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

Law firms may not be walking the walk on cybersecurity, according to the American Bar Association’s (ABA) TECHREPORT 2019. The report found that, while almost 60% of law firms use cloud computing applications to store client data, only 35% take standard precautionary measures to secure these data. The annual ABA TECHREPORT examines how attorneys use technology in their practices. The results stem from the ABA’s Legal Technology Survey Report in combination with analysis from leaders in legal technology. Articles on cloud computing, cybersecurity, practice management and websites and marketing have been released online. Five additional articles will be released…
The Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (AOIC) announced last week that it received a $100,000 grant from the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) as part of the Justice for All project. The Illinois Court’s Access to Justice Commission will use the funds to support strategies to expand access to legal services in the state. Justice for All grants were created to implement two advanced resolutions: meaningful access to effective assistance for essential civil legal needs and for traditional and non-traditional stakeholders to collaborate to develop a comprehensive approach to achieve meaningful access to justice. Illinois is one of…
Clio, a cloud-based legal technology company, announced the results of its 2019 Legal Trends Report this week at the Clio Cloud Conference in San Diego. The annual report is the legal industry’s largest nationwide assessment of client services among law firms. The study found that client service remains a challenge for law firms. Potential clients struggle to get timely and informative responses when contacting law firms. To be successful, however, law firms must strike a balance between revenue-generating tasks and delivering exceptional client service. “Clients want law firms that understand the importance of their legal issue. They want timely responses to…
Northwestern Pritzker School of Law has joined a national initiative aimed at creating a more diverse legal profession. The Move the Needle Fund, a first-of-its-kind experimental “laboratory,” will test innovative approaches to improving diversity and inclusion over five years at five U.S. law firms. These pilots will serve as roadmaps for diversity and inclusion efforts in the legal profession and beyond. The Move the Needle Fund is a unique collaboration between the Diversity Lab — an incubator for innovative ideas and solutions that boost diversity and inclusion in law — law firms, more than 25 general counsel, community leaders and…
Last week, the Illinois Judicial Conference released a three-year strategic agenda for the Illinois Judicial Branch. The agenda, which runs through 2022, outlines the mission, vision and core values of the judicial branch, as well as organizational goals and strategies for achieving those goals. “If the courts are to continue to make good on the promise of equal justice under law in this new and challenging environment, we must be proactive. Waiting for problems to develop and then responding will no longer do,” wrote Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier in the strategic agenda. “Rather, it is critical…
Each year, National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the Latino community’s contributions to American history, heritage and culture. In 1968, the U.S. Congress authorized and requested that the president issue an annual proclamation designating the week that included September 15 and 16 as National Hispanic Heritage Week. President Lyndon Johnson issued the first proclamation that year. It stated, in part: Wishing to pay special tribute to the Hispanic tradition, and having in mind the fact that our five Central American neighbors celebrate their Independence Day on the fifteenth of September and the Republic of Mexico on the sixteenth, the Congress by…
The justices of the Supreme Court of Illinois have selected Hon. Anne Burke to serve as their next chief justice. Burke was sworn in on Sept. 10, 2019, with an effective date of Oct. 26, 2019. Her three-year term will run through Oct. 25, 2022. Burke will be the court’s 121st chief justice. Burke succeeds Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier, who has served in the role since 2016. She will be the third woman to serve as chief justice, following the late Justice Mary Ann McMorrow and Justice Rita B. Garman. The position of chief justice rotates among the seven…
The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is thrilled to announce that the University of Illinois College of Law has joined the Jumpstart law school preparation program. The University of Illinois is the first law school outside of Chicago to participate in Jumpstart. Retired U.S. Seventh Circuit Judge Ann Claire Williams launched Jumpstart over 20 years ago as an educational program to support first year, minority law students who are traditionally underrepresented in the legal profession. The curriculum, which is designed in collaboration with the law schools, provides context for success in law school and beyond. “I’m thrilled to welcome…
In the U.S., the bar exam has determined the fate of eager would-be lawyers since 1738. The exam is aimed at sorting out those who have the skills to practice law from those who don’t. However, state regulators haven’t agreed on a definition of the minimum competence needed to practice law. This begs the question, “Does the bar exam accurately identify who has what it takes to practice law?” The Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) is aiming to fill this critical gap with its recently launched Building a Better Bar: Capturing Minimum Competence project. The…
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…