Office of Attorney Regulation Lawyer Self-Assessment Program Provides Resources and Free CLE Credits
For over two years, Colorado professional liability attorneys have been developing a new program for attorney regulation in Colorado. The idea is to provide lawyers with resources to better manage their law firms, to better protect their clients and themselves, and to make more money while doing so. Colorado’s program is the first of its kind in the U.S. The program was featured on BNA Bloomberg: Colorado Goes Live With Online Lawyer Self-Assessment.
The first part of the program is a set of self-assessments designed to help lawyers better serve clients and simplify their professional lives. The program focuses on ten areas that allow lawyers to consider practice risks:
- Developing a competent practice;
- Communicating in an effective, timely, professional manner and maintaining professional relations;
- Ensuring that confidentiality requirements are met;
- Avoiding conflicts of interest;
- Maintaining appropriate file and records management systems;
- Managing the law firm/legal entity and staff appropriately;
- Charging appropriate fees and making appropriate disbursements;
- Ensuring that reliable trust account practices are in use;
- Working to improve the administration of justice and access to legal services;
- Wellness and inclusivity.
The self-assessments ask lawyers whether they have the ethical infrastructure to address these risks. If the lawyers do not, the self-assessments identify 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 self-assessments are available here: http://www.coloradosupremecourt.com/AboutUs/LawyerSelfAssessmentProgram.asp You can earn three (3) FREE ethics CLE credits by completing the self-assessments. All answers are strictly confidential—by design the Office of Attorney Regulation does not have access to individualized information. The goal is to allow lawyers to answer questions honestly and fairly assess their firms’ practices.
This 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 their practice. This program is headed by Jim Coyle and Jonathan White of the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel.