MoForever Alumni News - Summer 2018

13 | MoForever After 18 years at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) followed by a decade at the MoFo Denver office as partner and co-chair of the firm’s Securities Litigation, Enforcement, and White-Collar Defense Group, Randy Fons now plies his trade—and found his calling—in a public interest role advocating for children. Fons serves as Deputy Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center in Denver, a nonprofit that, for 36 years, has sought to transform the lives of abused, neglected, and at-risk children through compassionate legal advocacy, clinical services, education, and public policy reform. In the role he unintentionally created for himself (while still at MoFo and serving on the Center’s board of directors), Randy runs all legal operations for the Center, holding responsibilities as widespread as strategic planning and programming, meeting with clients and pleading their cases in court, mentoring young lawyers, and renewing the building lease. He also spends time anticipating challenges and developing future plans for the Center as more children and families require help and funds grow tighter. The Children’s Law Center’s annual budget of about $1.5 million is sourced from government grants, which comprise about 10 percent of its funding. And like so many nonprofits, the remaining 90 percent of its operating budget comes from private sources such as foundation grants, like the $30,000 grant awarded to the Center in 2016 from the Morrison & Foerster Foundation (one of the oldest law firm-affiliated charitable foundations in the United States), or through individual donations and fundraising events. Fundraising is critical as more than 1,000 kids and caregiver cases are managed annually by a very small legal team, clinical consultants, program managers, and volunteers. Since its founding, the staff has seen 25,000 cases, a majority of which stem from the foster care system. “This system is not working,” he says. “The status quo doesn’t work. We need systemic change.” Looking ahead, Randy sees big opportunities to partner with other stakeholders, other nonprofits, and some state agencies to address the broken child welfare and foster care system in Colorado. ALUMNI UPDATE PRO BONO NAVIGATING SOCIAL JUSTICE FOR COLORADO KIDS RANDY FONS, DEPUTY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHILDREN’S LAW CENTER