Illinois State Bar Association

Founded in 1877, the Illinois State Bar Association is the premier legal association in the state. As a voluntary organization of  28,000 members, the Association's primary focus is to assist Illinois lawyers in the practice of law and to promote improvements in the administration of justice.

The Association engages in many important activities on behalf of the profession — among them proposing and shaping legislation, educating the public, and supporting the courts and the rule of law.

The Illinois Supreme Court handed down nine opinions on Thursday, September 24. In People v. Stoecker, the Court affirmed the dismissal of a defendant’s petition for relief from judgment. In People v. Hollahan, the Supreme Court ruled that there was no error in a circuit court allowing a jury to watch a video of the defendant’s DUI stop in the courtroom with the defendant present. In People v. Gaines, the Court considered whether a trial court’s sua sponte vacatur of a defendant’s guilty plea and his subsequent trial violated double jeopardy. In People v. Deleon, the Court considered whether section…
The Illinois Supreme Court recently announced that its September Term will be held in-person in Springfield at the Illinois Supreme Court Building. The Court’s last Term in May was heard remotely via Zoom. “After lengthy consultations with local health experts and the implementation of extensive safety precautions, we are very excited to be able to host our September Term of Court in Springfield,” Chief Justice Anne M. Burke said. There are 17 cases scheduled to be heard during this Term and information on each case can be found here. Oral arguments will begin at 9 a.m. each morning and…
The Illinois Supreme Court announced late last week a temporary order which limits in-person court appearances and promotes remote court appearances to ensure the health and safety of the public accessing the court during the COVID-19 pandemic. The order is effective immediately and until further order of the court. The temporary order addresses applications for waiver of court fees and summonses to appear in small claims and consumer cases. “I would like to thank the Court Operations During COVID-19 Task Force for suggesting these important changes,” Chief Justice Anne M. Burke said. “As the pandemic continues, the court will continue…
The Illinois Supreme Court handed down one opinion on Thursday, August 20. In People v. Sophanavong, the court considered whether a circuit court’s failure to strictly comply with the requirements to proceed without a presentence investigation report requires remand for a new sentencing hearing or whether a defendant can waive the issue by pleading guilty as well as forfeit the claim by failing to raise it in a postplea motion. People v. Sophanavong By Jay Wiegman, Office of the State Appellate Defender Section 5‑3‑1 of the Unified Code of Corrections (Code) (730 ILCS 5/5‑3‑1) requires a circuit court to consider…
Starting September 1, self-represented litigants in Illinois can submit a question online about their civil appeal and receive an answer from a pro bono lawyer with the launch of Illinois Free Legal Answers for Civil Appeals, the first-ever legal help desk for appeals in Illinois. The program was created to address the pressing need to provide help to self-represented litigants (SRLs), who account for 41% of civil appeals filed in the state. Illinois Free Legal Answers for Civil Appeals will operate through the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Free Legal Answers platform, which is administered in Illinois by the Public Interest…
Chief Justice Anne M. Burke and the Illinois Supreme Court announced today the amendment of Rule 9(c)(5), which will allow self-represented litigants (SRLs) who are unable to complete the e-filing process on their own and unable to get e-filing assistance from the court to file by mail, in person, or other means . The amended rule is effective immediately. “The Illinois Courts continue to adapt to issues brought on by this pandemic,” Chief Justice Burke said. “This change provides self-represented litigants greater flexibility and efficiency when physical access to courthouses is limited by COVID-19.” The Illinois Supreme Court Rules…
The Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) of the Supreme Court of Illinois, the entity that investigates and prosecutes attorney misconduct, recognizes its responsibility to work towards making sure that the legal system functions fairly for all citizens. To that end, the ARDC has formed the Equal Justice Rules Committee (EJRC) to examine the ethical rules that govern Illinois attorneys’ conduct with the goal of determining whether amendment of those rules is necessary to enhance attorneys’ rights and refocus attorneys’ duties to act in a manner that supports the equal and fair application of justice. The committee’s formation is the…
