Colorado Supreme Court
Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel
Promoting Professionalism. Protecting the Public.
Fee Increase to Fund New Programs
Colorado’s attorney registration fees will remain below the national average.
By JAMES C. COYLE
In order to continue offering expanded services to Colorado lawyers, the Colorado Supreme Court has approved the first increase in attorney registration fees in eight years. Annual registration fees for attorneys admitted three or more years ago will increase by $100. For lawyers practicing less than three years, the annual fees will increase by $10, to $190.
The fee increase occurs with the 2014 registration process. The increase will fund two new lawyer assistance programs, the Colorado Lawyer Assistance Program (COLAP) (created in 2012) and the Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program (CAMP) (created in 2013). COLAP and CAMP are proactive, preventative programs that seek to improve the personal and professional lives of lawyers, and thereby further protecting the public. These programs are part of an overall effort to move toward an attorney regulation system that recognizes the pitfalls associated with the practice of law and provides Colorado lawyers with the tools needed to hopefully avoid many of those pitfalls, well before any client is harmed or any disciplinary proceeding instituted. In addition, the Court now has responsibility for the costs of administering the Commission on Judicial Discipline.
The fee increase will also offset the increased expenses associated with the growing number of inventory counsel matters this office handles when a lawyer dies or becomes disabled, and other costs associated with regulating Colorado’s aging lawyer population (over half of all Colorado lawyers are now age 53 or older). Finally, the increase will also offset the costs of much-needed technological improvements for the admissions, mandatory continuing legal and judicial education, attorney regulation and unauthorized practice of law programs.
Colorado historically has had one of the lowest attorney registration fees in the nation. In 2013, its fees rank 39th, despite the state ranking 15th in number of attorneys. Since 2005, 40 other states were required to raise their fees. Even with the increase, Colorado’s highest registration fee of $325 remains below the national average. We remain committed to continue to do more with each registration dollar than any other state program.
For more information, view the fee schedule at the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel’s website.
James C. Coyle is Regulation Counsel for the Colorado Supreme Court.