CLS of Metro Denver Volunteer Opportunities 2011
CLS of Metro Denver Mentoring Program
The CLS Mentoring Program provides Christian attorneys an opportunity to have a lifelong impact on law students and young lawyers.
Meetings are held at CU and DU Law Schools in the fall to discuss the program and begin the process of matching Christian law students with attorneys. Currently there are 24 law students being mentored at CU and DU.
Attorneys should meet with their student at least once a month and consistently pray for the student. The attorney is expected to maintain that relationship through the end of the school year, although in many cases these mentoring relationships have extended well beyond that, into the next school year or after graduation.
In addition to preparing the student or young lawyer for the practice of law, these relationships are intended to provide encouragement to the student or young lawyer to maintain his or her faith during law school and while practicing law and to gain insights into how the mentoring attorney has incorporated his or her faith into their practice.
Current need: A female, Christian attorney to mentor a female law student at DU who has recently expressed an interest in having a mentor.
Justice and Mercy Legal Aid Clinic (JAMLAC)
In January 2006, CLS Metro Denver helped open the Justice and Mercy Legal Aid
Clinic. The Justice and Mercy Legal Aid Clinic (“JAMLAC”) provides start-to-finish legal assistance to homeless people and victims of domestic violence. Steve Thompson (a Denver attorney) and Sulma Mendoza (a Denver paralegal) were the initial staff of JAMLAC, which was formed under the auspices of Miles High Ministries. JAMLAC provides long term care by taking cases and representing clients in court. The cases are referred from the Denver Rescue Mission, Joshua Station, the Salvation Army, Samaritan House, local Christian churches, and
other organizations helping homeless people. Steve and Sulma began as paid part-time staff.
Today JAMLAC has a two full-time, and one part-time, paid attorneys; a full-time paralegal / coordinator; two volunteer staff attorneys and three volunteer support staff in addition to numerous lawyer and non-lawyer volunteers. In 2009, JAMLAC received a federal grant to assist victims of domestic violence, particularly in the Spanish-speaking community. Volunteer lawyers and law students can help on cases.
JAMLAC handles a variety of cases from start to finish. JAMLAC serves homeless
persons who are attempting to get off the street and individuals at risk of becoming homeless.
JAMLAC believes that persons it serves must be willing to accept assistance for other obstacles to recovery, such as substance abuse treatment and job training, before they can benefit from long-term legal care. JAMLAC also believes in helping people before they become homeless— an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. JAMLAC serves the poor, oppressed, and disenfranchised regardless of belief or religion or ability to pay.
JAMLAC provides opportunities for volunteers to take on cases from start to finish. Some cases do not involve much time—one or two hearings with some preparation (protection orders and sealing of records, for example). Other matters may take as much as 20 hours of time over a six-month time frame. Volunteers can choose the types of cases and anticipated time
frame for completion.
Steve B. Thompson, Esq.
2330 W. Mulberry Place
Denver, CO 80204
303-839-5198 Ext. 5
CLS of Metro Denver Volunteer Legal Aid Clinics
For over ten years, the CLS volunteer clinics have offered one-hour free legal and
spiritual consultations in partnership with Christian ministries serving the poor. No particular legal specialty is needed—just a willingness to listen and ask questions. Volunteers answer questions outside their legal expertise by referring to a desk reference manual or by calling one of our many back-up lawyers who practice a broad spectrum of poverty law. Volunteers can participate as frequently as they wish, but are expected to attend a clinic at least once every two months. Volunteers specify how frequently they wish to volunteer and can change frequency at will. There are currently four volunteer clinics:
Denver Rescue Mission. In May 2000, lawyers from the Christian Legal Society of
Metro Denver and law students from Denver University’s chapter of the Christian Legal Society teamed up to start a legal aid clinic at the Denver Rescue Mission. The all-volunteer legal aid clinic provided clients with one-hour of pro bono legal advice and spiritual counseling. The clients are mostly residents at the Denver Rescue Mission who have made a decision to break past patterns of addiction by joining programs to get them back on their feet. The Denver Rescue Mission clinic is generally open Friday afternoons from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Salvation Army. By March 2004, the Denver Rescue Mission clinic was flourishing and the team of Christian lawyers and law students opened a new all-volunteer clinic at the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army clinic is generally open Friday afternoons from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. but also hosts an evening clinic on the third Thursday of the month from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Providence Network. In February 2009, Providence Network, whose flagship is a
transitional housing facility is located kitty corner to the Governor’s mansion, opened out third volunteer clinic. This clinic meets once a month.
Centro San Juan Diego. In April 2009, this Spanish-speaking clinic opened at a
community center for the Latino community run by the Denver Archdiocese. This clinic meets once per month. You do not need to speak Spanish to volunteer at this clinic; a translator can be provided. Centro San Juan Diego holds clinics on the third Friday morning of each month.
Community of Faith United (“COFU”). The COFU clinic receives referrals from
agencies in Adams County with a special emphasis on serving impoverished victims of domestic violence. JAMLAC started this clinic at a police station. In June 2010, the clinic moved to COFU’s base of operations at First Southern Baptist Church of Northglenn. The COFU clinic is generally open Friday afternoons from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Denver Rescue Mission, Salvation Army, Providence Network, COFU:
Allen & Vellone, P.C.
1600 Stout Street, Suite 1100
Denver, CO 80202
Centro San Juan Diego: