Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism

Our Mission To promote a culture of civility and inclusion, in which Illinois lawyers and judges embody the ideals of the legal profession in service to the administration of justice in our democratic society.

Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism Blogs

Latest from Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism

If our justice system is fair and just for all, why is there a consistent disparity in the sentencing of some groups compared to others? Throughout our nation’s history, we’ve regularly seen individuals of color, specifically African American males, jailed and sentenced at a higher and harsher rate than their peers. For example, according to a 2019 study from The Sentencing Project, Black men are six times as likely to be incarcerated as white men, and Latinos are 2.5 times as likely. This estimate is based on data from 2001. Data source: Bureau of Justice Statistics.  While thinkers have…
The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce that Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Manager Kendra Abercrombie will present at the inaugural Future Legal Eagles Flight School, a national pre-law summit for Black youth and their parents. The free virtual event will be held from Friday, July 30 through Sunday, August 1 and requires registration. Future Legal Eagles Flight School was created by Evangeline M. Mitchell, founder of the National Pre-Law Diversity Initiatives, to encourage elementary through high school students to explore a career in the law and to expose them to real-life Black lawyer role models.…
With the phasing out of Illinois’ eviction moratorium set to begin on August 1, courts across the state are preparing for what is likely to be a flood of eviction filings. To help stem the flood, the Illinois Supreme Court instituted a one-month triage period for residential eviction filings that will run from August 1 – September 1. During this period, the judiciary will focus on referring newly filed eviction cases to state programs that provide financial assistance, including up to 15 months of rental assistance or $25,000 to support tenants. The Supreme Court has also created resources to make…
This article was coauthored by Kendra Abercrombie and Mark C. Palmer. Today’s legal profession demands a practice-ready generation of new legal talent. To meet this demand, legal education has found itself pivoting to provide innovative curricula and expand learning options for students. The next generation of lawyers requires more than substantive legal knowledge when entering the profession, as concepts such as the Delta Model Lawyer (a three-pronged competency structure that includes The Law, Business & Operations, and Personal Effectiveness Skills) demonstrate. Although the “big five” classes—civil procedure, contracts, criminal law, property, and torts—still make up the foundation of law school…
Our Lawyer Spotlight series highlights Illinois lawyers who are demonstrating the ideals of professionalism in their daily lives. Mitchell B. Goldberg is the Administrative Partner of Litigation and Regulatory Practice Groups at Lawrence Kamin, LLC. With significant experience representing business and financial services clients, Mitch primarily focuses on litigation and risk management. He has advocated before Illinois state and federal courts on matters including securities fraud, contract disputes, enforcement of restrictive covenants, and more. How do you use technology in your litigation and risk management work? Our firm utilizes technology to make our processes more efficient, our work product better,…
In this episode of Reimagining Law, we talk to Lindsey Carpino, Legal Content Services Supervisor at BakerHostetler. Lindsey discusses innovations in the rise of digital information and the law, how firms should be leveraging their law librarians, and what the future of legal technology looks like for lawyers and law librarians. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up to date on new episodes of Reimagining Law! Timestamps 0:46 – The rise of information available on the internet has changed the profession in many ways. Is technology threatening the jobs of law librarians? 1:28 – How should firms be leveraging…
At some point in our lives, many of us will need help navigating the laws that regulate our rights, relationships, and interactions with others. Starting a business? Buying a house? Dealing with workplace discrimination? These situations and more may require us to make legal decisions that could impact the trajectory of our lives and the lives of our loved ones. However, many people don’t realize that the situation they’re facing has legal consequences. And for those who do, affording legal help can be overwhelming so they go it alone. In fact, in 2019, self-represented litigants filed about 90,000 civil cases…
