Colorado Supreme Court

Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel

Promoting Professionalism. Protecting the Public.

Colorado Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being Continues Work in 2019

Professional Development Counsel, Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel


The Colorado Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, chaired by Justice Monica Márquez, continues to meet and consider ways to improve the well-being of lawyers, judges, and law students. Supporting that work, the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel has unveiled a webpage dedicated to lawyer well-being. The webpage contextualizes the discussion about lawyer well-being. It explains the term “well-being,” and it contains links to resources Colorado lawyers, judges, and law students can use to learn more about this issue.

Well-being matters for many reasons. Inattention to one’s own well-being or that of employees negatively impacts productivity, client relationships, and interactions with others in the profession. Lawyers’ professional obligations of competence, diligence, and communication can suffer. Perhaps most emblematic of the connection between professional conduct and well-being, Colorado Rule of Professional Conduct 1.16(a)(2) forbids a lawyer from undertaking representation if his or her mental or physical condition impairs the lawyer’s ability to carry out the representation.

The web page also links to a report released by the Virginia State Bar President’s Special Committee on Lawyer Well-Being titled The Occupational Risks of the Practice of Law. This report addresses risks ranging from the sedentary nature of practice to handling student loan debt. It offers suggestions to mitigate these risks.

The Office’s page reminds lawyers that the concept of well-being is multi-dimensional, as advanced by the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being’s report, The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, based on World Health Organization principles. Components include emotional health, occupational well-being, social support, physical wellness, spiritual purpose, and intellectual engagement.

For practical, everyday suggestions, the web page links to tips from the Colorado Lawyer Assistance Program (COLAP) that help lawyers improve their mood and get out of a rut. The page further directs viewers to COLAP, which provides free and confidential assistance to lawyers, judges, and law students. It also links to the Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program, which connects lawyers beginning practice or moving to a new practice area to mentors.

Well-being is good for business. Not only does it impact motivation, but studies show turnover in the legal profession can be costly. The webpage offers suggestions to improve workplace well-being while referencing the American Bar Association’s Well-Being Toolkit for Lawyers and Legal Employers.

To view this page and its resources, click here.