the number of cases clogging the courts, and helps people move toward self-sufficiency and full participation in society.

MVL is in need of volunteer attorneys to take pro bono and low-fee cases (volunteer online). We are also in need of volunteer attorneys, law students, and paralegals for our Family Law Court Program (FLCP volunteer form). MVL even offers attorneys the ability to take on a case with the assistance of a Mentor or Mentee (download the Mentoring sign-up form HERE). See individual forms on how to easily submit them. Please encourage others to join you in volunteering with MVL!

Contact Information for Attorneys and Volunteers:
METRO VOLUNTEER LAWYERS
1905 Sherman St, Suite 400
Denver, CO 80203
Tel: 303-830-8210
Fax: 303-837-0019
Email: information@denbar.org

Reasons to Volunteer with MVL:

  • Helping MVL clients is a rewarding way to serve the needs of the less fortunate in your community, helping work towards our constitutional mandate of providing equal justice under the law.
  • Advancing the reputation of the legal profession.
  • Obtaining practical legal experience.
  • Fulfilling your professional responsibility to provide legal services to those unable to pay. A lawyer should aspire to render at least fifty hours of pro bono public legal services per year. Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 6.1.
  • You can receive CLE credits for pro bono work. Under C.R.C.P. 260.8, Colorado attorneys providing uncompensated pro bono legal representation may apply for 1 general CLE credit for every 5 billable-equivalent hours of representation, up to a maximum of 9 credits in each 3 year compliance period. Download the application form HERE.
  • MVL provides attorneys with malpractice insurance for the cases they take through our organization.

Taking a Case:

Once you sign-up to take on a case pro bono or low-fee, we will try to provide you with a case that fits your criteria (case type, county preference, etc.). Once we identify an appropriate case for you, we will send you the client’s intake documentation. The client will also receive a letter with your contact information, with a recommendation that he or she contact you. We inform the client that it is not guaranteed that you will take the case, as a conflict of interest, for example, could occur. The decision whether you can and will take the case remains with you.

If you cannot represent a prospective client, we ask that you let us know as soon as possible so we can try to find another attorney for the client, as well as hopefully provide you with a new case. If you are able to take the case, we recommend having the client sign a Letter of Engagement (click HERE for a sample), describing, in part, the scope of representation and the expectations of the parties.

After your representation comes to an end, it is important that you return a completed Case Summary Form to MVL at your earliest convenience. See our Referrals page for more.

Volunteering with FLCP:

Volunteering with MVL’s Family Law Court Program is a tremendous way to assist clients for one morning and/or afternoon, without agreeing to take on a case full-on. You can even sign-up just to observe until you are comfortable enough to provide legal assistance. You have the option to sign-up for a Client Meeting date or a Permanent Orders hearing date, which take place in Adams, Arapahoe, Douglas, Denver, and Jefferson counties. Even signing up for just one day a month provides so much support to MVL and its clients.

At Client Meetings, a group of typically 10-20 clients come in to fill-out the forms necessary to initiate their family law case. Volunteer attorneys are critical to help the clients through this process, answering questions and offering advice when needed. At Permanent Orders, volunteer attorneys are assigned a client that morning. The attorney meets with the client to help complete the final forms that will be submitted to the judge, and then actually appears with the client before the judge. The attorney is even provided with a sample script for the hearing to help make the process as easy and low stress as possible. All the applicable forms will be provided to the attorney by the FLCP Coordinator. At both Client Meetings and Permanent Orders, the FLCP Coordinator and other attorneys are present to provide you with any needed guidance or assistance. Even if you have limited or no knowledge of family law, we still encourage you to participate in FLCP. You will be surprised by how much help you can provide! Law students and paralegals are also welcome to volunteer for this program.

See our Family Law Court Program page for more details.

Retired Attorneys and Attorneys Licensed Out-of-State:

You can still volunteer! Retired attorneys and attorneys with out-of state licenses can apply for a provisional license to work on pro bono cases in Colorado. Read the applicable rule HERE, and find the application form HERE.

Forms and Resources for Volunteers

MVL Volunteer Sign-Up Forms:

Instructions to Request Waiver of Filing Fees

Application for CLE credit for Pro Bono Representation

See the Colorado State Judicial Branch website for downloadable forms and instructions

Interested in getting support from law students for your pro bono work for MVL? Want to mentor law students? Believe in exposing students to the wonderful world of pro bono? Denver Law invites you to participate in its Pro Bono Research Project! Through the project, lawyers get the legal support they need while helping students fulfill their pro bono public service requirements. Visit the website or contact Alexi Freeman at afreeman@law.du.edu or 303-871-6788 for more information.

Buy the Colorado Family Law Deskbook with Forms (all proceeds are generously donated to Metro Volunteer Lawyers!)

Colorado Bar Association Pro Bono Opportunities and Rules (includes a valuable pro bono guidebook for attorneys)

Visit MVL’s client Resources page for valuable links to legal information

Review applicable sections of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure through Casemakerfor members of the CBA, or for anyone free through Lexis-Nexis. For example, Rules 10 and 11 provide important information regarding the form, content, and formatting of pleadings, and Rule 121 provides important practice standards.

Sign up to be a part of  the Colorado Supreme Court’s Pro Bono Recognition Program for those who commit to and/or achieve their goal of providing at least 50 hours of pro bono service each year.

Stay up-to-date on Denver Bar Association news and events, and read The Docket 

Stay up-to-date on Colorado Bar Association news and events, and read The Colorado Lawyer 

CBA/CLE Legal Connection (connecting you to the latest in Colorado law)

The Colorado Access to Justice Commission

SelfHelpSupport.org (supporting courts, community and legal aid self help practitioners)

The Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (providing others, in part, with the knowledge to advance a more accessible legal system)

 

 

Low Fee Domestic Attorneys in Jefferson County

Live Chat Assistance for Veterans, Service Members, and their Families

Colorado Department of Local Affairs Housing Guide

A Practical Guide to the Indian Child Welfare Act

National Organization for Women Foundation (links to family law and domestic violence benchbooks)

Juvenile Law Benchbook

Richard Zorza’s Access to Justice Blog

“There can be no equal justice where the kind of trial a man gets depends on the amount of money he has.” Justice Hugo Black

Denver Post Decree Clinics

The Denver dates in 2017 are: (1:00-5PM)

 

  • January 24 hosted by Faegre, Baker, Daniels LLP
  • February 28
  • March 28 hosted by Faegre, Baker, Daniels LLP
  • April 25
  • May 23 hosted by Faegre, Baker, Daniels LLP
  • June 27
  • July 25 hosted by Faegre, Baker, Daniels LLP
  • August 22
  • September 26 hosted by Faegre, Baker, Daniels LLP
  • October 24
  • November 28 hosted by Faegre, Baker, Daniels LLP
  • December 19

Resources

If Metro Volunteer Lawyers is unable to assist you, see below for a valuable list of resources. We wish you much success in resolving your legal issue.