Colorado Supreme Court

Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel

Promoting Professionalism. Protecting the Public.

What Does Professionalism Mean in the 21st Century?

The month-long series offers a chance to discuss an evolving legal community.


Fall 2014

Twenty years ago, an attorney with a question wouldn’t think twice about picking up the phone to call a colleague. Nowadays, new attorneys might go weeks without calling. Instead, they text.

What constitutes professional behavior in the modern world? Whose model do we follow? Those are the questions the Honorable Richard Gabriel hopes Professionalism Month raises. Gabriel is a judge on the Colorado Court of Appeals and the chair of the professionalism group in the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professional Development. The goal, he said, is to generate a statewide discussion of these issues.

The working group provided topics and other programming materials to 30 local bars and specialty inns of courts to facilitate that discussion. Gabriel has also presented himself at numerous locations around the state. The goal is to obtain feedback and create a picture of what professionalism looks like.

“Is there a universal understanding we can adopt in Colorado?” asks Gabriel.

He hopes to find out. If the community coalesces around a core idea, then he will produce a report that he hopes will serve as a national model.

“Professionalism Month is a good start, but the long-term goal is to make these ideas universal,” he said.

For a list of professionalism events remaining in October and in the coming months, click here.

Want a CLE credit? The month culminates with the Assembly of Lawyers, during which new attorneys will be sworn in and a panel will discuss what professionalism means in the 21st Century. Attendance is free, and attendees will receive one hour of ethics CLE credit.

2014 Assembly of Lawyers

Nov. 3, 2014, 2-4:15 p.m.

Boettcher Concert Hall

1000 14th Street

Denver, CO 80202


James Carlson is the Information Resources Coordinator with the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel.