Congratulations to the 2022 Pro Bono Stars
October 2022Download This Article (.pdf)
Every October, in honor of pro bono month, the Denver Bar Association and the DBA Access to Justice Committee recognize a select few individuals for their outstanding pro bono contributions within the Denver legal community. This year’s six honorees are Spencer Allen, Christopher Jackson, Leo Milan, Amelia Power, Nicoal Sperrazza, and Naomi Stokeld. Please join us in celebrating these amazing Pro Bono Stars!
Spencer practices environmental and natural resources litigation for a small Denver firm. Although the type of law Spencer practices does not present many opportunities for direct pro bono work, Spencer has always been driven to help bridge the legal need gap. He volunteers with the Federal Pro Se Clinic, where he assists litigants in a diverse range of cases, from Title VII employment discrimination to Fair Housing Act violations. He also represents clients in federal court through the Federal Limited Appearance Program. Spencer’s early introduction to pro bono work started in the University of Denver Civil Litigation Clinic, where he was inspired on a daily basis by 2021 Pro Bono Star Professor Tammy Kuennen on how to be a dedicated advocate to those in need.
Chris is a partner at Holland & Hart LLP. His practice focuses primarily on civil appeals in both state and federal court. Chris has handled appellate pro bono matters for over a decade on a wide range of topics, from landlord-tenant disputes to divorce proceedings to foreclosure matters. Most recently, he’s been an active volunteer at the CBA’s civil appeals clinic, which provides free, limited-scope legal consultations to pro se litigants. Chris also spends a substantial amount of time on election-related pro bono work, helping nonprofits, candidates, and others navigate the often-complex rules surrounding political activity. In addition, he serves on the CBA Board of Governors and the DBA Board of Trustees, and he is an active member of the ABA’s and CBA’s appellate practice committees.
Leo is a retired senior assistant attorney general and former pro bono coordinator with the Colorado Department of Law. During his tenure at the AG’s Office, and in conjunction with Metro Volunteer Lawyers, the pro bono program grew to over 40 volunteers and over 200 clients per year, serving both Adams and Arapahoe counties. Leo currently volunteers for MVL’s Pro Bono Post-Decree Clinics and serves on MVL’s Board of Directors. Before his appointment to the AG’s Office, Leo was actively involved in Missions for Ministries, building houses in Juarez, Mexico. More recently, he has participated in local builds with Habitat for Humanity. He also offers his time to serve as a judge and mentor for high school students in a variety of civic and legal capacities.
Amelia is a partner at Power Law, a boutique law firm dedicated to the ideal that every person accused of a crime should receive excellent legal representation regardless of ability to pay. She began Power Law with a discount rate program for those who make too much to qualify for state-paid representation, and she continues to represent indigent clients as a contractor with the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel. Since entering private practice, Amelia has largely focused her pro bono representation on clients charged for exercising their First Amendment rights to protest local and societal injustice. She spent hundreds of pro bono hours representing Lillian House, a protest leader and community activist who faced serious felony charges arising from the 2020 Elijah McClain protests in Aurora. She continues to represent other protestors pro bono, both at the trial and appeal stages.
Nicoal owns her own practice focused on family law and civil litigation matters. As a first-generation Korean American and coming from an immigrant family, pro bono work is especially important to Nicoal, and she is committed to help bridge the access to justice gap. Nicoal primarily volunteers through MVL’s Family Law Unbundled program, which enables her to customize her volunteer hours based on her personal and professional schedule. She is also grateful to have expertise in a practice area that is vastly underserved and where she can make a significant difference in the lives of others and their children regardless of their current financial situation.
Naomi focuses her practice on business law and estate planning, working with multiple clients from entrepreneurs to medium-sized businesses. Naomi is licensed in Colorado, California, and Chile. She believes lawyers have a fundamental duty to use law to build a more equitable and humane society by providing access to justice to those who society has neglected. She enjoys working with nonprofit organizations to help people navigate business, elder, and family law issues.