After 28 years with the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel and five at the head, Jim Coyle is stepping aside to allow for fresh perspectives in attorney regulation. His signature approach to the role has been to expand the view of attorney regulation to be more holistic than just discipline and making sure lawyers meet licensing requirements they’re supposed to, with a particular focus on well-being.
“People don’t go to law school and spend three years in law school and then take the bar and the [Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination] and do all that work only to lose their license intentionally,” Coyle said. “Things happen over the course of their career that get them into trouble.”
But a broad view of effective attorney regulation didn’t always guide the office. Coyle said when he came to the OARC late in 1990, it was called the Office of Disciplinary Counsel. The office’s goal was to protect the public, and its effectiveness was judged by its discipline of attorneys.