MARCH 2023

OARC Update

A bimonthly newsletter of the
Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel


Demographic Survey Deadline Extended

The deadline to respond to the demographic survey has been extended. If you did not complete this voluntary and anonymous survey through the attorney registration process, there’s still time to take the survey. Please do so by Friday, March 31, 2023.  Higher participation helps us to better understand and monitor shifts in the demographics of the Colorado bar. The survey takes less than two minutes to complete. To access the survey, click here.

If you are interested in the results, watch for an announcement later this spring with a link to our Office’s 2022 Annual Report, which will include the demographic survey results and other data about Colorado’s attorney regulation system.


In this month’s What You Need to Know, we profile the newly-created Licensed Legal Paraprofessionals Program and a recent ABA Formal Opinion.

Licensed Legal Paraprofessional Program

The Supreme Court has approved new rules to implement a new program to license legal paraprofessionals, such as paralegals, for a limited scope practice in certain types of family law matters.  In doing so, Colorado joins states such as Arizona, Minnesota, Oregon, Utah and Washington to allow certain non-lawyer professionals to offer limited domestic relations legal services.  The program is slated to launch in 2024.

The authorized scope of practice for licensed legal paraprofessionals – known as LLPs – is set forth in C.R.C.P. 207.1.  While the final rule does not include any asset or income caps for taking on a client matter, it expands the list of matters that an LLP would not be authorized for practice.  For example, LLPs would not be permitted to draft documents relating to the disposition of commercial assets in a marital dissolution or draft pre- or post-nuptial agreements.  The rule also explains that while LLPs can appear in court, they cannot examine witnesses.  These limitations on an LLP’s legal services help ensure that LLPs serve clients within the scope of an LLP’s competency.

LLPs must satisfy the admissions requirements set forth in the rules, including those in C.R.C.P. 207.8.  That rule provides for a degree-plus-experience track or a longer experience track, but either way an LLP must take a legal ethics class and pass both an ethics exam and a family law exam.  The Advisory Committee on the Practice of Law and Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel (“OARC”) are starting the process of assembling the infrastructure for those exams.

The LLP program is the culmination of years of studying the issue of unrepresented litigants in family law cases – around 75 percent of the parties in such cases – and the programs in other states that have authorized non-lawyers to provide certain services.  These licensed paralegals/paraprofessionals often charge hourly rates roughly one-quarter to one-half the typical rates of attorneys.

In the coming weeks and months, the OARC will publish guidance on its website about the anticipated timing of implementation and the estimated date an application will be available, as well as links to other rules relating to LLP ethics, continuing legal education, and discipline and disability proceedings.

ABA Formal Opinion 504

Earlier this month, the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility issued Opinion 504 Choice of LawThe Opinion reviews ABA Model Rule 8.5, Disciplinary Authority; Choice of Law. The Opinion first examines the language of the Rule, which addresses both the presumptive jurisdiction of an attorney regulatory authority over its own licensed attorneys and attorneys practicing within its border as well as the rules that should apply.

The Opinion then analyzes the safe harbor provision of the Rule, which provides a lawyer shall not be subject to discipline if the lawyer’s conduct conforms to the rules of a jurisdiction in which the lawyer reasonably believes the predominant effect of the lawyer’s conduct will occur. The Opinion discusses the definition of “predominant effect” and suggests five factors for the “predominant effect” determination: 1) client location, residence, and/or principal place of business; 2) where the transaction may occur; 3) which jurisdiction’s substantive law applies to the transaction; 4) the location of the lawyer’s principal office; and 5) where the lawyer is admitted. The Opinion then considers five scenarios, including those dealing with fee agreements, law firm ownership, reporting professional misconduct, confidentiality duties and screening lawyers who leave one firm to join another, and analyzes which jurisdiction’s rules of professional conduct would apply in each situation.


Feeling overwhelmed? Many of us can relate. And still, there is always the next meeting or deadline right around the corner. Carrie Bowers, the Program Coordinator for the Colorado Lawyer Assistance Program (COLAP), has free and simple tips to address these feelings, with suggestions for how to stay productive in the meantime.


