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

Illinois attorneys with last names beginning A–M: do you still need CLE hours before the June 30 MCLE completion deadline? (Check your MCLE transcript here to see where you stand.)
The Commission on Professionalism currently offers 7.5 hours of free CLE through nine courses on our website.
Our CLEs are approved for professional responsibility (PR) CLE credit in Illinois and include courses that qualify for the mental health and substance abuse (MHSA) and diversity and inclusion (D&I) PR CLE carveouts.
MCLE requirements for the 2022-2024 reporting period call for Illinois attorneys with last names beginning A-M to complete 30
Continue Reading Where to Get Free Online CLE Before the 6/30 MCLE Completion Deadline (Including a New Commission Course)

Consider this scenario: You see opposing counsel’s name in your email inbox and, immediately, your blood pressure begins to rise. You have been attempting to confer with them regarding dates for the proposed case management order the judge instructed the parties to submit jointly. However, they have thus far been dismissive and ignored the multiple voicemails you left.

When you click on the email, instead of proposed dates, you find that opposing counsel has shared their unsolicited thoughts on the merits of your case and dismissively stated an unwillingness to cooperate in scheduling case deadlines.

“Your case is absurd on
Continue Reading Judges Share Three Strategies for Responding to Incivility in Litigation

A 2022 study from the American Bar Foundation and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association notes that, while Asian American attorneys are the largest minority group at law firms, they have the lowest partner-to-associate ratio and the highest attrition rate.

“This is alarming,” said Sang Yup Lee, President of the Asian American Bar Association of Greater Chicago. “As the study notes, major obstacles to career advancement include a lack of formal leadership training programs, inadequate access to mentors and contacts, and a lack of recognition for their work.”

There has been much discussion nationally about the underrepresentation
Continue Reading Asian American Attorneys Share What Has Made a Difference in Their Careers

This week, the Illinois Supreme Court and the Board of Admissions to the Bar announced that Illinois will adopt a new bar exam in 2028.
The exam, called the NextGen bar exam, will replace the currently administered Uniform Bar Exam (UBE), which has been administered since 2019.
It will place “a greater emphasis on testing the foundational skills required to practice law instead of memorizing legal concepts and principles,” Chief Justice Mary Jane Theis said in the press release.
Illinois’ adoption of NextGen will also maintain a pathway for examinees to transfer their passing scores into Illinois and from
Continue Reading Illinois to Administer New Bar Exam in 2028

Summer is almost here! In addition to warmer weather, summer means opportunities for Illinois lawyers and judges to connect with other legal professionals and support their community at events hosted by local and affinity bar and judicial associations.

From a “Salute to Veterans in the Legal Profession” and the ISBA’s Annual Meeting, to golf and baseball outings, these events can help expand your network and foster a deeper sense of belonging and collaboration within the legal profession.

We have compiled a list of upcoming legal community events between June and August 2024. If we missed any, please email us at
Continue Reading Events to Attend in the Illinois Legal Community This Summer

The Illinois Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission (ATJ Commission) and the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts Access to Justice Division (AOIC ATJ Division) are accepting applications for a grant initiative to support Illinois courts in improving access to justice (ATJ Improvement Grant).

Applications for the grants must be submitted by email to Jill Roberts, Deputy Director, Access to Justice Division, AOIC at jroberts@illinoiscourts.gov before 5 p.m. on June 28, 2024.

In addition, the organizations also invite Illinois court personnel who assist self-represented litigants (SRLs) and work on access to justice to join the Court Navigator Network, which provides
Continue Reading Access to Justice Commission Accepting Applications from Illinois Courts for Grant Initiative

The rapid evolution of voice cloning and deepfake technologies has introduced new risks and vulnerabilities for the legal profession. Unscrupulous individuals may seek to exploit these tools to impersonate clients or lawyers, gain unauthorized access to privileged information, or even attempt to mislead courts and legal proceedings.

To uphold the integrity of the attorney-client relationship and the legal process, prudent lawyers should proactively address these emerging threats.
The implications of voice cloning and deepfakes
Voice cloning uses machine learning to reproduce someone’s voice patterns with disturbing realism. Deepfakes utilize similar AI techniques to manipulate video by swapping faces or creating
Continue Reading One Simple Way Lawyers Can Combat Voice Cloning and Deepfakes

The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) has released three new resources to help judges and court leaders identify and address barriers that lead to missed court hearings, which can have significant negative consequences on courts, opposing parties, and those who miss their hearings.

To dig deep into the causes of missed appearances, the NCSC’s resources are focused on three areas: (1) education for judges and court leaders on barriers for court users, (2) an evaluation of current court policies and practices related to appearance rates, and (3) establishing and/or improving electronic reminders.

