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A new American Bar Association resolution encourages U.S. jurisdictions to consider innovative approaches to lawyer regulation to increase access to affordable and quality legal services. If approved by the ABA House of Delegates, the resolution would support the revision of existing regulatory structures to better align with the public interest. The resolution and report, which was released by the ABA’s Center for Innovation, supports regulatory reform in three broad areas. These include new categories of legal services providers, reexamining Rule 5.4 (which prohibits lawyers from partnering and sharing fees with those who aren’t attorneys) and exploring new approaches to…
The Illinois State Bar Association / Illinois Judges Association Joint Midyear Meeting kicks off today in Rosemont. The annual event is an opportunity for Illinois lawyers and judges to consider issues of mutual interest, like achieving work-life balance and improving diversity. We caught up with ISBA President David Sosin ahead of the meeting to get an update on his priorities halfway through his one-year term. You’re well-known for honesty and professionalism. How have these traits served you? It’s certainly not for any person to judge their own reputation. Certainly, the question assumes a fact not in evidence. I do believe…
Why are women leaving BigLaw? Because they’re more likely than men to be denied business development prospects, promotions and other career advancement opportunities, according to a survey from the American Bar Association (ABA) and ALM Intelligence. The Walking Out The Door: The Facts, Figures, and Future of Experienced Women Lawyers in Private Practice study is part of an ABA initiative launched by former-President Hilarie Bass to explore why experienced women lawyers leave the legal profession. For that past several decades, women have made up roughly 45-50% of entering associate classes at large law firms. As they move into more senior…
As part of its yearlong Minds Over Matters: An Examination of Mental Health in the Legal Profession initiative, Law.com has partnered with ALM Intelligence to gather information on mental health and substance abuse among lawyers and legal professionals. Multiple studies have documented the pervasiveness of mental health and substance abuse problems in the legal profession. For instance, in 2016, an American Bar Association and Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation study of 12,825 licensed, employed attorneys found that 28% suffered from depression and 1 in 5 self-described as problems drinkers. A basic component of lawyer professionalism is competent client representation. If lawyers aren’t taking
As part of its yearlong Minds Over Matters: An Examination of Mental Health in the Legal Profession initiative, Law.com has partnered with ALM Intelligence to gather information on mental health and substance abuse among lawyers and legal professionals. Multiple studies have documented the pervasiveness of mental health and substance abuse problems in the legal profession. For instance, in 2016, an American Bar Association and Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation study of 12,825 licensed, employed attorneys found that 28% suffered from depression and 1 in 5 self-described as problems drinkers. A basic component of lawyer professionalism is competent client representation. If lawyers…
Equal access to justice doesn’t come easy. This is especially true for those facing civil legal challenges for which there’s no constitutional right to legal representation. Fortunately, the Illinois legal community provides resources to help connect those in need with public interest aid or pro bono services across the state. We recently spoke with Brent Page, Senior Managing Attorney at the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI), to better understand how PILI facilitates collaboration between organizations working to make the justice system more accessible in the Land of Lincoln. Illinois has many legal aid service providers and supporters. What role…
To my fellow attorneys, a “legal acts of kindness” pep talk is long overdue. Just like Kid President’s famous pep talk, attorneys also need to find ways to make the world more awesome. And, since we celebrated World Kindness Day this week, legal acts of kindness are exactly what’s needed. World Kindness Day has been observed annually on November 13 since 1998. This day was started by the World Kindness Movement (WKM), a not-for-profit organization that consists of 27 nations, including the U.S. The purpose of World Kindness Day is to make the world a better place by celebrating…
On November 12, NextChapter and Fastcase announced a new virtual paralegal service. For a starting cost of $300 per case, NextChapter – which was acquired by Fastcase in September – will offer short-term virtual paralegal help for clients on its cloud-based bankruptcy case platform. The news reflects the profession’s move toward more flexible and even virtual workplaces. According to the American Bar Association’s TECHREPORT 2019, over 50% of lawyers telecommute. Enhanced technology and secure, cloud-based practice management software is making this virtual legal practice easier than ever. Add to that lower overhead and more rate flexibility, and many firms…
