Current Issue / DU Alumni / People

DU General Counsel Paul Chan is the new president of the Colorado Bar Association

University of Denver General Counsel Paul Chan, the new president of the Colorado Bar Association (CBA), makes it sound as if leading 17,777 lawyers isn’t such a difficult task.

That’s 17,777 people who argue for a living.

But Chan (BA English ’81) — who took the reins of the CBA in summer 2010 — sees an opportunity to serve, not a challenge to avoid. While vigorous debate and advocacy may be part of the job for many attorneys, Chan says he is proud to work in a profession rooted in ethics and populated by inquisitive, caring professionals.

And because joining the bar is voluntary, he says it’s up to its leadership to ensure membership provides value. As technologies develop (“When was the last time you sent a fax?” he asks), it’s up to the bar to help members understand social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Clients, he says, have access to more resources than ever, from Google searches to online “virtual” law firms. Lawyers can access offshore researchers for legal preparation. Computers accelerate everything. It’s up to the bar and a vital, engaged community of attorneys to help keep the profession current.

“It’s a huge honor to represent the lawyers of the state of Colorado, particularly the members of the Colorado Bar Association,” Chan says. “These are people who are, with virtually no exceptions, all focused on the same things: bettering the profession, helping the public and getting to know their fellow professionals in a collegial setting.”

As the first Asian-Pacific American to lead the bar in its 113-year history, Chan says he can lead by example. As Colorado grows more diverse, it’s important that the public sees that diversity represented in the legal community and in the profession’s leadership.

“It’s very important for attorneys of diverse backgrounds to take on these leadership opportunities whenever possible,” he says. “Whether it’s women, minorities or people of different abilities or orientation, they are all part of our state and our profession, and it’s important that we reflect that.”

–Chase Squires


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *