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Do you know an Illinois lawyer who’s making an impact in pro bono or public interest law? If so, the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) is accepting nominations for its Annual Awards Luncheon, to be held Wednesday, December 4, 2019, in Chicago. The awards celebrate the outstanding public service work of lawyers throughout Illinois. Nominations will be accepted until Friday, September 6. PILI is a pillar in the pro bono and public interest law community. Through its support of law students, legal professionals and pro bono organizations, PILI aims to “mak[e] equal access to justice a reality through a…
Earlier this month, Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO), the Illinois Bar Foundation (IBF) and the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) announced changes to the Free Legal Answers website. As of August 1, 2019, PILI will assume the state administrator role for the virtual legal clinic from ILAO. Moving forward, PILI will oversee the day-to-day website operations and volunteer management with ongoing funding assistance from IBF. ILAO will continue to provide client referrals and serve as a resource for the volunteer lawyers answering legal questions on the website. Free Legal Answers Free Legal Answers, an American Bar Association project, provides a…
July 1, 2019, marked a significant day for women in the Illinois judiciary. For the first time in the 200-year history of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the role of chief judge will be held by a woman. Newly appointed Chief Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer succeeds Judge Ruben Castillo, who announced he was stepping down on International Women’s Day 2019 (March 8). Judge Castillo, who also broke ground as the state’s first Latino federal judge and its first Latino chief judge, will remain on the bench as an active district court judge. With this appointment,…
In recognition of Pride Month, the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism will feature biographies of LGBTQ+ legal professionals who have promoted a culture of civility and inclusion within the Illinois legal community. This week we profile Judge Nancy Katz, the first openly lesbian judge in Illinois. Earlier this month, we featured Pearl Hart and Thomas Chiola. Nancy Katz Katz dedicated her career to advocating for justice on behalf of underserved communities in Illinois. However, this passion began long before her legal career. As an undergraduate at Northeastern Illinois University, Katz studied sociology and criminal justice. During this…
In recognition of Pride month, the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism (Commission) will feature biographies of LGBTQ+ legal professionals who promoted a culture of civility and inclusion within the Illinois legal community. Our first biography, featuring Pearl Hart, came out last week. Keep an eye out for more later this month. Thomas Chiola Thomas Chiola, 67, grew up in Springfield, IL. As a self-described “all-American boy,” Chiola was the Springfield high school senior of the year in 1970. In 1993, Chiola returned to Springfield to give a speech at an awards banquet. It was here that he…
Are you a law student or know a law student who could use scholarship assistance? The Illinois Judges Foundation (IJF) is accepting applications for a $5,000 scholarship until 3:00 p.m. on June 20, 2019. The Harold Sullivan Scholarship was established to ensure the promotion of ethical values to new generations of Illinois law students. The Illinois Judges Association established the IJF in 2007 to serve as its charitable arm. Its members include both current, sitting judges and retired judges from the state court level throughout Illinois. The IJF funds educational, civic and scholarship projects that advance the rule of law,…
In recognition of Pride month, the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism (Commission) will feature biographies of LGBTQ+ legal professionals who promoted a culture of civility and inclusion within the Illinois legal community. Keep an eye out for additional biographies during June. Pearl Hart Pearl Hart was born in Traverse City, Michigan in 1890 as the fifth and only American born daughter in a family of Russian Jewish Immigrants. Shortly after her birth, Hart’s family moved to 1547 S Kedzie in the Southwest side of Chicago. Here, her father, David, served as an orthodox rabbi and her mother, Rebecca,…
New Mexico is the latest state to consider authorizing limited legal technicians (LLTs) to provide civil legal services to people unable to afford an attorney. In a press release earlier this month, the New Mexico Supreme Court announced the formation of a working group to explore licensing LLTs and other possible changes in court rules and programs to improve the availability of legal services in the state. LLTs would provide legal advice and assistance to clients in certain areas of law without the supervision of a lawyer. If approved, New Mexico would be the third state to authorize professionals who…
The NALP Foundation for Law Career Research and Education and Fringe PD are requesting responses for their Civility within Law Firms – Lawyer Survey. The organizations are asking U.S. and Canada-based attorneys at law firms to participate in the 10-minute, anonymous lawyer civility survey.  This includes staff attorneys, contract / temporary lawyers, part-time / flexible lawyers, etc. The deadline for participation is Thursday, May 30. The NALP Foundation provides practical research and data analysis to improve law career satisfaction and the delivery of legal services. Working with Fringe PD, a neuroscience-based professional development company, the NALP Foundation lawyer civility…