You get an email from a colleague. Hi Dan: Jordan and I were going over last month’s projects. It seems we could consolidate some of our work and save a lot of effort. Could you look over your work and see where there’s overlap with the rest of the team? What happens next? Well, if it were me, I would have jotted this down on a pad, circled it, and probably written “DO THIS BY MONDAY!” next to it. Invariably, Monday morning would come, I’d go through my pad and see the note. My next thought would be, “Well, Monday…
The goal of this blog is to decrease the number of work meetings you attend. Yes, you read that right. It’s time that we take back our schedules and eliminate unneeded Zoom calls and what may soon be in-person meetings. If my strategies work, I’ll happily accept flowers and free lunches. Before I get ahead of myself with a victory dance, let me set the stage. You’re 45 minutes into a meeting and still not completely sure what the purpose is, who’s leading the call, or how you’re going to meet your other deadlines today. Plus, should you add apples…
Management consultant Peter Drucker once wrote, “What gets measured gets managed.” But this adage is falling flat in the legal profession, as many in-house legal departments fail to establish metrics to track the success of the ambitious diversity goals they put in place over the past year. Major, Lindsey & Africa and the Association of Corporate Counsel recently polled leaders in 493 legal departments spanning 24 industries and 30 countries on a range of topics, including how they measure progress against their diversity goals. Overall, just 29% said they use metrics to track the diversity of their internal legal departments.…
Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce that Commissioner Trisha M. Rich has been named to the “Top 50 Women in Law” list by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer. The award was presented in a virtual ceremony on June 30, 2021. Rich is a partner in Holland & Knight’s Chicago and New York offices where her practice focuses on legal ethics and professional responsibility matters and complex commercial litigation. She has served on the Commission on Professionalism since 2017. “On behalf of the Commission on Professionalism, I would like to congratulate Trisha on this…
Our Lawyer Spotlight series highlights Illinois lawyers who are demonstrating the ideals of professionalism in their daily lives. These attorneys are teaching us how to adapt and thrive in the changing legal environment. Sarah Megan is the Director of Litigation for Prairie State Legal Services, Inc., where she represents clients in complex litigation in state and federal court and assists Prarie State’s 90-plus lawyers and paralegals with litigation and special projects covering a wide range of legal issues. In 2016, Sarah received the National Legal Aid and Defender Association’s Reginald Heber Smith Award for her dedicated service and outstanding achievements…
In this episode of Reimagining Law, we talk to attorneys Aaron W. Brooks and Josef R. Kurlinkus about hacking, ransom, and law firms. Aaron and Josef explain what happens when law firms get hacked, how they should respond (including if they should pay a ransom), and what steps firms can take to protect their data. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up to date on new episodes of Reimagining Law! Timestamps 0:40 – What happens when you get hacked? 1:46 – Should you pay a ransom? What factors go into that evaluation? 3:22 – If people have proper data…
Earlier this week, the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice (ATJ Commission) announced the completion of its annual review of the Financial Affidavit suite of forms for use in Family & Divorce Cases. Patrons should immediately discontinue the use of the forms published in 2016 and begin using the newly published documents linked below. List of Updated Forms The suite now includes several new forms supplementing the revised Financial Affidavit. The suite as a whole includes the following: Getting Started Financial Affidavit (Family & Divorce Cases) How to Complete a Financial Affidavit (Family & Divorce Cases) Financial Affidavit
Last March, most of us had to quickly adjust to remote work after Governor JB Pritzker issued an emergency stay-at-home order in response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic. As the weeks and months ticked by, we developed new routines and responses to challenges. Some of us liked working from home while others were overwhelmed, juggling work, health, and family responsibilities. Then, on June 11, 2021, the governor issued a Phase 5 Reopening Order. Consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the order said fully vaccinated individuals were free to abandon their face coverings and disregard social…
We all have our attention on what’s next, including better ways of working as we emerge from COVID-19. Many of us have developed new methods for boosting our efficiency and productivity while working from the confines of our homes. Now, as we determine which road to take back to a new way of doing business, we should also reevaluate our workplace setup and if it’s improving or impeding our ability to stay focused on the task at hand. As you fine-tune your remote office or maybe readjust your in-office workspace, don’t skip on the computer peripherals as a way to…