Lawyers speak publicly all the time. Whether it’s arguing your client’s case before a judge, pitching new business, or engaging with colleagues in the boardroom, to be a successful attorney, lawyers must be able to clearly articulate their position and persuade others to come along.
It would seem, then, as seasoned public speakers that lawyers could seamlessly slip into the role of the authoritative presenter or expert facilitator when they’re asked to teach other attorneys about topics on which they have knowledge to share.
However, that’s not always the case. Lawyers are often trained to talk to people (i.e., lecture,
Continue Reading Lawyers: Improve Your Presentation Skills Using One Simple Tool


The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce the release of a Profiles in Professionalism video featuring Justice Rita B. Garman (Ret.).  
The Commission’s Profiles in Professionalism series highlights distinguished members of the legal profession at the end of their careers. Previous videos include interviews with former Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justices Mary Ann McMorrow and Thomas R. Fitzgerald. The Commission interviewed Justice Garman on June 28, 2022, just days before her retirement.  
The interview explores Garman’s trailblazing career, from entering law school in the 1960s when there were few women in the profession, to
Continue Reading Class of 2021 Law Grads Entered One of the Strongest Legal Job Markets Ever. What Does This Mean for Future Grads?

When Justice Rita B. Garman retired from the Illinois Supreme Court on July 7, 2022, she did so as the longest-serving judge in Illinois. However, Garman’s road to the Court was not without its challenges.

She entered law school in the 1960s, when there were few women in the profession. She was one of only eight women in her law school class and was once told by a professor that she should give up her seat to “a more deserving male.”

Upon graduation, Garman found it difficult to find a job because, as one law firm remarked, “no one wants
Continue Reading Justice Rita B. Garman: Blazing a Trail for Women in Law

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce the release of a Profiles in Professionalism video featuring Justice Rita B. Garman (Ret.).  

The Commission’s Profiles in Professionalism series highlights distinguished members of the legal profession at the end of their careers. Previous videos include interviews with former Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justices Mary Ann McMorrow and Thomas R. Fitzgerald. The Commission interviewed Justice Garman on June 28, 2022, just days before her retirement.  

The interview explores Garman’s trailblazing career, from entering law school in the 1960s when there were few women in the profession, to becoming
Continue Reading Commission on Professionalism Preserves Justice Rita Garman’s (Ret.) Story in Its Signature Profiles in Professionalism Interview Series

In his speech “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution,” Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. emphasized that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Seldom has this principle felt more evident than watching Justice Lisa Holder White take the oath of office—in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum—to become the Illinois Supreme Court’s newest member.

When President Lincoln took office, he could not have envisioned the historic scene that would take place more than 150 years later in a museum bearing his name. In 1861, the American legal system sanctioned the enslavement of
Continue Reading We Are Bending the Arc of the Moral Universe Toward Justice

Editor’s note: This story includes discussion of suicide. If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org 
We often hear that mental health and substance use challenges continue to plague the legal profession. Recent survey data from Law.com and ALM Intelligence supports this reality.  
In the survey, more than 3,400 respondents from law firms (including lawyers and law firm personnel) around the globe detailed the state of their mental health, work environments, perceptions of colleagues, client expectations, the effects of remote work, and other areas.  
Continue Reading Illinois LAP: Creating a lane for lawyers who are suffering in silence

In this episode of Reimagining Law, we talk to Judge Michael J. Chmiel of the 22nd Judicial Circuit in McHenry County, Ill. Judge Chmiel talks about how judges can set the tone for civility in the courts, why they can’t turn the other way when incivility arises, and the standing orders he issued that promote civility and professionalism in his courtroom.

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Timestamps
00:00:44 Judge Chmiel, our world seems to be consumed with a lot of contention and division. How can lawyers and judges, who are typically leaders in our
Continue Reading Reimagining Law: Why Judges Can’t Look Away When Incivility Arises

The Illinois Supreme Court has adopted a new Code of Judicial Conduct, including guidance on the use of social media and updated financial disclosures. The new Code will take effect on January 1, 2023.

The Code of Judicial Conduct establishes standards of ethical conduct for judges and judicial candidates. The current Code has largely been in place since 1993.

