laura bagby

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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.

Latest Articles

The legal employment market may be improving for recent law school graduates, according to new data from the National Association for Law Placement (NALP). Late last month, NALP released a summary of key findings from its annual Jobs & JDs: Employment and Salaries of New Law School Graduates report. The data showed that while the employment rate for law school graduates continues to rise, graduates found 150 fewer jobs in 2018 than 2017. Legal employment market makes gains Members of the class of 2018 experienced an 89.4% employment rate, compared to 88.6% in 2017. The number of law firm jobs…
The Digital LSAT has arrived. And the reviews are mixed. More than 24,000 aspiring lawyers registered for the July LSAT at over 450 test centers across North America. Roughly half took the digital exam, which was administered at 203 test centers. Kaplan Test Prep, an educational and career services provider, polled 118 of its students about their experience with the digital exam. Test takers were split on the overall difficulty: 37% said it was easier than expected, while 32% said it was harder and 31% said it was as expected. When it came to the technology (e.g., touchscreen and stylus…
Lawyers seeking to provide legal assistance to immigrant children facing deportation now have an easier way to identify those in need. Pro Bono Matters for Children Facing Deportation is an online platform that allows attorneys to search available pro bono cases for unaccompanied children who’ve crossed into the U.S. from Mexico, and have been detained by the federal government or released to live with family during deportation proceedings. The platform compiles cases from across the U.S. as submitted by legal aid and pro bono programs. Attorneys can search cases by geographic location, case type and posting organization. Lawyers can also…
Corporate legal departments are delivering more services in house while exploring ways to control costs, according to the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium’s (CLOC) 2019 State of the Industry Survey. The survey, which was released on July 18, compared internal to external expenditure, legal operations headcount, technology and innovation, and law firm evaluations across 200-plus companies of different sizes in over 30 industries and 18 countries. CLOC members were polled in early 2019 about their 2018 results. This is CLOC’s second state of the industry survey. The results of the first were published in 2017. Moving in house In 2018,…
Earlier this week, the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice approved a new Order of Protection (OP) form suite. The forms, which are intended to simplify and standardize the OP filing process for pro se litigants statewide, are available on the Court’s website. We spoke to three people who were instrumental in the development of the new form suite about its significance. Alison Spanner, Assistant Director, Access to Justice Division at the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts Matt Newsted, Automated Documents Producer at Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO) and a member of the OP Subcommittee Margaret Duval,…
A client has the right to terminate a lawyer in favor of another at any time. However, the division of fees can get tricky, especially in contingency cases. The American Bar Association provided clarity on fee splitting last month, by releasing new guidelines for contingency cases when a lawyer is replaced by another at a different firm. Formal Opinion 487, which was issued by the ABA’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, outlines the successor attorney’s obligations when assuming a case where there is monetary recovery. Fee splitting in contingency cases In a contingent fee matter, the opinion…
Last month, Maine became the second state to adopt ABA Rule 8.4(g). However, some critics fear the controversial anti-harassment and discrimination rule may be unconstitutional. The rule says it’s professional misconduct for a lawyer to, “engage in conduct or communication related to the practice of law that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity.” The rule goes on to say, “Declining representation, limiting one’s practice to particular clients or types of clients, and advocacy of policy positions or…
The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce that Commissioner Hon. Debra Walker has been named President of the Illinois Judges Foundation (IJF). Walker was installed for a 1-year term on Friday, May 31, at a meeting of the IJF Board of Directors. The IJF was established in 2007 to serve as the charitable arm of the Illinois Judges Association. Its membership includes current sitting and retired judges. The IJF funds educational, civic and scholarship projects that advance the legal profession and the rule of law. This includes sponsoring the Harold Sullivan Scholarship, which was established in…
Earlier this month, hundreds of legal professionals gathered in Chicago to attend the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism’s The Future Is Now: Legal Services 2.019 conference. This year’s speakers explored topics including evolving alternative legal landscapes, novel access to justice solutions, legal innovation through technology, blueprints for change and more. While each talk varied, there was a common thread: how can lawyers embrace legal innovation while upholding the rule of law and their professional responsibility to clients and to the legal system? It’s a fine balance. While technology is changing the legal landscape and driving efficiency, relationships and reputation…
The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce that Professionalism Counsel Mark C. Palmer has been elected to the Illinois State Bar Association’s (ISBA) Board of Governors. Palmer will serve a 3-year term as lead representative for the 5th, 6th and 11th Judicial Circuits beginning on June 13, 2019, the opening of the ISBA Annual Meeting. The 27-member ISBA Board of Governors oversees the operations and management of the ISBA, subject to policies set by the 203-member Assembly. Voting in the election was open to ISBA members. “Mark has dedicated his career to improving the administration…
Each year on May 1, the legal community comes together to celebrate the rule of law. Law Day 2019 provides an opportunity to reflect on the role that the law plays in protecting our liberty, securing justice and contributing to the freedoms that Americans share. President Dwight Eisenhower established the first Law Day in 1958 to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. In 1961, Congress designated May 1 as the official date for Law Day. Since then, every president has issued a Law Day proclamation recognizing the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Each year,…
The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce that Lindsay Shaw has been nominated for the Association of Legal Administrators’ (ALA) Quest Award. Shaw, CLE & Program Coordinator for the Commission on Professionalism, is one of 18 finalists from more than 720 eligible members across the U.S. The Quest Award recognizes a new member who has become quickly and effectively engaged with ALA and demonstrates support for the profession, conviction, dedication and relentless pursuit of personal and professional excellence. Chapter presidents are given the opportunity to nominate one individual from a field of the chapter’s eligible…
The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce that Commissioner Hon. Debra Walker will receive a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Illinois College of Law. The Distinguished Alumni Award will be presented at the College of Law’s Annual Dinner on Thursday, April 11, in Chicago. Since 1966, the College of Law has chosen individuals annually to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award in recognition of their professional achievements and leadership in their communities. Past recipients include the Hon. Barbara Crowder (Ret.), Circuit Court of Madison County, Ill., and the Hon. Anthony Black, Florida Second District Court…
The ABA Standing Committee on Professional Regulation wants lawyer regulation to be preventative. It seeks comments by April 15 on a draft resolution and report encouraging state supreme courts to study and adopt tailored Proactive Management-Based Regulation (PMBR). The Standing Committee developed the report with the ABA Young Lawyers Division Ethics and Professionalism Committee. PMBR helps lawyers develop ethical infrastructures aimed at preventing misconduct. Traditionally, much of the lawyer regulatory process has been complaint-driven and reactive. However, a majority of complaints are for what’s considered “lesser misconduct,” like a lack of communication or neglect. PMBR proponents believe that…
Early bird registration has been extended for the The Future Is Now: Legal Services 2.019. The discounted $75 registration fee is valid until Monday, April 15. The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism’s signature event will be held on Thursday, May 16, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. CDT at Venue SIX10 in Chicago. Now in its fourth year, The Future is Now conference will feature 10 TED-like talks on embracing and promoting the Rule of Law amid rapid innovation in the legal industry. Lawyers, entrepreneurs and professors from across the U.S. will present on topics like evolving alternative legal landscapes,…
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…