JULY 2023

OARC Update

A bimonthly newsletter of the
Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel


In this month’s What You Need to Know, we profile recent rule changes, an update regarding the recently-created Licensed Legal Paraprofessional program, a proposed rule amendment and two recent ABA Formal Opinions.

Law Student Practice

On June 15, 2023, the Colorado Supreme Court adopted amendments to C.R.C.P. 205.7 Law Student Practice to allow recent law school graduates who do not pass the Colorado bar exam to continue an authorized public sector or non-profit legal services job through a second attempt at passing the exam. The amendments also allow appellate practice in certain situations and clarify other aspects of the rule.  The changes became effective July 1 of this year. The amended rule can be found here.

Rules Governing the Attorneys’ Fund for Client Protection

On June 15, 2023, the Colorado Supreme Court adopted amendments to the rules that govern the Colorado Attorneys’ Fund for Client Protection (“the Fund”). The Fund reimburses clients who suffered loss of money or other property due to the dishonest conduct of their lawyer. In addition to modernizing the rules, by, for example, adding a terminology section, the amendments clarify procedures for investigating claims and provide further guidance as to what constitutes dishonest conduct. The changes become effective September 1 of this year. The amended rules can be found here.

Licensed Legal Paraprofessionals

As we’ve discussed in prior newsletters, after a lengthy process to review and consider adding a new limited legal license in Colorado, in March 2023 the Colorado Supreme Court adopted the licensed legal paraprofessional (“LLP”) program. The first family law and ethics exams are slated for late April 2024, paving the way for LLPs to provide limited legal services in certain types of family law matters. More information about a mandatory ethics class for LLP applicants will be available soon, and an application for prospective LLPs will follow this fall.  For more information regarding the program, visit the FAQs on our website here.

Proposed Changes to Colo. RPC 1.4 Communication

The Colorado Supreme Court is considering changes to Colorado Rule of Professional Conduct 1.4 and the Comments to the Rule, which address a lawyer’s duty of communication. The proposed amendment would require lawyers in private practice to inform a new client, in writing, within a reasonable time after commencing the representation if the lawyer is not covered by malpractice insurance. The amendment would require lawyers to keep a copy of the disclosure for seven years. The proposed Comment includes form language for this disclosure and explains that “private practice” does not include lawyers exclusively in government practice or exclusively employed as in-house counsel. The proposed amendment can be viewed here

The deadline to submit comments for the proposed amendment is September 5, 2023 by 4 p.m. If submitting a public comment by email, the Clerk’s office requests that you attach your submission as a separate document to your email in Word or PDF format and email to: supremecourtrules@judicial.state.co.us. Requests to speak at the public hearing should also be addressed to supremecourtrules@judicial.state.co.us, and the deadline for such requests is September 12, 2023 at 4 p.m. The public hearing is set for September 20, 2023 at 3:30 p.m.

ABA Formal Opinion 506

In June 2023, the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility issued Opinion 506 Responsibilities Regarding Nonlawyer Assistants. The Opinion discusses a lawyer’s responsibilities for supervising nonlawyer assistants regarding prospective client-intake tasks. The Opinion explains that with appropriate supervision under Model Rule 5.3, a lawyer may delegate client-intake tasks. The Opinion provides examples of tasks that may be delegated with appropriate supervision, including “obtaining initial information about the matter, performing an initial conflict check, determining whether the assistance sought is in an area of law germane to the lawyer’s practice, answering general questions about the fee agreement or process of representation, and even obtaining the prospective client’s signature on the fee agreement as long as the prospective client is offered an opportunity to communicate with the lawyer to discuss the matter.” The Opinion also explains a lawyer does not relinquish the lawyer’s responsibilities under the rules. Accordingly, a lawyer must ensure a nonlawyer is properly supervised, that the lawyer is not assisting a nonlawyer in the unauthorized practice of law (as prohibited by Model Rule 5.5), and also, that the lawyer still complies with their duties of communication to the prospective client.

ABA Formal Opinion 507
In July 2023, the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility issued ABA Formal Opinion 507 Office Sharing Arrangements with Other Lawyers.

