In this episode of Reimagining Law, we talk to Y’Noka Bass, a rising 3L at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and Rummana Alam, a Teaching Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois College of Law. Y’Noka and Rummana discuss the importance of diversity in law schools, initiatives in Illinois law schools that support diversity, and how law schools can better support people of color. Subscribe to our channel to stay up to date on new episodes of Reimagining Law! Timestamps 1:18 – Why is diversity important in the law school setting? 2:32 – How can law schools better support…
Earlier this month, the Illinois Supreme Court announced the approval of Rule 139 regarding the practice and procedure in eviction proceedings. The new rule, which went into effect immediately, requires eviction complaints to include a copy of the written eviction notice or demand and, where applicable, the relevant portions of the lease. The new rule was initially proposed by the Circuit Court of Cook County Pro Se Advisory Committee to the Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice. Rule 139 allows the plaintiff to attach an affidavit in place of an eviction notice or demand using a standardized form.…
In this episode of Reimagining Law, we talk to Jeff Bunn, the founding member of The Mindful Law Coaching & Consulting Group. Jeff discusses the importance of mindfulness for lawyers, why they can be averse to meditation, and some practical ways that lawyers can manage uncertainty. Subscribe to our channel to stay up to date on new episodes of Reimagining Law! Timestamps 0:40: How did your legal career lead you to become a mindfulness advocate for lawyers? 2:44: How do you define mindfulness? Why are lawyers so averse to mindfulness and meditation? 6:53: What are some practical ways that…
Last week I provided a roundup of actions by task forces across the U.S. that are exploring reforms to the regulation of legal services. This week I look at the issue of modernizing attorney regulations through the prism of historic events that are reshaping our lives in 2020. COVID-19 and the ongoing social unrest following the death of George Floyd have provided disturbing insights into the public’s ability to access our legal institutions and their interest in doing so. The system lawyers built is inadequate, if not irrelevant, to most Americans, many of whom would rather solve their legal problems…
The Illinois Supreme Court announced today that, given continuing public health concerns related to COVID-19, the in-person Illinois bar exam scheduled for Sept. 9-10, 2020, has been canceled. Instead, the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar (IBAB) will administer the exam remotely on October 5-6, 2020, using questions prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE). This exam will satisfy the requirements of Illinois Supreme Court Rules 701 and 704.  The remote exam will cover the same topics as the in-person test and will qualify applicants for admission in Illinois only, IBAB said in the announcement. It will not result in a Uniform Bar Exam score. However, IBAB may consult with other jurisdictions administering the NCBE remote exam to arrange for reciprocity.  All test takers who…
The deadline is approaching to file for a free extension to earn MCLE credits for the 2018-2020 reporting period. Attorneys with last names beginning A-M must report that they “complied” or have “not yet complied” to the MCLE Board by July 31, 2020, to avoid late fee. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Supreme Court, in consultation with the MCLE Board, provided attorneys in the current reporting group with a no-cost, three-month extension to complete the 30-hour MCLE requirement. This pushed the completion deadline from June 30 to September 30, 2020. However, to secure this extension, attorneys must report…
The Chicago Bar Association and Chicago Bar Foundation are requesting public comments on a report released today that provides recommendations for reforming attorney regulations to meet the changing legal market. The recommendations are the result of nine months of work by the CBA/CBF’s Task Force on the Sustainable Practice of Law & Innovation. Public comments will be accepted through August 21. The task force was created in October 2019 to address failures in the consumer legal market, in which more lawyers are struggling to make ends meet, but more people are also going without legal help. The task force brought…
The legal profession is under pressure. A growing number of Americans who experience legal problems receive no or inadequate legal help. Increasingly, people are representing themselves in court rather than engaging a lawyer. At the same time, lawyers, especially those who represent individuals and small businesses, are struggling financially. This situation is a serious market failure and has been brewing for years. Some believe attorney regulatory reform could help address the problem. Over the last couple of years, several bar associations and state task forces (including the Chicago Bar Association/Chicago Bar Foundation Task Force on the Sustainable Practice of Law…
Let’s face it, it’s hard to accept the reality of the world today. This may be why we are focusing on reimagining how things could be better. For me, taking an honest look at the cracks in society’s systems has been one of the greatest impacts of COVID-19 so far. Back in April, the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism launched its Reimagining Law video series to explore how lawyers and judges are adapting to changing consumer needs during COVID-19 and beyond. This wasn’t the first time — and I’m sure it won’t be the last time – that…
In this episode of Reimagining Law, we talk to Catherine Marienau, Professor Emerita at DePaul University. Catherine discusses what experiential learning is, how it can be applied to CLE, and how you can effectively adapt it to online learning. Subscribe to our channel to stay up to date on new episodes of Reimagining Law! Timestamps 0:39 – What is experiential learning? 2:04 – How can this method be applied to CLE? 5:57 – This all sounds fabulous, but how do I do it? 7:01 – How does experiential learning adapt to the online environment, and what are some things to…
IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, has released findings from its new report, Public Perspectives on Trust and Confidence in the Courts. The report, which is a culmination of a two-year Public Trust and Confidence project, looked into facets of public trust and confidence in the civil legal system. Polling done by IAALS and others over the last few decades has revealed that public trust and confidence in the American legal system is low. Through long-form one-on-one interviews, IAALS collected data on perspectives of the court systems, judges and the judiciary, and information about…
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. Shekar Jayaraman is the Principal Attorney at Jayaraman Law, LLC, where his practice focuses on civil, commercial, and real estate litigation; business formation and corporate governance; and estate planning and probate. How is Jayaraman Law adapting to the changing work environment? At Jayaraman Law, even prior to COVID-19, we considered ourselves to be a very “tech-forward” law firm. We have always taken pride in allowing clients to…
Not much has changed for women of color attorneys at law firms over the past 14 years, according to a study released last month by the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Commission on Women in the Profession. Despite the legal profession’s increased diversity efforts, the percentage of women of color partners remains stuck below 4%. Moreover, women of color face the highest rate of attrition from law firms, which struggle to create inclusive cultures where the contributions of women of color are recognized and rewarded. In Left Out and Left Behind: The Hurdles, Hassles, and Heartaches of Achieving Long-Term Legal Careers
In this episode of Reimagining Law, we talk to Judge Ann Claire Williams (Ret.), Of Counsel at Jones Day. Judge Williams discusses diversity in the legal profession, COVID-19’s potential to impact diversity efforts, and what lawyers and judges can do to help fight systemic racism. Subscribe to our channel to stay up to date on new episodes of Reimagining Law! Timestamps 0:49 – The death of George Floyd under the knee of a white police officer in Minneapolis sparked protests that devolved into riots in many cities across the country. What’s the lesson for the legal profession? 4:14 – The legal…
The last time you stepped into a retail store (remember those days?!) you may have been met with a friendly greeting and an offer to help. Now, as successful attorneys turn to new methods to engage potential clients, it’s not uncommon to find an integrated legal chatbot on their website, ready and able to have a similar engagement with customers at their online front door (i.e., the homepage). Just as the quality of your legal services should always be advancing, so should your clients’ experience with your business. This starts from the moment they land on your website – the…
Last week, the Illinois Supreme Court temporarily amended Rule 711(g) to expand the supervised practice of new law school graduates to private law firms and other for-profit entities. This temporary amendment is in response to challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has already forced the Court to postpone the July bar exam to September. The Court will assess the impact of the new Rule on access to justice, bar exam success, and the value of the post-graduate experience for graduates and supervising attorneys, to inform further changes to Rule 711. “The Court understands the plight of recent law graduates…