Our Lawyer Spotlight series highlights Illinois lawyers who are demonstrating the ideals of professionalism in their daily lives.

Yolanda Riley, of The Law Offices of Yolanda Riley, LLC, is a solo practitioner based in Peoria, Illinois. Her primary practice areas include family law and expungement/sealing relief.

How has your practice evolved during the last few years?

I have had fewer in-person consultations with private clients since the pandemic.

What’s one technological device, application, or tool you couldn’t function without?

I could not live without my calendar on my Android phone. I have both an Android and an iPhone, and the Android has the best updates and interface. I would be lost on a daily basis without it.

How do you manage your well-being? 

Being a solo practitioner, it was originally a struggle not working seven days a week. I have since cut back on working on the weekends and generally limit myself to one to three hours max. I have a five-year-old daughter to whom I try to devote more free time. Additionally, I schedule at least one mental health day a month.

How do you remain civil in tense situations?

I have to take several pauses before responding, and I am more mindful of the level of my tone.

How can attorneys advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession?

Attorneys can advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession by continuing to educate themselves about the communities they serve. This has a direct effect on how they treat the people they work with. People who are willing to listen more and speak less on issues they are not experts on make for a more understanding and inclusive legal profession.

What is an attorney’s role in furthering public confidence in the rule of law?

Transparency and willingness to invite the public to the table on issues that affect them is a way in which attorneys can help further public confidence in the rule of law.

If you could offer one piece of advice to young lawyers, what would it be?

Prepare, prepare, prepare! Preparation is key.

What is the biggest challenge impacting lawyers today?

A lack of diversity.

What do you do for fun?

I travel and sleep as much as I can. Rest and relaxation are much needed in this field.

Our Lawyer Spotlight recognizes attorneys throughout Illinois who are admired for their professionalism and civility. Check out more interviews with attorneys here.

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