As a lawyer, maintaining the knowledge and skills required to practice law in today’s environment while meeting daily practice demands is no small task. Throw in maintaining competency in emerging technologies and understanding how to use them effectively, and the practice of law can be overwhelming.
Over the past several decades, lawyers have slowly—but surely—embraced computers, the internet, email, and cloud computing in the way we work, communicate, and serve our clients. To date, 40 states have adopted the ABA’s Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.1, Comment 8, to include “keeping abreast of the benefits and risks associated with relevant
Continue Reading 3 Things Lawyers Should Be Doing Now with Generative AI

Our Professionalism Spotlight series highlights Illinois legal professionals who are demonstrating the ideals of professionalism in their daily lives.
These lawyers, paralegals, court clerks, legal assistants, trial court administrators, law school personnel, and other legal and court professionals are essential in the delivery of equitable, efficient, and effective justice in Illinois.
In this Professionalism Spotlight, we spoke to Nicole “Nikki” Ticknor, who serves as the Deputy Court Administrator and Family Violence Coordinated Council Coordinator in the 17th Judicial Circuit Court.
Nikki received the 2023 Jeffrey D. Colman Access to Justice Award from the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access
Continue Reading Professionalism Spotlight: Nikki Ticknor, Deputy Court Administrator, 17th Judicial Circuit

Use an Affidavit of Heirship to transfer property without probate by identifying heirs after intestate deaths. It requires detailed info, notarization, and witnesses, ensuring a smooth inheritance process | O’Flaherty Law – Learn About Law Legal Articles, Videos & Podcasts with O’Flaherty Law
Continue Reading The Essential Guide to the Affidavit Heirship Form | O'Flaherty Law

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice (ATJ Commission) recently issued a report documenting the cost and time savings of remote court appearances in southern Illinois’ First Judicial Circuit.
The report, which was written by Sarah Song of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, stems from a pilot project aimed at reducing the “geographic constraints” of providing free civil legal services to low-income residents in the First Circuit and assessing the impact of remote appearances on courts.
The ATJ Commission provided grant funding to the First Circuit and Land of Lincoln Legal Aid’s Southern Regional Office in
Continue Reading Land of Lincoln Legal Aid Attorneys Saved More Than 633 Hours from Remote Court Appearances, Access to Justice Commission Found

Our Executive Director Erika Harold has assembled a Black History Month playlist, including songs that capture the strength, perseverance, hope, and beauty of the Black experience in America.
Along with the book recommendations we shared from Black leaders in the legal community, this Black History Month playlist recognizes the contributions, sacrifices, and legacy of Black Americans and their essential role in defining the soundtrack of our nation.
“Lift Every Voice and Sing” – performed by Tasha Cobbs Leonard
Commonly known as “The Black National Anthem,” James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing” is a poignant hymn that reflects on
Continue Reading Erika Harold’s Black History Month Playlist

To achieve lasting success, law firms must recruit and retain attorneys who have a vested interest in the success of the firm. Attorneys may be more likely to support and shepherd the enduring success of a law firm with a culture that aligns with their values.

The 2023 Law Firm Culture Survey by Major, Lindsey & Africa and Law360 Pulse explored what exactly constitutes law firm culture. The survey asked roughly 400 lawyers at 227 firms to identify the 10 characteristics that most define their firm. Respondents—64% of whom were senior members of their firms—were also asked what type of
Continue Reading Survey Reveals the Characteristics Attorneys Want in Law Firm Culture  

The ABA Center for Professional Responsibility Working Group on ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct 5.5 (MRPC 5.5) is requesting public comment on an Issues Paper it developed regarding possible regulatory implications associated with exploring possible amendments to MRPC 5.5 to increase permissible cross-border practice.

The Working Group is currently in the early stages of its work in “determining whether and how to amend MRPC 5.5,” which deals with the unauthorized practice of law and multijurisdictional practice of law.

Comments are requested by March 1, 2024, and should be emailed to Natalia Vera at
What is prescribed in
Continue Reading ABA Requests Public Comment on Possible Regulatory Implications of Exploring Possible Amendments to Model Rule of Professional Conduct 5.5 to Increase Permissible Cross-Border Practice

Each year, Black History Month recognizes the contributions, sacrifices, and legacy of African Americans who helped shape—and continue to shape—the culture of our nation.

During February and throughout the year, the Commission celebrates the achievements and heritage of Black lawyers and judges, and highlights the important work of bar associations and other legal organizations that focus on issues concerning the Black community.

We recently spoke to three Black lawyers who are leaders in Illinois bar associations:

Continue Reading Q&A With Three Black Lawyers Who Are Leading Illinois Bar Associations

The Illinois Supreme Court entered an Order on January 31 adding “sexual harassment prevention” to the topic areas that can be applied toward professional responsibility CLE (PR CLE) hours per Rule 794(d).
The amended Rule reads:
Each attorney subject to these Rules shall complete a minimum of six of the total CLE hours for each two-year reporting period in the area of professionalism, civility, legal ethics, sexual harassment prevention, diversity and inclusion, or mental health and substance abuse.
The amendment went into effect on February 1, 2024.
What Illinois lawyers need to know
Do I have to take courses
Continue Reading Illinois Supreme Court Amends Rule 794(d) to Include Sexual Harassment Prevention as Part of PR CLE Requirement

The ABA’s Standing Committee on Professionalism is seeking nominations for the annual E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Awards, which recognize legal professionalism programs that “ensure the maintenance of the highest principles of integrity and dedication to the legal profession and the public.”
Awards of $3,500 each will be given to “exemplary, innovative, and ongoing professionalism programs” established by law schools, state and local bar associations, court programs and projects, law firms, or not-for-profit law-related organizations. To be considered, programs must be ongoing, easily replicated, and in operation for at least one year.
“The E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award honors innovative
Continue Reading Nominate a Legal Professionalism Program for the ABA’s Gambrell Professionalism Awards

This Black History Month, I have been reflecting on my grandmother—Mrs. Mary Louise Tanner—who passed away about a year ago at the age of 101. She was an intelligent, industrious, and beautiful Black woman born in segregated Kentucky in 1921.

Although her opportunities for educational and professional mobility were circumscribed by discriminatory laws and practices, she embodied one of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s most enduring principles: “Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve.”
My grandmother (center) with me and my parents when I was sworn in.
My grandmother worked long and unforgiving hours in jobs that yielded
Continue Reading Honoring the Unsung Heroes of Black History Month: A Tribute to My Grandmother

Today, online reviews have emerged as the modern equivalent of traditional word-of-mouth recommendations, rendering the impact of receiving a negative review particularly significant.
When faced with challenges to our personal and professional competence, the instinct to react impulsively and emotionally is understandable. The innate inclination to safeguard both ourselves and our professional endeavors, even against seemingly trivial remarks, is a natural response.
Nevertheless, it is imperative to exercise caution and avoid hasty responses, as such reactions may compromise not only our standing in the eyes of the challenger but also, more significantly, in the view of prospective clients. Additionally, there
Continue Reading Ethically Dealing with Negative Online Attorney Reviews