The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce the lineup of speaker talks for the fourth annual The Future Is Now: Legal Services 2.019 conference. The conference will be held on Thursday, May 16, 2019, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. CT at Venue SIX10 in Chicago.

“The delivery of legal services is evolving rapidly. Technology is providing new ways to communicate, collaborate and organize our work. However, implementation is uncovering ethical challenges,” said Martin Sinclair, Chair of the Commission on Professionalism. “The Commission looks forward to bringing together lawyers and legal professionals at The Future Is Now to explore the rule of law amid this rapid innovation. We hope you’ll join us on May 16.”

Speakers and topics are as follows:

“Newlaw” and the New Lawyering, Daniel B. Rodriguez, Harold Washington Professor, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law

  • Rapid technological innovation has brought about a period of “newlaw.” Newlaw brings different expectations for lawyers, including novel training and skillsets. How can the legal industry proceed rapidly and creatively in this changing environment?

The Modern Legal Ecosystem, Lucy Endel Bassli, Deputy General Counsel of Legal Operations, Contracting and Corporate G&A, Snowflake Computing

  • Law is being tested by limited resources, shifting workforce composition and increased global complexity. To innovate, attorneys must relinquish control of tasks that don’t require a law license and engage with other professions.

Data Security: You Can Do More Than You Think, Rich Lee, General Counsel, Civis Analytics

  • Securing client data is crucial for all attorneys. But the process can seem daunting. Data security is attainable for every lawyer at every firm, often with tools already at their disposal.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, Gyi Tsakalakis, Founder and President, AttorneySync

  • While technology rapidly advances, the fundamentals of client development remain unchanged: relationships and reputation. Lawyers who deploy technology to communicate value and solidify relationships will win.

The Ethical Obligation to Promote Diversity, David L. Douglass, Managing Partner, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, LLP

  • History compels us to conclude that lawyers have an ethical obligation to promote diversity. But the legal profession remains stubbornly nondiverse. Given the lack of progress, perhaps it’s time that the rules of professional conduct endorse and adopt an ethical obligation to diversity.

Killing Solo Softly: How Ethics Regulations Threaten Solo and Small Law Firms, Carolyn Elefant, Founder and Owner, Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant PLLC

  • Outdated and onerous ethics rules disadvantage solo and small law firms when competing with non-lawyer websites and attorney-matching platforms. The solution? The legal profession must break the surly bonds of ethics regulations that threaten the livelihood of solo and small firms.

Positive Impact = Online Dispute Resolution with the Judiciary, MJ Cartwright, CEO, Court Innovations

  • Tens of thousands of Americans who can’t get to court are resolving cases online. Their feedback: strong efficacy and faster time to resolution. How will this growing online dispute resolution industry impact our judiciary?

Lost in Translation: From Research to Practice, April Faith-Slaker, Associate Director of Research Innovations, Harvard Law School’s Access to Justice Lab

  • Many assume that technology has made justice more accessible, but it hasn’t played out that way. Sure, empirical research and evidence-based methods have a place in improving the justice system. But when it comes to implementation, the pathway is unclear.

The Human Cost of Cash Bail, Robin Steinberg, CEO, The Bail Project

  • On any given night, nearly half a million people in the U.S. face pretrial detention because they cannot afford cash bail. Many plead guilty just to go home. The legal industry must adopt a more humane, equitable and effective pretrial alternative to cash bail.

The Essentiality of Civility, Blake D. Morant, Dean and Robert Kramer Research Professor of Law, The George Washington University Law School

  • Uninhibited, anti-politically correct speech has moderated productive dialogue. Persuasion dissipates when incivility dominates. We must advocate for civil discourse as fundamental to constructive engagement, maximizing the communication of ideas and broadening minds.

Early bird registration is open until Sunday, March 31. Conference seating is limited.

The Future Is Now is approved for 5.0 hours of professional responsibility CLE credit in Illinois, including 0.5 hours of diversity and inclusion CLE.

For additional information, contact David Bell at or 312-363-6210. In the meantime, get the conversation started on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn using hashtag #TheFutureIsNow.

About the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism 

The Illinois Supreme Court established the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism in 2005 under Supreme Court Rule 799(c) to foster increased civility, professionalism and inclusiveness among lawyers and judges in Illinois. By advancing the highest standards of conduct among lawyers and judges, the Commission on Professionalism works to better serve clients and society alike. For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter @2CivilityOrg.

Press Contact
Laura Bagby, Communications Director

Photo of Laura Bagby Laura Bagby

Laura Bagby is Communications Director at the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, where she develops and executes strategy to elevate the Commission among attorneys and judges in Illinois. Laura leverages communications channels to educate and engage with the legal community in support…

Laura Bagby is Communications Director at the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, where she develops and executes strategy to elevate the Commission among attorneys and judges in Illinois. Laura leverages communications channels to educate and engage with the legal community in support of the Commission’s mission of increasing civility and professionalism to enable the administration of justice.