Put yourself in this scenario: You’re attending a work event one evening when your colleague Martin approaches you and begins to make small talk.

“Hi Janice, how are you doing? I haven’t seen you in a while. In fact, I think the last time we saw each other you were talking about how client expectations for settlements were becoming impractical. Interesting stuff…”

Then he comes in with the ask…

“I’m glad I ran into you,” Martin says. “I’m looking for someone to provide a lecture on tort reform for our summer associates next week. I think you would be a
Continue Reading No More Presentation Panic with These Simple Tips

The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) recently denied petitions from attorneys in Texas, Oklahoma, and Michigan seeking to prohibit mandatory bar associations on the basis that requiring dues to these organizations may violate attorneys’ first amendment rights.

In the 30 states and Washington, D.C. with mandatory bar associations, these organizations sometimes fund or work to support initiatives that conflict with some attorneys’ personal or political beliefs.

Some of the petitioners have likened their petitions to a 2018 SCOTUS ruling, Janus v. AFSCME, which said states cannot require public workers who opt out of joining unions to pay the fees. If heard, the
Continue Reading SCOTUS Denies Petitions Challenging Mandatory Bar Associations

When I joined the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism as Deputy Director in 2006, I thought I’d be here for a year or maybe two, until I got my footing and moved on to something else.
See, prior to the Commission on Professionalism, I had left the grueling demands of trial practice to work part-time while my four children were in preschool. However, after they were all in school, I craved a new challenge. When I heard the Illinois Supreme Court had created a brand-new Commission devoted to promoting civility and professionalism, I was intrigued.
Now, 16 short years
Continue Reading Farewell, My Friends: Parting Words from Jayne Reardon

Lawyers admitted in a U.S. jurisdiction should be able to practice law in any state, according to a recommendation from a group of 400 lawyers and law professors who advise lawyers on ethics matters.
The Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL) says that ABA Model Rule 5.5, which was adopted in 2002 to prohibit lawyers from practicing in a jurisdiction where they aren’t admitted, isn’t responsive to the way lawyers practice law today, specifically with respect to expanding their practice beyond state and national borders, which we increasingly saw during the pandemic.
APRL submitted proposed revisions to Model Rule 5.5
Continue Reading Legal Ethics Group Recommends Lawyers Be Permitted to Practice in Any State

Have you registered for The Future Is Now: Legal Services conference yet? Sign up by 5 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, April 20, or you’ll miss key insights from our expert speakers!
Join hundreds of legal professionals from across the U.S. on Thursday, April 21 to discuss how they are evolving their practices to deliver to value today’s legal consumers want.
In this video, Commission staff and conference moderators Erika Harold, Stephanie Villinski, and Mark Palmer dive deep into the topics that will be covered by our lineup of industry thought leaders and share what attendees can expect to learn
Continue Reading What You Need to Know Before Attending The Future Is Now

The Commission on Professionalism’s The Future Is Now: Legal Services conference is right around the corner. I’m excited to be moderating a town hall discussion with Haley Moss – an attorney, author, and neurodiversity advocate – to discuss how diversity, and specifically neurodiversity, comes into play in conversations about how attorneys are evolving their practices to deliver value to consumers.

Over the last few years, the legal profession has placed an increased emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Many law firms and legal organizations have implemented programming to recruit diverse talent and assist in the retention of that talent.

However,
Continue Reading Value for All: Embracing Unique Perspectives to Deliver Value

People typically contact lawyers when they’re in a crisis. They may be ending a marriage, experiencing job loss, recovering from a terrible accident, or navigating the ramifications of a bad decision.
But what do these potential clients hope to get from a lawyer? What is the value of the legal services they’re seeking?
As an attorney, do you ask yourself these questions at the start of your representation? If you’re anything like me, when I represented clients, my focus was first on a solution rather than looking at the whole picture.
That was the value I brought. If my client
Continue Reading Attorneys: Are You Delivering the Value Clients Want?

A new bar exam is scheduled to debut in 2026 and it may look a bit different than what we’ve seen before.

The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) is asking the legal community to weigh in on the initial outlines of the exam content, which will place greater emphasis on essential lawyering skills and decrease the number of tested legal subjects. The NCBE hopes that public input will help identify any oversights in the topics and lawyering tasks slated for assessment.

Legal professionals can provide feedback at nextgenbarexam.ncbex.org/csopc-register/. The public comment period closes on Monday, April 18, 2022.
Continue Reading Lawyers: Have Your Say on Content for the New Bar Exam

A new bar exam is scheduled to debut in 2026 and it may look a bit different than what we’ve seen before.