“Understanding why people miss court appointments will
Continue Reading National Center for State Courts Releases Three Tools to Help Courts Improve Appearance Rates

At the 2024 Future Is Now: Legal Services conference, Patrick Krill and Bree Buchanan, leading researchers and strategists in lawyer behavioral health, discussed the elusiveness of well-being in the legal profession.

Startling data reveals how stress and anxiety, which can lead to maladaptive coping mechanisms, can be woven into the fabric of the profession. However, addressing these realities and advancing structural changes needed to reduce behavioral health challenges has not always been a priority in the legal profession, where competitiveness, perfectionism, and productivity can rule all.

During their Future Is Now panel, Patrick and Bree shared realistic advice lawyers and
Continue Reading 4 Ways Lawyers Can Participate in 2024 Well-Being Week in Law, May 6–10

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce the newest edition of its Profiles in Professionalism series, which features a conversation with Judge Edmond E. Chang of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Our Profiles in Professionalism series provides in-depth conversations with Illinois lawyers and judges who are shaping the culture of the legal profession. Through these interviews, the Commission hopes to preserve the oral histories of prominent members of the Illinois bench and bar.

“Judge Chang’s journey from son of immigrants to the first Asian American Article III federal judge in Illinois
Continue Reading Commission on Professionalism Releases Oral History Interview With Judge Edmond E. Chang, First Asian American Article III Federal Judge in Illinois

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce that Chief Counsel Mark C. Palmer has been selected to receive a 2024 Outstanding Alumni Award from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Department of Sociology.
Palmer, a 1999 graduate, was selected among all alums of the Department of Sociology’s Bachelor of Arts program. He will be honored alongside the recipient of the Outstanding Alumni Award for PhDs, Michael G. Flaherty, Professor of Sociology at Eckerd College.
The virtual ceremony will be held on Friday, May 3, at 4 p.m. CDT. on Zoom and is open to the public.
Continue Reading Chief Counsel Mark C. Palmer Receives Outstanding Alumni Award from University of Illinois Department of Sociology

Law Day, celebrated each year on May 1, was first recognized by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958 to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Since then, every president has issued an honorary Law Day proclamation.

The theme of the 2024 Law Day celebration, selected by the American Bar Association (ABA), is “Voices of Democracy.” This theme encourages Americans to participate in the 2024 elections by deepening their understanding of the electoral process; discussing issues in honest and civil ways; turning out to vote; and, finally, helping to move the country forward after free and fair elections.
Continue Reading How Illinois Lawyers Can Celebrate Law Day 2024

Last month, Washington became the latest state to allow those seeking a law license in the state to pursue alternatives to the traditional uniform bar exam (UBE).

Washington’s new pathway will include experiential learning alternatives for law-school graduates, law-school students, and Admission and Practice Rule (APR) 6 law clerks (who are enrolled in a non-law school course of study).

In addition, the NextGen bar exam will be adopted in place of the UBE beginning with the July 2026 administration. The UBE will be phased out over two years starting with the July 2026 exam.

Finally, the Court ordered a reduction
Continue Reading Washington Becomes Latest State to Allow Alternatives to the Bar Exam

Currently, well-being is not part of the legal profession’s DNA like the billable hour, high workloads, professional advancement, and profits are.
But what if it did not have to be an all-or-nothing proposition? What if lawyers did not have to sacrifice their well-being at the cost of being an effective attorney?
I will ask Patrick Krill and Bree Buchanan of Krill Strategies, two global leaders in the study of attorney mental health and well-being, these questions at the Commission on Professionalism’s annual Future Is Now: Legal Services conference, which will be held virtually on Thursday, April 18, 2024.
There
Continue Reading Well-Being Needs to Be Part of the Legal Profession’s DNA

As organizations like the Legal Services Corporation and the World Justice Project are quantifying the United States’ significant justice gap, attorney Jazz Hampton has co-founded a company that seeks to bridge that gap by using technology to increase people’s access to lawyers.
Indeed, as its slogan declares, TurnSignl enables users of its app to virtually “put an attorney in the passenger seat.”
Hampton, who will join me for a fireside chat at the Commission on Professionalism’s Future Is Now: Legal Services conference on April 18 (register here), said many of TurnSignl’s users have never previously consulted with an
Continue Reading TurnSignl Enables Access to an On-Demand Attorney During Traffic Incidents

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce that Executive Director Erika Harold will be a 2024 recipient of the Vanguard Award from the Chicago Bar Association (CBA). Harold was selected to receive the award by the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois (WBAI).
Harold will be presented with the award at the 2024 Vanguard Awards Luncheon on May 14, 2024, at the Union League Club in Chicago.
“On behalf of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, I am thrilled to recognize Erika Harold as a recipient of the Chicago Bar Association Vanguard Award. Erika has demonstrated determination
Continue Reading Executive Director Erika Harold to be Honored by Women’s Bar Association of Illinois with CBA Vanguard Award