Colorado Admission Laws

Colorado has two classes of applicants which may be admitted to the state bar.  Class A applicants to Colorado Bar must have obtained their professional law degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association.  Every Class B applicant must have a professional law degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association or a state accredited law school or a law school in a common law, English-speaking nation other than the United States.

If an applicant has a professional degree from a state accredited law school,  s/he should have been admitted to the Bar of another state, territory, or district of the United States and should have been actively and substantially engaged in the practice of law for five of the seven years immediately preceding application for admission to the Bar of Colorado.

If an applicant has a professional degree from a law school in a common law, English-speaking nation other than the United States, then s/he should have been admitted to the Bar of the nation where s/he received his/her first professional law degree and should have been actively and substantially engaged in the practice of law for five of the seven years immediately preceding application for admission to the bar of Colorado.

Both Class A and B applicants are required to pass the Multi-State Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE).  In addition, all applicants must demonstrate that they are mentally stable and morally and ethically qualified for admission.  No person shall be permitted to practice as an attorney without having previously obtained a license for that purpose from the Supreme Court.  Every registered attorney is required to complete 45 units of continuing legal education during each of the three-year compliance period.  At least seven of these 45 units should specifically address legal ethics.

The Supreme Court exercises jurisdiction over all matters, including admission, involving the licensing of persons to practice law in the State of Colorado.

C.R.S. 12-5-101
No person shall be permitted to practice as an attorney………without having previously obtained a license for that purpose from the Supreme Court……….Nothing in this section shall be construed to require membership in a professional organization or bar association as a prerequisite to licensure.
C.R.C.P. 201.1

The Supreme Court exercises jurisdiction over all matters involving the licensing of persons to practice law in the State of Colorado. Accordingly, the Supreme Court has adopted the following rules governing admission to the practice of law.
C.R.C.P. 201.5
(1) Every Class A applicant shall have obtained a first professional law degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association
(2) Class B applicants shall meet the following educational requirements:
(a) Every Class B applicant shall have received at the time of the examination (i) a first professional law degree from a law school approved by the American Bar Association; or (ii) a first professional law degree from a state accredited law school, provided that such applicant shall have been admitted to the bar of another state, territory, or district of the United States and shall have been actively and substantially engaged in the practice of law, as defined by Rule 201.3(2), for five of the seven years immediately preceding application for admission to the Bar of Colorado; or (iii) a first professional law degree from a law school in a common law, English-speaking nation other than the United States provided that such applicant shall have been admitted to the bar of the nation where he/she received his/her first professional law degree and shall have been actively and substantially engaged in the practice of law, ad defined by Rule 201.3(2), for five of the seven years immediately preceding application for admission to the bar of Colorado.
(3) Effective July 1, 1992, both Class A and Class B applicants shall be required to pass the Multi-State Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE). A passing score will be valid if it was achieved at an examination taken not more than two years prior to acceptance of application for admission in Colorado. The Supreme Court shall review and approve, in advance, the general standards of performance that must be met in order to pass the MPRE.
C.R.C.P. 201.6
(1) Applicants must demonstrate that they are mentally stable and morally and ethically qualified for admission. Fingerprints may be required of all applicants.
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(3) Applicants must certify that they are in compliance with any child support order as defined by § 26-13-123(a), C.R.S.

C.R.C.P. 220
(1) An attorney who meets the following conditions is an out-of-state attorney for the purpose of this rule:
(a) The attorney is licensed to practice law and is on active status in another jurisdiction in the United States;
(b) The attorney is a member in good standing of the bar of all courts and jurisdictions in which he or she is admitted to practice;
(c) The attorney has not established domicile in Colorado; and
(d) The attorney has not established a place for the regular practice of law in Colorado from which such attorney holds himself or herself out to the public as practicing Colorado law or solicits or accepts Colorado clients.
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C.R.C.P. 260.2
(1) Every registered attorney and every judge shall complete 45 units of continuing legal education during each applicable three-year compliance period as provided in these rules.
(2) At least 7 of the 45 units will be devoted to continuing legal education specifically addressed to legal or judicial ethics. This requirement shall be effective for all three-year compliance periods beginning on or after January 1, 1992.
(3) All registered attorneys admitted after January 1, 1979, shall become subject to the minimal educational requirements set forth in these rules on the date of their initial admission to the bar of the State of Colorado. Their first compliance period shall begin on that date and end on December 31 of the third full calendar year following the year of admission.


Inside Colorado Admission Laws