The Legal Aid Foundation’s associate’s campaign fundraiser saw more than $231,000 donated from 62 firms around Colorado for the organization providing legal services to indigent Coloradans.
The fundraiser, which has been running since 2005, brings young attorneys into the fold raising money for the organization. The campaign asks associates to donate half the amount of one billable hour, putting the fundraising goal at a mark that is expected to be affordable for associates.
“The associates campaign has grown by leaps and bounds since it started in 2005, thanks to the leader- ship demonstrated by young lawyers on behalf of legal aid,” said Kelly Bossley, associate director of Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado.
And while she said the competition aspect of the campaign is an easy way to get attorneys engaged, that’s not the focus of the campaign. Getting young lawyers involved and committed to legal aid early on in their careers is the key part of the campaign, she said.
“More important than the actual dollars raised is the education and exposure of a younger generation of law- yers and leader as they begin to assume the important leadership role played by the private bar in improving access to civil justice for those who cannot afford counsel,” Bossley said.
The campaign ended with 40 firms reaching 100% associate participation and 784 associates donating in total. The campaign raised $39,159 more than in 2018 and well over the goal of $200,000, Bossley said. “We had phenomenal results. We couldn’t be happier … that we were not only able to meet that goal but also to surpass it.”
And while the campaign celebrated seeing 87% associate participation across the firms involved, the fundraiser accelerates the giving when associates get active in recruiting others. One firm in particular is celebrating its success this year.
Sherman & Howard is touting its win this year of the “broadening participation” award for getting participation from beyond their associates. According to Sherman & Howard, it is also the first large-size law firm to reach 100% participation in the campaign for non-part time associates and non-part-time staff attorneys.
The firm raised just shy of $30,000 for the Legal Aid Foundation, and the attorneys involved said they relied on attorneys’ competitive nature as well as the firm’s members’ support in raising money.