The Boulder County Bar Foundation is a Colorado-based nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded and funded by the Boulder County Bar Association. The Boulder County Bar Foundation is committed to core values of community, stewardship, generosity and adaptability.
Our mission is to advance justice in Boulder County, increase understanding of the law and the judicial system, provide access to legal services for the poor, homeless, and immigrant populations, support training for the next generation of attorneys, and assist those turning to the legal system for help.
The Boulder County Bar Foundation is lead by a dedicated Board of Trustees comprised of members of the BCBA. The Board of Trustees serve a three-year term, exercising fiduciary responsibility for gifts, governing the Foundation, and awarding grants to deserving nonprofit partners and causes.. Also serving is our Executive Director, who is elected by the Board of Trustees. Laura Ruth is the current Executive Director of the Foundation.
Carrie Frank - President - Carrie has been practicing for almost 30 years, primarily in the area of products liability and personal injury. She is a partner with Klein | Frank, P.C. in Boulder where her practice focuses on cases involving defective products including vehicles, medical devices, drugs and toys and serious auto crashes and other personal injury matters. Carrie has consistently been recognized as a leading attorney in her field, and has been included in Best Lawyers in America, Colorado SuperLawyer, National Association of Distinguished Counsel and the top 3000 attorneys by LawDragon.
Emily Ellison - Vice President - Emily Ellison is a Longmont attorney who specializes in family law. Emily focuses her career on assisting people involved in tough legal situations. Her goal is to use her legal career to create a positive impact on society. She does this by listening to her clients’ needs, understanding how to guide their case to meet those needs, and fighting to obtain results. A dedicated and curious law student, Emily graduated in the top 25% of her class from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.
Brett Landis is the current managing attorney of Boulder County Legal Services, a Colorado Legal Services office. She graduated magna cum laude from Carleton College in 2004 with a degree in history and theatre studies. She received her J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law in 2007, where she began practicing law later that year. Brett worked on a fellowship with the Domestic Violence Clinic (now the Suvivors' Justice Center) in Eugene, Oregon after graduation and later worked for Legal Aid Services of Oregon in Klamath Falls for six years, focusing on providing civil legal services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence.
Carolyn Steffl has been representing Colorado special districts and municipalities since 2003, primarily as general counsel and also as water counsel. She serves as general counsel to a number of water and sanitation and metropolitan districts with elected citizen Boards, ranging from very small districts to one of the largest water and sanitation districts in the state. Her wealth of experience, enthusiasm, and dedication to her clients allows her to provide excellent and efficient legal services.
Jack Peters is a member of Caplan & Earnest’s Education Law section, where he represents school districts in a variety of contested issues, including special education disputes, civil rights complaints, and truancy and expulsion hearings. He worked as a middle school teacher in Colorado prior to earning his law degree. Jack spent six years as a Deputy District Attorney for the 20th Judicial District of Colorado (Boulder County). Jack then spent several years in private practice in the Denver office of a regional law firm that has offices in six states.
Jodi Martin relocated to Colorado in 2012 and founded Martin Law Office LLC to pursue a practice focused on using her legal experience to help her clients strengthen and protect themselves and their families. In light of her nearly 25 years of legal experience, Jodi is skilled in working with clients to resolve disputes outside of the courtroom but is also prepared to fully litigate matters when needed. Jodi’s practice focuses on estate planning, probate and estate administration, probate and trust litigation, family law, and LGBTQ legal matters.
Lizbeth Parker is an attorney in private practice in Boulder.
Alison Gordon is an Associate Attorney in her second year of practice at the Polansky Law Firm. She practices criminal defense, with a particular focus on juvenile defense and cases that involve mental health issues. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado Law School, where she obtained a Certificate in Juvenile and Family Law. She is licensed to practice in the State of Colorado, as well as the United States District Courts in Colorado and Wyoming. She is also a member of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Rachel Mentz is the owner of Mentz Law, P.C., a law firm based in Boulder that helps businesses and individuals resolve commercial disputes in and out of court. Prior to starting Mentz Law, P.C., she practiced complex, commercial litigation in a large, national law firm. Rachel has experience litigating a wide variety of business disputes, including, breach of contract, theft of trade secrets, breach of non-compete and confidentiality agreements, employment, tortious interference with contract, clawback actions, breach of fiduciary duties, and fraud. A native of Michigan, Rachel also lived in France, Spain, Louisiana, and New Hampshire before making Boulder her home in 2007.
Laura Ruth is the Executive Director of the Boulder County Bar Foundation.
Our Board and donors are passionate about giving back to Boulder County - the place we call home. Through the Foundation, BCBA members harness their collective resources to make a positive impact not only on the legal community, but also on individual lives and Boulder County as a whole. We believe in access to legal services for all, and we are committed to supporting causes that benefit those struggling in our community.
The Foundation raises funds, manages an endowment, and distributes grants for legally-related organizations and projects in Boulder County. Our grant awardees are proven local partners that champion social justice, help train new attorneys, and support expanded legal access and understanding.
Bridge to Justice
If your organization is interested in being considered for a grant from the Foundation, please reach out to Laura Ruth. Applications are due annually by the end of September and are typically considered by the Board of Trustees in October of each year. Complete the Foundation Grant Application here.
For decades the Foundation was supported by a network of committed Fellows who donated annually. Although we are now focused on raising funds through events and campaigns, we honor the past contributions of our Fellows and celebrate the strong foundation they have given the Foundation.
Life Benefactor Fellows (donated $2,500 to $5,000)
H. McGregor Doty
Sustaining Life Fellows (continued support past obligation)
W. Cotton Burden
G. Lane Earnest
W. Harold Flowers
W. Bruce Joss
E. Gregory Martin
John Wayne Miller
P. Randolph Nicholson
M. Gwyneth Whalen
H. Lawrence Hoyt
J. Todd Tenge
Mary Claire Mulligan