Colorado Supreme Court

Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel

Promoting Professionalism. Protecting the Public.

Five questions with Susan Gleeson

The here and now, and the future.




Former Director of Examinations Susan Gleeson retired on August 31, 2018. Her career spanned more than 37 years, with over 74 bar exams administered since 1981. Sue has also participated in the admissions process of almost every lawyer since July 1981, or approximately 41,030 lawyers in the state of Colorado.

We talked with Susan about her time with the Colorado Supreme Court, and what's coming next, following her retirement on August 31, 2018.


What led you to the decision to retire this year?

It has been a privilege and an honor to serve the Colorado Supreme Court, Court committees and legal professionals from all across the country for over 37 years and now seemed the appropriate time.

That being the case, how much are you going to miss the Office of Attorney Admissions?

I will miss the challenges and opportunities for growth and education and the collegial spirit of cooperation among legal professionals and particularly among bar admission administrators across the country. More importantly, I will miss the wonderful friends and co-workers with whom I have spent a significant portion of my daily life over these many years. However, I will not miss the daily commute, getting up at 4 a.m. (especially in February) to administer a bar exam, or the stress of meeting the perpetual deadlines associated with attorney admissions.

What are some of your most memorable Bar Exam moments?

Every exam carries its own unique signature. Some of the more memorable would be the exam we administered in the early 1980’s at the stock show complex.  Their furnishings were primarily used for animals.  We were in the poultry and rabbit exhibit room and our dais was their very best, used only for staging prize bulls with an aroma that required no additional explanation.  The size 3X men’s boxer shorts found stowed in the corner of the men’s bathroom stall remains a mystery to this day. We stumbled upon a bull snake curled up on the restroom floor cooling off on a hot summer day at one venue and we adopted a gecko that found his way into our test room during another exam.  The ‘mother board’ of our master countdown clock failed the first morning of one exam and everyone tested without a timing device.  We’ve had power outages, and even an applicant who tested while in labor, rushing to the ER only after she finished the test (she passed). Of course, everyone knows the story from this most recent July exam during which a ceiling leak brought down two ceiling tiles directly where examinees had just been sitting.  Fortunately, there were no injuries or damaged computers.  After administering some 74 bar exams, this was the first time we had to actually stop the test in order for personnel to make repairs.  Fortunately, we were able to resume the exam and complete the session without further incident.

I know it’s hard to think back over a career spanning 37 years, but what do you think you’re most proud of from a professional standpoint, and from a personal standpoint?

I am most proud of Colorado’s reputation as a leader among bar admissions agencies and professionals across the country.  To have played a vital role in that success is extremely satisfying. Outside of my career, I am most proud of raising three children as a single mom while working full-time in a highly demanding profession and completing a college degree.

What’s next for Sue Gleeson?

A new adventure!  I hope to travel more, read more, garden more and definitely play more.