Colorado Supreme Court

Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel

Promoting Professionalism. Protecting the Public.

Five questions with Jim Coyle

The past, present, and the future.




After 28 years with the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, Jim Coyle will be retiring June 30, 2018. He’s spent time as Assistant Regulation Counsel for the trial division, Deputy Regulation Counsel, Chief Deputy Regulation Counsel, and finally, the last five years as the head of the Office as Attorney Regulation Counsel. We talked with Jim about his time with the Office, and the legacy he’s leaving in Colorado, as a lawyer, regulator, and innovator.


What led you to the decision to retire this year?

I’ve been doing this job for 28 years. I fully love it, and it’s the best job in the State of Colorado. You get to work with some really dedicated and talented people. It has been a wonderful job, but it is also tiring and demanding. My predecessor, John Gleason, once told me that this job (as head of the Office) is a four-to-five year job. This is my fifth year as the head of this Office, and I think that Mr. Gleason was spot-on with this advice.

How do you feel about leaving the office where you’ve spent almost three decades?

I’m going to miss it a lot. Half my life has been spent in this office. Lots of great memories and a lot of hard work. We’ve instituted some really good changes. So I am going to miss that. But I also know that whoever takes over has a really wonderful staff, and they can’t help but be successful.

I know it’s hard to think back over a career spanning 28 years, but what do you think you’re most proud of from a professional standpoint?

Trying to make the system work a little bit better. Being more consumer-friendly and client-centric. Also, that Colorado played a very significant role in how attorney regulation is handled in the United States, and that Colorado was one of the first states to adopt a more holistic system of regulating the practice of law. And co-chairing the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being.

And what about outside of regulation, from a personal standpoint?

I think my whole career has been a great opportunity, especially to work for a very talented and respected Supreme Court. All of the justices are wonderful people and legal scholars. They are passionate about what they do. That impacts how everyone in state judicial views us as a Supreme Court agency. It has been a great environment to be in, and a great process to be a part of.

What’s next for Jim Coyle?

I want to spend a year-and-a-half not working. I need some time off to reflect, and engage in self-care. For the majority of my life, I’ve worked in this Office. Now it’s time to look a little bit broader and decide what comes next. Do I want to practice law? Do I want to try something a little different? Or do I just want to garden and do volunteer work? These are questions that I want to reflect on during that year-and-a-half. I also haven’t done much international travel since 2005, so now I want to catch up some on international travel.