The Opinion discusses ethical issues that may arise in office-sharing arrangements among lawyers who do not practice together in a law firm, such as confidentiality of information, supervision of nonlawyers who work in the shared space, communications about the lawyer's services, and conflicts of interest.  The Opinion offers recommendations regarding staff training, file management, and other practical concerns to provide safeguards to ensure compliance with ethical rules if practicing in an office-sharing environment.  The Standing Committee further opines that when lawyers in an office-sharing arrangement are representing adverse parties in the same matter, "Model Rules 1.4 and 1.7 may obligate lawyers to disclose the details of the office sharing arrangement to their respective clients, including their efforts to maintain confidentiality, and to obtain each clients’ informed consent, confirmed in writing."  (Opinion page 5.)  Ethical screens may be needed as well among shared support staff.


Kerry McCarthy, Clinical Coordinator at the Colorado Lawyer Assistance Program, explains the importance of emotional intelligence as it relates to the practice and why the ability to interpret emotional data goes beyond recognizing feelings. 


Feeling overwhelmed, exhausted or stressed? Click here for well-being tips and comprehensive resources for Colorado’s legal community courtesy of your Colorado Lawyer Assistance Program and the Colorado Supreme Court’s Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being. 


Increase in Attorney Registration Fees for 2023-2024 Registration Period
For the 2024 attorney registration cycle that starts December 1, 2023, the Colorado Supreme Court will be increasing certain attorney registration fees:
  • The active registration fee for attorneys who have been practicing longer than 3 years will increase from $325 to $395; and
  • The inactive registration fee applicable to attorneys under age 65 will increase from $130 to $160.
The Court is not changing the registration fee applicable to attorneys within their first three years of active practice, which currently is $190.  Inactive attorneys age 65 and older will continue to not have any registration fee as long as they remain in inactive status.

The Court also has approved increases in late fees relating to attorney registration.   Those are the fees that begin to accrue if an attorney does not timely register by February 28 each year.  These fee increases will take effect during the next registration cycle:
  • The late fee applicable to an attorney who registers in March will increase from $50 to $100;
  • The late fee applicable to an attorney who registers in April will increase from $150 to $300;
  • The fee that applies to reinstate from an administrative suspension (which typically occurs if an attorney has not paid by May 1) will increase from $100 to $200, which is in addition to the applicable late fee.  Accordingly, an attorney who fails to register before being suspended will need to pay $500 to be reinstated, an increase from the $250 that is required today.
The rule change to C.R.C.P. 227 can be found hereThe attorney registration fees have not increased since 2014, but inflationary and other cost increases have continued to rise even while registration fees remained the same. The fee adjustments account for these increases. The late fee increases also account for the significant administrative burdens of having to notify attorneys who are late with their registration, including the costs of generating and mailing suspension notices.

New CLE System is Live

The new on-line system for attorneys to submit continuing legal education affidavits and monitor their transcripts for compliance went live in June.  This new system improves confidentiality and has greater functionality. For more information regarding the new system, including how to log in for the first time, click here


Have you moved to a new job or residence?  Please be sure to update your contact information with the Office of Attorney Registration as soon as possible so you don’t miss important notices and reminders from that office.
Inactive attorneys 65 and older, please note that your bar card will only be provided upon request. If you are an inactive attorney, age 65 and older and wish to receive a bar card, please email the Office of Attorney Registration at attorney_registration@coloradosupremecourt.us to request your bar card.
CLE compliance reminder
All active Colorado attorneys under age 72 must earn 45 credits, including 2 credits in equity, diversity and inclusivity, and 5 credits in legal ethics or legal professionalism. OARC offers a free on-line self-assessment that qualifies for CLE credit, which can be accessed here.  

Make-up plan deadline
All make-up plan affidavits were due on June 15th. Affidavits can be emailed to cleinfo@csc.state.co.us.



July 25 and 26 Colorado Bar Exam
Aug. 17 Fee Agreements, part of Hanging Your Shingle, CBA-CLE, live and virtual (Justin P. Moore)
Aug. 17 Trust Accounts, part of Hanging Your Shingle, CBA-CLE, live and virtual (Margaret B. Funk)
Aug. 28 Practicing with Professionalism, CBA-CLE webinar
Sept. 7 Ethical Issues Facing Business Law Lawyers, Business Law Institute, CBA-CLE, live and virtual (April McMurrey with Nicole M. Black, Cohen|Black Law, LLC)
Sept. 8 Lawyers, Investigators and the Rules of Professional Conduct, Professional Private Investigators Association of Colorado Conference, live in Thornton (Justin P. Moore)
Sept. 18 Practicing with Professionalism, CBA-CLE webinar
Copyright © 2023 Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, Colorado Supreme Court, All rights reserved.

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