Attorney Ranks Grow, Ethics Violations Shrink

by Tony Flesor

The Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel published its annual report last week, and according to the office, its plan of offering educational tools and proactive measures to help attorneys avoid ethics issues is paying off.

The report highlights the growing — though slowing — number of attorneys in the state as well as the continued decrease in ethics complaints that are filed and that progress through the office’s dispute resolution process. Likewise, the report illustrates the number of people involved with the office and the broad scope of its duties that go beyond ethics enforcement.

For the OARC, attorney admissions is the first opportunity to interact with attorneys in the state. Attorney regulation counsel administers the bar exam and conducts character and fitness reviews of exam, on motion, and Uniform Bar Exam score transfer applicants. This year, the number of applicants sitting for the bar exam remained steady, and the report says that will remain the same for the next two years. By 2020, the number of applicants sitting for the bar exam might increase again. And on motion and UBE transfer applicant numbers are rising as well.

Colorado has seen considerable growth, and the OARC points out that the number of attorneys looking to transfer their practices to the state are growing as well. Changes to the state’s on motion transfer process in 2014 eased the requirements for attorneys coming to Colorado.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the March 26, 2017 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online