Colorado Supreme Court

Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel

Promoting Professionalism. Protecting the Public.

On-motion applications up 66%
Changes to admissions rules in recent years led to an increase in consumer choice and lawyer mobility.

Spring 2016

A change to admissions rules in recent years resulted in an increase in on-motion applicants this year. In 2015, Attorney Admissions received 395 such applications, a 66 percent uptick from 2014. The jump is likely due to a 2014 change in on-motion requirements that recognized lawyers’ desire for more mobility and this office’s goal of increasing consumer choice.

The boost offset slightly lower admissions through the bar exam and is partially responsible for the number of registered Colorado attorneys climbing again last year. As of the end of 2015, the state had 39,229 active and inactive attorneys, nearly 800 more than in 2014.

On-motion applicants are those admitted from other jurisdictions without taking the Colorado Bar Exam, as long as they meet certain criteria.

The new Rules reinforced high admissions standards while also streamlining the process for applicants. The Rules achieve two goals. One, they recognize the new ways in which lawyers want to practice. Few attorneys stay at one firm or in one state their entire life, and the current Rules allow for greater lawyer mobility. Two, they increase consumer choice by allowing attorneys to follow their clients across state lines more easily.

For more information on attorney admissions statistics, see our 2015 Annual Report.

James Carlson is the Information Resources Coordinator at the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel.