Meet Our Staff
Patrick Vance is a 1979 graduate of the Law School at Tulsa University. In 1981, Mr. Vance began a twenty-year career with the Colorado State Public Defender Office retiring in 2002. While in the Public Defender’s Office, Mr. Vance (Pat) was a trial attorney in six regional public defender offices and was a Senior Attorney in the Colorado Springs Office, and an office head in two other regional offices. During his career as a public defender, Mr. Vance litigated over 100 felony trials and was involved in death penalty representation. Since 2002, Mr. Vance has been in private practice specializing in criminal defense. In 2008, Mr. Vance was a founding member and board member of (CJDC). Most recently, Mr. Vance has specialized in the defense of juveniles subject to prosecution as adults pursuant to the Direct File Statutes.
Amanda Butler | Access to Justice Program Manager
Amanda runs the Access to Justice: The Rural and Tribal Southwest project, which studies access to specialized and quality juvenile defense in the rural and tribal areas of the Southwest Region. Amanda is a Denver native and summa cum laude graduate from the University of Colorado Denver, where she received her bachelor’s degree in communication. She also holds certificates in mediation and public relations, has been recognized as both a Gorniak and Puksta Fellowship scholar, and is a recipient of the Lael Porter Community Service Award. Her work outside of the office includes service on the auxiliary board for Family HomeStead. Amanda is also the founding director of the Colorado Prison Arts Festival.
Adam Graber | Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Fellow
Adam runs our Belive in Youth project, which provides representation to indigent youth who wish to expunge their juvenile records or petition for removal from a juvenile registry, and helps youth find employment after the record is expunged. Originally from Chicago, Adam completed his B.A. in Anthropology at the University of California Santa Cruz. He graduated from law school at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2015, where he had focused his studies on the areas of Public Interest Law, Individual Rights, and Criminal Defense. Throughout law school he had the opportunity to serve as a law clerk intern in the juvenile division of Colorado’s 8th District Court, as a summer legal intern for the CJDC, and as a student attorney for the Colorado State Public Defender’s Fort Collins office.
Recently hired Mandee Johnson is entering her senior year at the University of Colorado Denver and will be working part-time with CJDC as she completes her degree in Communications, graduating in the Spring of 2018. Also, as a recognized Puksta Fellowship scholar, Mandee is making her final year count by investing in the lives of at-risk students through a collaborative mentorship program with CU Denver student leaders called RECIPROCITY. The focus of her senior project is to empower Denver’s youth through service learning and activities outside of the classroom so that they too can become leaders in their own communities to address the root causes of social inequality. Her passion for social justice continues to bloom as she is just getting started in what she hopes to be a lifelong career of advocacy.