Tamika Walker is an associate at DeRango & Cain, LLC in Rockford, where she focuses on family law. What’s your primary practice area? My primary practice area is family law with a focus on divorce, custody/parental allocation, child support, juvenile abuse and neglect, and Illinois Department of Children and Family Services appeals. How has your practice evolved over the last few years? In 2006, I began practicing law at the Winnebago County Office of the Public Defender. My primary focus was criminal law. In 2010, I began practicing family law with my current law firm. While my practice area has…
I’d like to talk briefly about Calvinball. Calvinball (of Calvin and Hobbes fame) has no set rules, except that you can’t use the same rule twice. It’s chaos, yet it seems to make sense. For those unacquainted with the venerable sport, an example of Calvinball can be found here. Today’s post has a certain Calvinball flavor. I couldn’t find a principle that illustrates the point I’d like to make, so I created one based on my experience in educational design: The 10/5 Rule of CLE. Simply put, The 10/5 Rule of CLE says that a CLE presenter should speak…
Law firms may not be walking the walk on cybersecurity, according to the American Bar Association’s (ABA) TECHREPORT 2019. The report found that, while almost 60% of law firms use cloud computing applications to store client data, only 35% take standard precautionary measures to secure these data. The annual ABA TECHREPORT examines how attorneys use technology in their practices. The results stem from the ABA’s Legal Technology Survey Report in combination with analysis from leaders in legal technology. Articles on cloud computing, cybersecurity, practice management and websites and marketing have been released online. Five additional articles will be released…
On Thursday, Nov. 7, Illinois Supreme Court and Illinois Appellate Court justices administered the attorney’s oath to 1,459 new lawyers at bar admission ceremonies in the state’s five Supreme Court judicial districts. All candidates who were sworn in passed the Illinois State Bar Examination and a required ethics examination, and were certified by the Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness. The admission of these new attorneys brings the total number of licensed lawyers in Illinois to approximately 96,500. In Chicago, 1,172 attorneys were admitted in the First Judicial District during two bar admission ceremonies at the Arie Crown Theatre.…
At the request of Dan Linna, Director of Law and Technology Initiatives at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, Dan Rodriguez (also of Northwestern) and I facilitated the October meetup of Northwestern’s Chicago Law and Technology Initiative. The group brings together Chicagoans to explore legal innovation, how technology can improve legal services/access to justice and legal startups. We designed the meetup as a discussion on regulatory reform with perspectives from tech entrepreneurs, law firm legal ops personnel and participants who may not be licensed practicing lawyers. Specifically, we wanted to engage their viewpoints on whether some of the Rules of…
The Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (AOIC) announced last week that it received a $100,000 grant from the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) as part of the Justice for All project. The Illinois Court’s Access to Justice Commission will use the funds to support strategies to expand access to legal services in the state. Justice for All grants were created to implement two advanced resolutions: meaningful access to effective assistance for essential civil legal needs and for traditional and non-traditional stakeholders to collaborate to develop a comprehensive approach to achieve meaningful access to justice. Illinois is one of…
Cynthia Fountaine is a professor of law at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, where she focuses on issues relating to the powers of government and access to justice, with particular emphasis on the federal courts’ role in enforcing individual rights. She was appointed to the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism in 2014. Why did you want to become a lawyer? I wanted to be a lawyer since I was pretty young—in high school or maybe even before that. I wanted a career in which I could make a difference, and I grew up observing the power of law…
Law student well-being is just another way for millennials to get out of work. Is it just me or is that statement a bit harsh? Yet, I’ve recently heard it a handful of times from lawyers. Go ahead, label me as “soft” or a “tree hugger”; but I’m an attorney and I believe the notion that younger generations of lawyers need to “grin and bear it” like the rest of us isn’t working. As we’ve discussed on this blog before, the legal profession has a wellness problem. Law Student Well-Being Data The pivotal 2016 American Bar Association and Hazelden