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

In this episode of Reimagining Law, we talk to Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Anne M. Burke. Chief Justice Burke discusses how the judiciary has adapted to the pandemic, the Court’s increased collaboration with communities across the state, and how the Court is promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the judicial branch. Subscribe to our channel to stay up to date on new episodes of Reimagining Law! Timestamps 0:37 – What major changes have you made to the judiciary as a result of the pandemic? 2:08 – Which changes may become a permanent part of the way we serve the public moving forward? 3:28…
Finding purpose in our lives is more important than ever. From the global pandemic, to the death of George Floyd, to the contentious election, 2020 has been beyond unpredictable and dispiriting. Yet, as the Buddhist teacher and author Pema Chodron asks, “What if rather than being disheartened by the ambiguity, the uncertainty of life, we accepted it and relaxed into it?” For lawyers, one way to relax into unpredictability is to take control of what we can. Attorneys can realize our value by supporting our community in ways that only we can. I think finding our purpose through pro bono…
Legal organizations around Illinois will shift their focus to pro bono later this month during the annual Pro Bono Week celebration. From October 25-31, legal and civic organizations will hold virtual events that highlight the need for pro bono service and acknowledge those who give their time. The demand for pro bono attorneys is great. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about economic hardships and a sharp increase in legal needs not seen in decades. In July, 97% of Legal Services Corporation grantees anticipated a sharp increase in legal needs arising from COVID-19 in the areas of eviction, foreclosures, unemployment…
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. Juan Morado Jr. is a partner at Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP, where he practices healthcare law. He is a member of the board of directors and past president of the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois (HLAI) and a board director at the Public Interest Law Initiative. How is Benesch adapting to the changing work environment? The change really was seamless. Firm leadership acted quickly and decisively…
Each year, National Hispanic Heritage Month honors the cultures and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans and celebrates their influence on the history, culture, and achievements of the U.S. We spoke with Janneth Lanini, president of the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois (HLAI), about her work with the HLAI, the challenges Hispanic and Latino attorneys face, and how the profession can better support diverse attorneys. What unique challenges do Hispanic attorneys face, especially during COVID-19? Working remotely has brought unique challenges to legal professionals in general and the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois membership has been particularly impacted by those…
In this episode of Reimagining Law, we talk to Melanie Leonard, Esq., founder of streamlined.legal, and Bryan Sims, an attorney at Sims Law Firm, Ltd. Melanie and Bryan discuss how COVID-19 has changed the way attorneys work, simple ways lawyers can increase internal efficiencies, and technology tools for even the most technology-averse attorney. Subscribe to our channel to stay up to date on new episodes of Reimagining Law!   Timestamps  1:18 – How has COVID-19 changed the way attorneys work? What’s working and what isn’t? 3:18 – How can attorneys embrace technology, especially during the pandemic? 5:02 – What simple steps can lawyers take now…
A sense of belonging and support is essential for success in law school, but many students of color say their law schools are falling short, according to new data from the Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE). The 2020 LSSSE collected responses on law school experience from roughly 13,000 law students at 68 law schools in Spring 2020. For the first time, the survey included a Diversity and Inclusiveness Module, which examined environments, processes, and activities that reflect the engagement and validation of cultural diversity and societal differences at schools. “While many law schools have focused on improving diversity,…
Law school ranks high among the most stressful times in a lawyer’s career. Students must navigate intense competition, high expectations, and incessant deadlines on top of the stressors of everyday life. It’s no wonder that law students are nearly four times more likely than others to develop depression or other mental health issues. Mental health struggles are particularly relevant in 2020, as many students study virtually, far from law school campuses and the in-person support of their professors and peers. The ABA Law Student Division is raising awareness of these challenges this week in recognition of National Mental Health
This week, the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism marked its 15th anniversary. The Illinois Supreme Court adopted Rule 799 on September 29, 2005, which established a permanent Commission on Professionalism and professional responsibility CLE requirements for Illinois attorneys. Also on this date, the Court established the MCLE Board to administer the Court’s MCLE program. “For the past 15 years, the Commission has advanced the highest standards of conduct among lawyers and judges in Illinois,” said Martin Sinclair, Chair of the Commission. “I would like to acknowledge the Illinois Supreme Court for recognizing how incivility can undermine the effectiveness of the…
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. Claudia Farfan Badillo is the owner of Badillo Law Group, P.C., where she specializes in consumer bankruptcy law. She is the current president of the Puerto Rican Bar Association of Illinois and was featured in Negocios Now’s Latinos 40 Under 40 Class of 2018. How is the Badillo Law Group adapting to the changing work environment? We have gone 100% virtual. I was already doing a lot…
Last Friday, Ruth Bader Ginsburg died at the age of 87. Ginsburg, affectionately known as RBG, was a trailblazing jurist who spent her career fighting for equal justice for women and other marginalized communities. She occupied the roles of U.S. Supreme Court justice, gender equality pioneer, and pop culture icon with decorum and humility, striving to use her position of power to benefit those less fortunate. She once said: “I tell law students … if you are going to be a lawyer and just practice your profession, you have a skill — very much like a plumber. But if you…
When the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in March, I thought we would be working from home for a couple of weeks to help flatten the curve. As Executive Director of the Commission on Professionalism, I didn’t make any long-term plans for my staff to work remotely for months on end. Nor did I consider how I would maintain our corporate culture while my team was working across the state and beyond. Then, reality sank in: we are in this for the long haul. Employees across industries are learning new skills and applying innovative tools to help them adjust to working…
In this episode of Reimagining Law, we talk to Ken Koehn, Chief Financial Officer at Gould & Ratner LLP and President of the Chicago Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA). Ken discusses how law firms can maintain their corporate culture during COVID-19, why strong leadership is more important than ever, and how firms can nurture success in their attorneys. Timestamps  1:04 – How has the virtual work environment impacted the team culture at Gould & Ratner and law firms across the nation? 2:03 – Now that most employees are virtual, how can firms continue to connect with their…
Small law firms continue to struggle with administrative tasks and new business, but few are taking meaningful action to address these challenges, according to the Thomson Reuters 2020 State of U.S. Small Law Firms survey. This inaction creates opportunities for small firms willing to take the lead in innovating their service delivery models. In its fourth report on the state of the nation’s small law firms, Thomson Reuters surveyed more than 400 solo and small firm lawyers in April and May 2020. The survey found that in spite of societal upheaval due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the operations of many…
Roughly six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, a partner at a BigLaw firm in Chicago shared an exciting revelation with me. “While I’ve become more physically distanced from my coworkers, I’ve actually become more personally connected to them,” he said. “We’ve stepped into each other’s homes and lives much more while working remotely.”  His discovery caused me to recall a discussion with a colleague about our mentoring program for new lawyers in Illinois. The year-long program pairs lawyers early in their careers with more experienced attorneys for a mentoring experience centered on skill-building and instilling the values of professionalism in…
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. Susan L. Zielke is a Managing Attorney in the Eastern Regional Office of Land of Lincoln Legal Aid. In her practice, Susan focuses on legal aid work, primarily criminal records and public benefits, in addition to housing/homeownership, domestic violence/family, and consumer debt. How is Land of Lincoln Legal Aid adapting to the changing work environment? Because we are a program spread over 65 counties with five regional…