President's Column: DBA President Stacy Carpenter — Perfect Timing!
by John Baker
Louder and louder calls for the resurrection of the Jeffersonian "citizen lawyer persona" reverberate throughout the legal profession in the United States. Over the last 11 months, I celebrated the resurgence of citizen lawyers in Denver, who volunteer extra effort and spare time working for the "common good." Many lawyers, judges and DBA staff members perform these selfless acts anonymously and expect nothing in return.
Perfect Timing for the DBA
Luckily, for all members of the DBA, President-Elect Stacy Carpenter enthusiastically has answered this call time and time again over her 14-year legal career. Next month, Stacy will become the 119th DBA President, and at a time the profession needs the next generation citizen lawyer. The timing is perfect.
Now, some may question whether the timing is "perfect." After all, Stacy is in her second year as partner and head of the civil litigation department at Hensley Kim & Holzer. Also, she and her husband, Justin Procnow, are the sleep-deprived parents of four-month-old Jackson. If that isn’t enough, Stacy was diagnosed with breast cancer during her pregnancy with Jackson, and has endured chemotherapy and a recent surgery. How can this be perfect timing? How can she take on the further challenges of the DBA presidency?
Stacy has a secret "equalizer" for all of these challenges. In the face of adversity and challenge, Stacy brings limitless passion to her life, career and profession. This passion drove her to attend the February DBA Board of Trustees meeting at 7:30 a.m., despite the option to attend by telephone. To make matters worse, a power outage at the CBA/DBA offices shut down the elevators, requiring her to climb nine flights of stairs to get to the meeting. Oh, and she even attended the Barristers Benefit Ball on May 1 after a successful, but tough, surgery two days prior. The DBA presidency will be a "cakewalk" for Stacy.
This same passion is applied to her citizen lawyer role. She has served in several leadership positions in the DBA and CBA, giving freely of her time and persuasion talents, while maintaining a busy trial law practice. Promoting pro bono and equal access to justice is a focus of this passion. She was a member of the governing board for Metropolitan Volunteer Lawyers and on May 1 co-chaired the unbelievably successful Barrister Ball, her second to date. She responds to challenge and adversity by ramping up her effort. Along with her family and law firm, the DBA members are the lucky beneficiaries of Stacy’s passion, perseverance and power in what may be a year of political and economic challenges. Stacy will relish additional challenges and take each one on as they come. We can all rest easy with the DBA in her hands.
Thanks and Farewell
This column not only introduces the amazing Stacy. It also is my goodbye. During this year as DBA President, I tried to salute the citizen lawyers among us. I applauded lawyers, judges and bar staff who volunteer their talents, fortune and time to work with bar association education programs, promote professionalism, raise funds for community projects, provide pro bono legal services to the needy, and be mentors and role models for new lawyers. I only scratched the surface of the total number of these selfless folks who work for the common good. I learned 11 columns was insufficient to spotlight everyone, but I hope, over this past year, we celebrated them all.
Thanks to the bar staff, Board of Trustees members, committee chairs and all association members I got to know and who helped with projects all year. I had the pleasure of simultaneously schmoozing with inspiring DBA senior bar members and partying with the equally inspiring young lawyers at the monthly Barrister After Hours events. My hope is that all generations will continue to make the legal profession something we can all be proud of as we continue our work as citizen lawyers.