Colorado Supreme Court
Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel
Promoting Professionalism. Protecting the Public.
Book Provides New Business Model for Attorneys
The manual is intended for lawyers wanting to represent moderate-income clients.
By JAMES CARLSON
A new manual written by Colorado lawyers seeks to bridge the gap between the growing population of attorneys looking for work and people who can’t afford legal services.
“Successful Business Planning: Representing the Moderate Income Client” offers guidance to attorneys on how to sustain a law practice composed of such clients. It spans 10 chapters on topics including marketing, client screening, limited-scope representation and the ethics of working with such clients.
The book takes aim at the intersection of two dynamics in the legal profession. More lawyers can’t find work in the state while more people who can’t afford a lawyer are going pro se.
The stories of the bleak job market for attorneys are well-known by now. Meanwhile, Colorado courts saw approximately 58,000 civil cases filed in fiscal year 2012 in which no attorney entered an appearance for either side. That doesn’t include the cases in which one side was represented but the other was not. Many potential clients fall into a donut hole — they make too much to qualify for legal aid and too little to afford traditional legal services.
So a year ago, Mark Fogg, then-president of the Colorado Bar Association, along with others, formed a task force to study the issue. The group was co-chaired by Colorado Court of Appeals Judge Daniel Taubman and Denver business attorney John Zakhem.
The new manual isn’t the only result of the group’s work. The task force also began a listserv for attorneys to discuss issues around serving moderate-income clients, and its members, including Assistant Regulation Counsel Adam Espinosa, will present a continuing legal education program on Nov. 13.
Coordinators at self-help centers in many of the state’s district courts are also developing a list of lawyers who will represent modest-means clients
For more information about the listserv, the CLE program or how to purchase a copy of the manual, go to the CBA site here.
James Carlson is the Information Resources Coordinator for the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel. If you have an idea for or a comment about the OARC Update, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.