The Illinois Supreme Court announced today that due to continuing public health concerns raised by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois in-person bar examination scheduled for September 9-10, 2020, has been canceled. In its place, the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar will offer a remote version of the exam on October 5-6, 2020, using questions prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners. This exam will satisfy the requirements of Illinois Supreme Court Rules 701 and 704. The Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar has been in close and frequent contact with the Illinois Supreme Court, monitoring the…
The Illinois Supreme Court announced today the amendment of Rule 7.3, which pertains to the solicitation of clients. The Rule was amended to prohibit all client solicitations that “seek[] representation of the respondent in a case brought under any law providing for an ex parte protective order for personal protection when the solicitation is made prior to the respondent having been served with the order.” The changes are effective immediately. The new Rule is available online.…
Chief Justice Anne M. Burke and the Illinois Supreme Court announced today the approval of new Rule 139 regarding practice and procedure in eviction proceedings. The new rule requires an eviction complaint to include a copy of the written eviction notice or demand and, where applicable, the relevant portions of the lease. The new rule is effective immediately. The Illinois Supreme Court Rules can be found online. “This new rule will help self-represented parties on both sides of eviction cases and also the judges hearing these cases by requiring key information at the outset,” Chief Justice Anne M. Burke…
The Illinois Supreme Court today amended Rules 11 and 131. Rule 11 was amended to explicitly provide that “[a] self-represented litigant who has an e-mail address must also include the e-mail address on the appearance and on all pleadings filed in court to which documents and notices will be served in conformance with Rule 131(d).” Prior to the amendment, self-represented litigants were allowed, but not required, to provide e-mail addresses on appearances and pleadings.​ Rule 131 was simply updated to reflect the changes to Rule 11. The changes are effective immediately. The amended Rules are available online.…
Chief Justice Anne M. Burke and the Illinois Supreme Court announced today the amendment of Rule 711(g), which will temporarily expand the class of employers eligible to supervise new law school graduates to include private law firms and other for-profit entities. The Illinois Supreme Court order temporarily amending Rule 711 to add paragraph (g) can be found here and the Application for Authorization to Perform Legal Services under Illinois Supreme Court Rules 711(g) is available here. “The Court understands the plight of recent law graduates and we want to provide an effective transition to them becoming practicing lawyers in…
The Illinois Judicial Conference (IJC) is pleased to announce the creation of a task force to address the ongoing challenges with resuming court operations through the next phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Court Operations During COVID-19 Task Force (Task Force) is charged with analyzing and making recommendations regarding the continuing challenges for the administration of justice resultant from the pandemic. “The Illinois Judicial Conference helped established the Court’s vision statement to be trusted and open to all by being fair, innovative, diverse, and responsive to changing needs,” Chief Justice Anne M. Burke said. “That statement looks prophetic after the…
The Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) Assembly on June 19 approved a resolution that will create an association-wide program to further support and promote equal justice and full equality for all. The resolution’s adoption coincides with Juneteenth, an annual celebration observed on June 19 marking the end of slavery in the U.S. “History is being made today with the adoption of this important resolution,” said ISBA President Dennis J. Orsey. “As the premier bar association in Illinois, the ISBA and its members are uniquely situated to take a leading role in identifying and addressing equal justice issues and ensuring full…
The Illinois Supreme Court handed down six opinions on Thursday, June 18. In People v. Legoo, the court affirmed a man’s conviction of being a child sex offender in a public park. In People v. Robinson, the court granted a defendant’s leave to file a successive post-conviction petition asserting a claim of actual innocence in a murder trial. In People v. Swenson, the court upheld a man’s conviction for disorderly conduct after he called a school administrator and made extensive comments about shootings and violence during a phone conversation, causing the school to go on lockdown. In People v. Radford,…
Interested in joining your peers in the legal blogging world but don’t have time to set up and maintain a blog of your own? LexBlog can help! Twenty is LexBlog’s new and completely turnkey blogging platform. It is being offered to ISBA members as part of LexBlog’s national #Blog4Good campaign, which aims to aggregate and showcase pandemic-related legal information. Blogs on the new Twenty platform are now easier for ISBA members to set up and use. As an added bonus, they’re free during the first six months and are only $39.99 per month after that. ISBA members who purchase a…