Colorado Supreme Court

Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel

Promoting Professionalism. Protecting the Public.

What You Need to Know About Practice Pending Admission


Deputy Regulation Counsel, Attorney Admissions, Attorney Registration and Continuing Legal and Judicial Education, Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel


Below are some frequently asked questions that will help acquaint you with the rules regarding Practice Pending Admission, C.R.C.P. 205.6 and Temporary Practice by Out-of-State Attorney, C.R.C.P. 205.1.

Q: We’ve just hired an attorney to join our firm who is not licensed in Colorado.  The attorney has filed an application for admission in Colorado. May the attorney practice law in Colorado before the attorney receives a Colorado license?

A: Yes, provided the attorney meets the requirements for Practice Pending Admission, C.R.C.P. 205.6. Because the admissions process can take several months, practice pending admission permits an attorney who currently holds an active license to practice law in another U.S. jurisdiction, to provide legal services in Colorado through an office or other place for the regular practice of law in Colorado if the attorney meets certain requirements. Most notable of these requirements are that the attorney: (1) must have been engaged in the authorized, active practice of law for at least three of the last five years in another jurisdiction, (2) is in good standing in all courts and jurisdictions in which admitted, (3) is not currently subject to an order of attorney discipline or the subject of a pending formal disciplinary or disability investigation in any jurisdiction, and (4) has submitted an application for admission with the Attorney Admissions Office and reasonably expects to meet all admission requirements. The applicant-attorney must also associate with a supervising Colorado attorney. There are additional practice requirements under this rule that must be met by the applicant-attorney. In addition to filing an application for admission, the applicant-attorney must file a Practice Pending Admission application with the Attorney Registration Office. The form can be found on our website.

The practice authorization under this rule is for a maximum of 365 days, unless the Colorado Supreme Court in its discretion extends the time for good cause shown. Additionally, authorization to practice pending admission under this rule does not grant automatic authority for the applicant-attorney to appear in any court or tribunal that would normally require the filing of a motion for pro hac vice admission.

Q: What if the attorney does not meet the practice time requirement for Practice Pending Admission?  Can he or she still offer legal services in Colorado under the Temporary Practice Rule?

A: If the attorney has already moved to Colorado, probably not.  Temporary Practice by Out-of-State Attorney, C.R.C.P. 205.1, allows attorneys not admitted in Colorado to engage in the temporary practice of law in Colorado, subject to certain restrictions. However, to be eligible to practice temporarily, the attorney must not be domiciled in Colorado or offer legal services in Colorado through a firm or other place from which the attorney holds himself or herself out to the public as practicing Colorado law or soliciting or accepting Colorado clients. Even under the Temporary Practice Rule, to appear in any state court or tribunal, an attorney must seek pro hac vice admission pursuant to C.R.C.P. 205.3 with that court or tribunal. Any attorney practicing temporarily in the state under this rule is subject to the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, Rules of Procedure Regarding Attorney Discipline and Disability Proceedings (C.R.C.P. 251.1 et seq.), and Revocation of License (C.R.C.P. 210).

In contrast, as discussed above, Practice Pending Admission, C.R.C.P. 205.6, is for attorneys who are licensed in another U.S. jurisdiction, who plan to offer legal services in Colorado through an office or other place for regular practice of law in Colorado, and who have begun the admissions process for licensure in Colorado.