In our January newsletter, we discussed that the beginning of the year is a good time to assess your practice, including your file management. This topic segues to the broader topic of succession planning, which covers a lawyer’s transition out of the practice. Good file management now can assist with that transition.

Many lawyers feel inclined to “keep everything forever.” This practice is not required by the Rules, and also makes the prospect of closing a practice unnecessarily daunting. In some circumstances, such as when a lawyer dies or becomes ill and isn’t able to attend to the practice, the lawyer’s family is tasked with closing the practice. To make this path easier for anyone involved in closing a law practice, there are things a lawyer can do now, particularly with file management (even long before retirement) to make the transition easier.

A few starting points include:
  1. Abandon the notion it’s necessary or even helpful to keep everything. Colo. RPC 1.16A Client File Retention provides a framework for how long a lawyer must keep a client file. It’s not “forever” or “the life of the lawyer”.
  2. Consider what duration is appropriate for certain types of client files.  For example, the requirement to keep financial records is seven years, see Colo. RPC 1.15D(a), and the time frame to keep the client file may differ.
  3. Establish a policy around file retention/disposal that your firm consistently follows.  Have a specific policy around original testamentary documents.
  4. Document your policy regarding file retention. If someone else needs to step in as inventory counsel, documented policies and procedures for all areas of the practice--and especially file management--will make that process easier.
  5. In accordance with the language of Rule 1.16A, consider including language in your fee agreement that explains your file retention policy. For example, some attorneys include standard language in client engagement letters that client files are subject to the firm’s file retention policies and professional conduct rules, and that files will be destroyed after the time limits provided in the policies and/or rules.
For more information on succession planning, visit our website.


Need a receipt for your registration fees?

If you need a copy of your receipt for the 2023 attorney registration fees paid, please log into the online system at Colorado Supreme Court Payment System - Login ( Once you login, you will be prompted to print a receipt. Receipts will only be available until April 30, 2023. This is only if you paid online. All others requests for receipts should be emailed to

Admitted after December 1, 2022?

Attorneys admitted on or after December 1, 2022, do not need to register or pay fees for the 2023 attorney registration renewal.


Within the coming weeks, the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel ("OARC") will transition to a new on-line system for attorneys to submit continuing legal education ("CLE") affidavits and monitor their transcripts for compliance. 

A blast e-mail will be sent out instructing recipients to create a new log-in so that in the future the system will not require entry of an individual’s date of birth.  At the point of creating this new log-in, the system will not request a credit card, bank account, or similar information.  Additionally, the new password will be encrypted so it will not be accessible by staff; if you forget what password you created, you will need to use the “forgot password” feature to create a new password and instructions will be sent to the registered email on file with Attorney Registration.

An announcement will be made at OARC's website,, at the same time as the blast email about the new CLE system.



April 1 application deadline for July 2023 bar exam

April 1 $150 late fee applies to attorney registration after this date

April 5 Rule 3.8 Presentation, 4th Judicial District, virtual (Jessica Yates)

April 17 Practicing with Professionalism, CBA-CLE webinar

April 19 About OARC, Northern Colorado (NOCO) Seminar, live in Fort Collins (Jessica Yates)

April 27 February 2023 bar exam results scheduled to be posted

April 28 Rule 3.8 Training, Colorado Municipal Judges Association Spring Conference, live in Vail (Jessica Yates)


May 1 Last day to pay registration fee with late charges to avoid administrative suspension

May 1 LATE application filing deadline for July 2023 bar exam   
May 8 Practicing with Professionalism, CBA-CLE webinar

May 22 Oath of Admission Ceremony—Boettcher Concert Hall (February 2023)


June 2  Navigating the Present Roadblocks of MJP and Addressing Its Future Potential, 48th ABA National Conference on Professional Responsibility, New Orleans, LA (panel presentation with April McMurrey, Brian Faughnan, Tyler Maulsby, moderated by Paula Frederick)

June 26 Practicing with Professionalism, CBA-CLE webinar
Copyright © 2023 Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, Colorado Supreme Court, All rights reserved.

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