Professionalism Coordinating Council

Professionalism is conduct reflecting the values embodied in the Colorado Attorney Oath of Admission, the Colorado Principles of Professionalism, and the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct.  These values require attorneys always to act competently, civilly, and with integrity and to commit themselves to the public good and to furthering the interests of justice.

“[A]bove all, a lawyer will find his highest honor in a deserved reputation for fidelity to private trust and to public duty, as an honest man and as a patriotic and loyal citizen.”  Am. Bar Ass’n Canons of Ethics 32 (1908).

“The strength of a lawyer is in thorough knowledge of legal truth, in thorough devotion to legal right.  Truth and integrity can do more in the profession than the subtlest and wiliest devices.  The power of integrity is the rule . . . the general law of the profession is duty, not success.  Professional duty, faithfully and well performed, is the lawyer’s glory.” –Edward G. Ryan, Chief Justice, Wisconsin Supreme Court, 1874-1880.

The combined Professionalism Coordinating Council of the Colorado Bar Association and Denver Bar Association works to implement the Principles of Professionalism among members of the Bar, and improve professional conduct by lawyers and judges in light of the lawyers’ Oath of Admission and the reasonable expectations of the bench, bar, and the public.  The Council sponsors a Speaker’s Bureau to speak to groups of professionals, and presents to law students about principles of professional behavior.  The Council has also produced a video vignette series for use in professionalism and ethical CLEs and discussions.
The Council has 178 members, and meets on the second Wednesday of every month at the Bar Association offices at 1290 Broadway, Suite 1700, Denver, Colorado.

Committee Chairs:  Hon. Jonathon Shamis and Erika Holmes 
CBA Staff Liaison: Emma Baxter, [email protected]


Colorado Attorney Oath of Admission

Colorado Attorney Oath of Admission

[Following is the Oath of Admission taken by all individuals at the time of their swearing-in and admission to the practice of law in Colorado]

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that:

I will support the Constitution of the United States
and the Constitution of the State of Colorado;
I will maintain the respect due to courts and judicial officers;
I will employ such means as are consistent with truth and honor;
I will treat all persons whom I encounter through my practice of law with fairness, courtesy, respect, and honesty;
I will use my knowledge of the law for the betterment of society and the improvement of the legal system;
I will never reject, from any consideration personal to myself, the cause of the defenseless or oppressed;
I will at all times faithfully and diligently adhere to the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct.

Council Resources and Activities for Dealing with Professionalism Problems

Professionalism Teaching Vignettes DVD – The Professionalism Coordinating Council has developed a DVD of vignettes, in cooperation with the Metropolitan State College of Denver.  These 20 vignettes, each approximately 3 minutes long, are designed to present mock scenarios of professionalism problems in dealing with opposing attorneys, and to foster small-group discussion.  These Vignettes and an accompanying teaching manual may be borrowed from the Professionalism Council by contacting the Bar Association.

Speaker’s Bureau – The Professionalism Coordinating Council has a Speaker’s Bureau which is available to come speak to groups of attorneys (firm, local bar association, etc.) about salient professionalism issues for attorneys.  CLE credit may be available depending on the presentation topic and size of the group.  Please contact the Bar Association at 303-860-1115 for more information.

Law School Orientation Presentations – The Professionalism Coordinating Council conducts presentations to the incoming 1L classes at the University of Colorado School of Law and the University of Denver Sturm College of Law during their first week of orientation to law school.  Utilizing the Vignettes, Council members lead small group discussions of professionalism issues and principles with the new 1L students.  Through the school year, members of the Council also assist DU Law School with its mentoring program, assisting in coordination of the program and assistance with vignettes and professionalism discussions. 

Peer Professionalism Assistance Group– Formerly known as the Metropolitan Conciliation Panel, the Peer Professionalism Assistance Group is an independent venture, consisting of attorneys from the Denver metropolitan area who have volunteered to counsel attorneys about dealing with rude and unprofessional opposing counsel, and to assist in mediating and resolving professionalism issues among counsel.  Please contact the Bar Association at 303-860-1115 for more information.

Denver Bar Association Mentoring Program – The Denver Bar Association has developed a voluntary mentoring program for newly admitted attorneys to be paired with experienced attorneys for a year-long formal mentorship program.  More information can be found by contacting Nancy Cohen at 303-866-6400.

Our Courts – The Our Courts program is an independent group of lawyers and judges who have developed a presentation to better educate the public at large about the structure of the Colorado judicial system.  Please contact the Bar Association at 303-860-1115 for more information.

Colorado Resources

• Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct

• Colorado Bar Association Professionalism Coordinating Council

• Colorado Bar Association Ethics Committee – committee that issues formal and informal opinions concerning ethical issues facing the profession, and has a call-in hotline for members to speak with a member of the Committee.

• Peer Professionalism Assistance Group (f/k/a Metropolitan Conciliation Panel) – group of attorneys in the Denver metropolitan area available to counsel attorneys about dealing with rude and unprofessional opposing counsel.

• Colorado Bar Association Legal Fee Arbitration Committee – committee that seeks to identify and resolve disputes between attorneys and their clients concerning legal fees.

• Denver Bar Association Legal Fee Arbitration Committee – The committee seeks to identify and resolve through arbitration disputes between attorneys and their clients concerning legal fees -  (303) 860-1115 x807.

• Arapahoe County Bar Association Legal Fee Arbitration Committee – (303) 824-5371.

Other Locations for Research on Professionalism Issues