Administrative

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…
Last month, I was fortunate enough to be involved in the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism’s (Commission) Future is Now: Legal Services 2.019 conference in Chicago (shameless plug – save the date for April 2020). The conference got me thinking about the nature of conferences, talks, the legal learning space and how they interact with the theories of learning architecture. Attorneys are some of the most adept people when it comes to absorbing and recalling large amounts of detailed information. However, even they have limits of what they can effectively take in, and lengthy lectures can be challenging…
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,…
Deadlines rule lawyers’ schedules whether they like it or not. For Illinois lawyers (last name N-Z) there is an important deadline coming up on June 30, 2019. The upcoming deadline is to report compliance with the 2017-2019 MCLE reporting period. No pressure, but there is under a month to go! Deadline Requirements Hopefully, this deadline and the MCLE requirements are not a surprise to you. As a quick refresher, the Illinois MCLE requirement is 30 hours of credit, including at least six hours of professional responsibility (PR) credit (in the areas of professionalism, civility, ethics, diversity and inclusion and mental…
Leveraging Technology Last month, I had the opportunity to attend the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism’s annual conference: The Future is Now: Legal Services 2.019. As a current law student, the speakers challenged me to think about leveraging technology in the legal profession. The conference was as much an honest self-reflection of the legal profession’s current environment as it was a showcase of the requisite professional competencies of the future lawyer. I left the conference thinking that many law students are unaware of the legal tech competencies that are and will be expected of them. The Current Law…
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 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…
Photo by Alexander Dummer on Pexels.com The VA appeals system for disability compensation claims has been confusing and complicated for years. Veterans often give up because they get overwhelmed and exhausted by the appeals system.  The VA is hopeful that the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act (AMA) is a more veteran friendly, streamlined process.  Is it? Time will tell.  But in the meantime, here’s a basic overview of the AMA.                  The AMA went into effect on 2/19/2019.  Before this date, Veterans could opt into the new system through RAMP (the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program). If veterans opted into…
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…
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…
One thing that defines the legal profession is that it’s “self-governing.” Lawyers have ethical regulations that bind them together in service to others. But do lawyer ethics rules effectively serve the profession? Do these regulations serve the public? Not as well as they should. Rationale for Self-Regulation What’s this notion of “self-regulation?” Lawyers aren’t licensed or regulated by a department within the executive branch of the government but by state supreme courts. This isn’t set forth in the rules themselves but has evolved by case law and is referenced in the Preamble to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. According…
Legal innovation is all the rage in our profession. In fact, innovation has been a hot topic in many industries for a while now. Law’s stock in trade has been analyzing and applying specialized legal knowledge to solving clients’ problems. But since technology has made information widely available, lawyers no longer have a monopoly. The general public is searching the internet for legal information and services. Companies are selling legal information and services on the internet. And corporate clients are demanding greater value from their lawyers. What does this mean? Lawyers need to change the way they practice, and legal…
When was the last time you evaluated your legal services in terms of client expectations? How about your legal marketing plan? For most, it’s rarely, if ever. Yet, we work in a service industry. While the maxim “the customer is always right” might seem misplaced in the legal profession, it doesn’t diminish the importance of taking a client-centered approach to the delivery of legal services. According to the 2018 Clio Legal Trends Report: “Clients may be the ones to set expectations for law firms, but lawyers are ultimately responsible for delivering on those expectations by finding solutions that are…
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,…