Colorado Supreme Court
Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel
Promoting Professionalism. Protecting the Public.
Welcome to the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel
Attorney Regulation Counsel helps the Colorado Supreme Court regulate the practice of law in Colorado through various programs. The office oversees attorney admissions, attorney registration, mandatory continuing legal and judicial education, attorney diversion and discipline, regulation of the unauthorized practice of law, and inventory counsel.
Unlike in some other states, the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel is a Supreme Court office and is not integrated with any bar association in its regulatory functions. At the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, we are committed to protecting the public, including all consumers of legal services, and promoting the public’s interests, pursuant to Colorado Supreme Court objectives.
We protect and promote the public interest in the admissions process by ensuring that all applicants to practice law are competent in the law and otherwise meet the essential eligibility requirements established by our Supreme Court. We administer the bar exam and conduct character and fitness reviews of all applicants for admission or certification.
Through our annual attorney registration process, we maintain the roll of all licensed and certified lawyers in Colorado.
We educate lawyers and promote legal professionalism through programs and publications to help lawyers serve their clients effectively and professionally within the bounds of the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct. We ensure continuing competence in the law through our mandatory continuing legal education program.
We handle all attorney diversion and discipline matters fairly and promptly, balancing the rights of the lawyers involved and the protection of the public, the courts, and the legal profession. Requests for investigation against a lawyer are handled confidentially. Disciplinary prosecutions of lawyers are adjudicated publicly.
Client Protection Fund
We seek to provide reimbursements through our Attorneys’ Fund for Client Protection to those whose funds have been taken dishonestly by Colorado lawyers.
Unauthorized Practice of Law
We investigate and prosecute individuals and organizations who harm consumers when engaging in unauthorized practice of law. We advocate for the refund of fees paid by clients of these unauthorized practitioners. We provide ready access to information on those who have been ordered to stop engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. We provide resources to consumers harmed by unauthorized providers of legal services.
Disability Inactive Status
The attorney regulation system provides for an attorney’s transfer to disability inactive status, which occurs after it is shown through a disability proceeding that an attorney is unable to fulfill professional responsibilities competently because of physical, mental, or emotional infirmity or illness, including addiction to drugs or intoxicants. Transfer to disability inactive status is not a form of discipline.
When a lawyer dies, becomes disabled, or is otherwise no longer able to practice law, we appoint Inventory Counsel. Inventory Counsel helps return client files and funds and close an attorney’s practice to ensure that current and former clients are not harmed.
Supreme Court Committees
The Supreme Court Advisory Committee assists the Court by reviewing the productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency of the attorney regulation system, including Attorney Regulation Counsel. Attorney Regulation Counsel works with seven other permanent committees in regulating the practice of law, including the Law Committee, the Character and Fitness Committee, the Continuing Legal and Judicial Education Committee, the Legal Regulation Committee, the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, and the Board of Trustees for the Attorneys’ Fund for Client Protection.
The Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel is funded by annual attorney registration fees. No tax dollars are used to fund the attorney regulation process.