Colorado Supreme Court

Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel

Promoting Professionalism. Protecting the Public.

The Colorado Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being

By Jonathan White
Professional Development Counsel

The Colorado Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being released its final report earlier this month. The report’s release concludes a three-year endeavor that started in September 2018. Over 60 lawyers, judges, and law students contributed to the Task Force. The report represents a collective vision for enhancing well-being in this state’s legal community. Colorado Supreme Court Justice Monica Márquez chaired the Task Force. The final report is available through here.

Certain recommendations arising out of the Task Force are already on their way to becoming concrete resources or programs. For example, one Task Force committee recommended a pilot project to explore a Colorado Supreme Court-sponsored recognition program for legal employers that take steps to enhance their employees’ well-being. Following the release of the pilot project’s report this summer, the Colorado Supreme Court authorized an implementation committee to make this vision a reality. Meanwhile, a working group that explored ways to promote well-being among judicial officers designed and launched the Colorado Judicial Well-Being Website. This website features well-being resources for judges as well as for lawyers. That website can be found here.

The Task Force’s report covers the recommendations made by each of five different committees. Those committees are (1) the business case for lawyer well-being committee; (2) the resources committee; (3) the law schools and law students committee; (4) a judicial officers committee; and (5) the data-gathering committee. Each committee developed concrete recommendations highlighted in the report. Moreover, the report contains a section with recommendations to address a single concern shared among many of these committees: incivility within the profession.

Colorado’s legal community already benefits from two preeminent resources dedicated to advancing the well-being of the state’s legal community: The Colorado Lawyer Assistance Program (COLAP) and the Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program (CAMP). The Task Force’s recommendations seek to further promote both programs and build upon the work of both organizations. More broadly, the Task Force and its report continues work started at the national level by the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being to respond to surveys showing an increased prevalence of substance use and mental health disorders among lawyers across the county. A goal of the Task Force was to help lawyers not just get by – but thrive – in a demanding profession.