The new Code is based on years of study by the Illinois Judicial Ethics Committee (IJEC) and is based on the American Bar Association’s Model Code of Judicial Conduct. The ABA model serves as the basis for judicial ethics codes in
Continue Reading Illinois Supreme Court Adopts New Code of Judicial Conduct

While data could be the key to successful pretrial practices, most Illinois counties are lacking when it comes to systematic data collection and analysis processes, according to a preliminary report from the Data Subcommittee of the Pretrial Practices Data Oversight Board (the Board).

The Board was created with the signing of the SAFE-T Act and convened by Marcia M. Meis, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (AOIC), to develop a strategy to oversee the collection and analysis of data on pretrial practices in the Illinois circuit court system.

In their preliminary report, which was released on
Continue Reading Illinois Counties May Lack Resources to Systematically Analyze Pretrial Practices Data, Report Finds

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Lawyers make their living with words. They employ their tool of the trade by carefully crafting what is said in the courtroom and on paper, from a jury trial to a real estate contract.

A good lawyer also knows that words that may work wonderfully before a jury could backfire in a brief as inappropriate exaggeration or attempted emotional influence. As lawyers, we must know our audience.

So just how powerful are words in shaping perception and future action? We can turn to quantum theory,
Continue Reading How Lawyers Use Words to Influence Perception

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Earlier this year marked the 15-year reunion of my graduating class at Harvard Law School. Although I was unable to attend the reunion in person, the milestone caused me to reflect on the idealism I felt at commencement.
Erika Harold holding her degree from Harvard Law.Like so many graduating law students, I hoped to advocate for worthy clients and causes, litigate intriguing legal issues, and make impactful contributions to society. And, during the subsequent 15 years, I’ve been blessed with many opportunities to pursue those
Continue Reading How Erika Harold’s Experiences Prepared Her to Lead the Commission on Professionalism

The Illinois Judicial Conference’s Remote Proceedings Task Force wants legal professionals and the general public to share their experiences with remote court hearings in the state.
The Task Force has issued two surveys — one for judges, attorneys, and other legal professionals, and the other for members of the public, including jurors and self-represented litigants – to get a clearer understanding of preferences when it comes to how remote hearings are conducted.
The results will be used to refine rules and policies regarding remote proceedings, with a larger goal of expanding access to justice and continuing to offer court appearances
Continue Reading Illinois Courts Requests Public Feedback on Remote Court Hearings in Illinois

Illinois attorneys with last names beginning A–M, your time is almost up! Submit your compliance with CLE requirements to the MCLE Board by 11:59 p.m. CDT on June 30 to avoid late fees.
The MCLE requirements for the 2020-2022 reporting period are 30 hours of approved Illinois MCLE credit, including at least six professional responsibility (PR) hours.
At least one hour in diversity and inclusion CLE and one hour in mental health and substance abuse CLE must be included within those six hours.
Newly admitted attorneys have separate requirements.
Reporting compliance to the MCLE Board
Attorneys can report “complied” by
Continue Reading Attorneys A–M: Your June 30 CLE Reporting Deadline Is Coming Up

Where does the time go? Lawyers often aren’t productive as they want to be thanks to unexpected distractions that interrupt time planned for client service.

For years, Clio’s Legal Trends Report has analyzed low utilization rates in the legal profession, i.e., how much time attorneys devote to billable work, measured on a per-lawyer basis. In 2020, the report found that the average lawyer billed just 2.5 hours (31%) of an 8-hour workday.

But before attempting to address inefficiencies and eliminate interruptions that might be distracting you from billable work, consider this: the report also presents us with the dilemma that
Continue Reading How Monotasking Harmonizes with the Billable Hour

The ABA is giving the public 90 days to weigh in on whether standardized tests like the LSAT and GRE should be required for admission to law school. The Council of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar voted last week to request public comment on proposed amendments that would make law school admission policies “test optional.”
Currently, Standard 503 requires a “valid and reliable admission test” to assist law schools in determining an applicant’s potential to succeed. The proposed change would not remove the use of admission tests but rather make them discretionary as part
Continue Reading Should Standardized Tests Be Required for Law School Admissions? The ABA Wants to Hear From You

The ABA is giving the public 90 days to weigh in on whether standardized tests like the LSAT and GRE should be required for admission to law school. The Council of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar voted last week to request public comment on proposed amendments that would make law school admission policies “test optional.”
Currently, Standard 503 requires a “valid and reliable admission test” to assist law schools in determining an applicant’s potential to succeed. The proposed change would not remove the use of admission tests but rather make them discretionary as part
Continue Reading 5 Books to Explore Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage