Denver Bar Association
June 2011
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Remembering the Importance of Service: A Night at Mi Casa

by Kady Dodds


Mi Casa works to increase the
employability, education, and skills of Latinos and low-income families by providing programs in business, career, and youth and family development. Mi Casa also offers support services, such as Legal Night, which is hosted by the DBA Young Lawyers Division and the Colorado Lawyers Committee.
Photo courtesy of Mi Casa.
W


hen I recently volunteered with the DBA’s Young Lawyers Division for Legal Night at Mi Casa Resource Center, I was reminded of what an honor serving as a lawyer can be. Most lawyers I know joined the profession not only because they are good at arguing or find legal research and writing interesting but also because they enjoy helping others. Despite the lawyer jokes we all politely endure, the legal field essentially is about service—sharing our knowledge and skills with those who need them.

For years, DBA YLD, together with Arnold & Porter, the DBA Access to Justice Committee, and the Colorado Lawyers Committee, have hosted Legal Nights at Mi Casa and Centro San Juan Diego. These community centers help serve the needs of low-income families in the metro area. They are always in need of volunteer translators fluent in Spanish legal terms and lawyers of any experience level to help attendees identify their legal concerns and locate appropriate resources and information. Volunteer lawyers are not expected to bring specific legal knowledge to the table and do not give legal advice. The night I volunteered, the majority of attorneys beside me were not experts in family law, immigration law, or many of the other subjects that were at issue that night, but our general knowledge of the legal process proved helpful.

During my first volunteer experience, we arrived to a full gymnasium, and there were many who continued to wait patiently even after legal night officially ended. Hearing their questions in a very immediate and personal context inspired me to learn more about a number of legal subjects. As I sat with a mentor attorney and watched as family after family approached our table, eagerly accepted the direction and resources we provided, and graciously thanked us, I was reminded why being a lawyer can feel so good.

DBA YLD welcomes you to join us at the upcoming Legal Night at Mi Casa starting at 5:30 p.m. on June 21.

For more information about how to volunteer at Legal Night, please email JP Phillips at James.Phillips@hro.com.


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