The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) is asking the legal community to weigh in on the initial outlines of the exam content, which will place greater emphasis on essential lawyering skills and decrease the number of tested legal subjects. The NCBE hopes that public input will help identify any oversights in the topics and lawyering tasks slated for assessment.

Legal professionals can provide feedback at nextgenbarexam.ncbex.org/csopc-register/. The public comment period closes on Monday, April 18, 2022.
Continue Reading LSAC Pilot Program May Offer an Alternative to the LSAT

In the second part of this Reimagining Law series focused on workplace equality in the legal profession, Lauren Tuckey, President of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois (WBAI), and Katie Liss, Assistant Dean of Law Career Services and Executive Director of the Schiller DuCanto & Fleck Family Law Center at DePaul University College of Law, discuss emotional labor and the power of “no.”
Lauren and Katie talk about why women perform more emotional labor than their male counterparts, how women can benefit from setting boundaries, and the importance of finding a mentor.
If you didn’t catch Part 1 of the
Continue Reading Reimagining Law: Embracing the Power of ‘No’ (Part 2)

The Illinois Supreme Court recently announced the creation of a Remote Proceedings Task Force to evaluate the current state of remote proceedings and provide best practice recommendations across the state.

The Task Force, which is composed of circuit judges, trial court administrators, circuit clerks, and practicing attorneys, is expected to make recommendations to the Supreme Court about potential rule and policy changes and trainings to further the use of virtual methods for conducting court business.

“Remote proceedings are not the wave of the future, they are our present,” Chief Justice Anne M. Burke said in the press release. “Illinois
Continue Reading Illinois Supreme Court Emphasizes Importance of Remote Proceedings with New Task Force

“You get what you pay for!” presumes that the price of something usually equals its quality. If you can take it out of a box, hold it, and use it, you can usually get a sense of its value and if it was a good deal.
However, defining “value” when it comes to the delivery of legal services is much more elusive. The line between a law firm’s billing structure and the value clients place on their output doesn’t always align. That leads me to this question: how can lawyers begin to deliver value to clients when they don’t understand
Continue Reading Today’s Legal Consumers Are Redefining Value…Are You?

Last month, President Joe Biden announced Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as his nominee to serve as the 116th Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

I’m sure you’ve been watching or reading coverage of Judge Jackson’s confirmation hearing, which began on March 21. And, as attorneys, I imagine you’ve been fielding questions about who Judge Jackson is, if she is qualified, and how the vetting process works.

While the process for nominating a new Supreme Court justice isn’t new, this time is different thanks to the historical impact that Judge Jackson’s nomination has on the Supreme Court and our country.
Continue Reading What Lawyers Need to Know About the Confirmation Process for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson

In this episode of Reimagining Law, we talk to Lauren Tuckey, president of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois (WBAI), and Katie Liss, Assistant Dean of Law Career Services and Executive Director of the Schiller DuCanto & Fleck Family Law Center at DePaul University College of Law and founder and chair of the CBA’s Sexual Harassment Prevention Task Force.
In Part 1 of this insightful conversation, Lauren and Katie discuss how women are dealing with sexist behavior in the workplace, the WBAI’s push to ensure family paid leave in Illinois, and the work their organizations are doing to create a
Continue Reading Reimagining Law: Workplace Equality in the Legal Profession (Part 1)

The Illinois Supreme Court today announced the appointment of Erika Harold as the new Executive Director of the Commission on Professionalism effective April 11, 2022. Ms. Harold succeeds the retiring Jayne Reardon, who has served as Executive Director since 2009.

“On behalf of my fellow Commissioners, I am thrilled to welcome Erika Harold as our next Executive Director,” said Martin Sinclair, Chair of the Commission on Professionalism. “Erika has served on the Commission’s Executive Committee and led our communications and outreach efforts for years, resulting in a strong presence for our professionalism programming throughout Illinois and nationally. Her demeanor inside
Continue Reading Erika Harold Appointed as Executive Director of Commission on Professionalism

For many years, Circuit Court of Cook County Rule 13.11 has addressed civility. However, Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans would like to take it further, tackling discrimination and harassment in Cook County’s courts.

Chief Judge Evans is inviting comments and suggestions regarding proposed amendments to Cook County Circuit Court Rule 13.11 Civility. The Rule falls under Part 13. Domestic Relations Proceedings.

Any comments should be forwarded to Chief Judge Evans at timothy.evans@cookcountyil.gov no later than March 25, 2022.
Discrimination and harassment in Illinois
The legal profession continues to struggle with instances of discrimination and harassment, and the environment
Continue Reading Location Beats Ranking For Students Choosing a Law School, Bloomberg Law Survey Says