Colorado Supreme Court

Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel

Promoting Professionalism. Protecting the Public.

Lawyer Self-Assessment Program

Colorado has a new lawyer self-assessment program designed to help lawyers better serve clients and simplify their professional lives. The program arises from a multi-year initiative of a subcommittee of the Colorado Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee. This subcommittee of over 50 practicing lawyers identified practice risks and created ten areas of self-assessment that allow lawyers to consider those risks in the context of their practice. The self-assessments ask lawyers whether they have the ethical infrastructure to address these risks. If the lawyers do not, the self-assessments identify certain Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct and educational resources in the form of formal ethics opinions, bar journal articles, and manuals published by the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, to give specific guidance on these risks.

The ten self-assessments focus on the following ten core practice principles:

  1. Developing a competent practice;
  2. Communicating in an effective, timely, professional manner and maintaining professional relations;
  3. Ensuring that confidentiality requirements are met;
  4. Avoiding conflicts of interest;
  5. Maintaining appropriate file and records management systems;
  6. Managing the law firm/legal entity and staff appropriately;
  7. Charging appropriate fees and making appropriate disbursements;
  8. Ensuring that reliable trust account practices are in use;
  9. Working to improve the administration of justice and access to legal services;
  10. Wellness and inclusivity.

Ultimately, these self-assessments should help attorneys avoid grievances and alleviate some of the stress associated with practice, especially for solo and small firm practitioners and those new to practice. The subcommittee has chosen to make the self-assessments voluntary in an effort to create voluntary compliance by the Colorado legal community. The program gives lawyers the opportunity to proactively look at ways to incorporate best practices into their law practice.

Below is the link to the consolidated self-assessment with all ten individual self-assessments. You can view this on your computer or download and print the document. The additional links below provide more information about the subcommittee and the concept of proactive management-based programs (PMBP) which led to the creation of this self-assessment program.

Consolidated Colorado Self-Assessment Form (draft)

Minutes and materials

Subcommittee roster

Subcommittee meetings will be held the third Wednesday of every month. The next meeting is at noon on August 16, 2017, in Conference Room 1E, at the Ralph L. Carr Judicial Center, 1300 Broadway, Denver, CO. Meetings are open to the public.

For more information on the program, please contact Jonathan White, staff attorney, Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, at 303-928-7919 or j.white@csc.state.co.us.