The powerful message from Jessica Brown, CBA president, contained in the December 2020 edition of Colorado Lawyer helps set the stage for further discussion about the Colorado Supreme Court’s recent steps to join the growing trend among ten other jurisdictions that have adopted some form of mandatory continuing legal and judicial education requirements to enhance equity, diversity, and inclusion throughout the judicial system. Hopefully, these remarkable efforts help attract the attention and resources that will be necessary to “bring about actual diversity and inclusion within the CBA and the rest of the profession” in the State of Colorado.
Congratulations and thank you to the CBA and Colorado Supreme Court for their leadership with this very important social and professional initiative.
But recent survey results from the Minority Corporate Counsel Association and Russell Reynolds Associates, an executive search consultancy, demonstrate that the legal industry continues to underperform other professional service industries according to several key metrics related to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. There still is much work to be done.
The Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel has published the following notice of proposed changes to the rules and regulations governing continuing legal and judicial education in Colorado. The below is an excerpt from OARC Update, March 2021. The full article can be found here.
Proposed rule changes
Continuing Legal and Judicial Education Rules and Regulations
The Colorado Supreme Court has proposed amendments to the rules and regulations governing continuing legal and judicial education in Colorado. The Colorado Supreme Court will conduct a hearing on the proposed rules and regulations on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 3:30 p.m. via WebEx.
Written comments on the proposed changes should be sent to:
Clerk of the Colorado Supreme Court
2 E. 14th Avenue, Denver, CO 80203
or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Persons wishing to speak at the hearing should:
notify Ms. Stevens by email or by telephone 720-625-5150.
All comments and speaking requests must be received no later than Monday, March 29, 2021 at 4 p.m. For more information regarding the proposed amendments, click here .
In summary, those amendments to the CLE rules and regulations include, in part, the following:
- Colorado attorneys will still be required to complete 45 credit hours of CLE in each three-year compliance period. The new amendment will require that at least seven credit hours be devoted to a broader category of professional responsibility, rather than the more narrow category of legal ethics.
- The broader category of professional responsibility would include legal ethics, legal professionalism, and equity, diversity and inclusivity (“EDI”).
- Starting with CLE compliance periods that end December 31, 2023, Colorado attorneys would need to complete at least two credit hours in EDI and at least five credit hours in legal ethics or legal professionalism.
- The regulations will define what content is needed for programs to be accredited in legal ethics, legal professionalism, and EDI.
- The regulations also expand the definition of law practice management programming to include technology and leadership relating to the practice of law.