The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce that it awarded 2,204 hours of professional responsibility (PR) CLE hours to attorneys who attended its annual Future Is Now: Legal Services conference. This includes 551 CLE hours in diversity and inclusion and 551 CLE hours in mental health and substance abuse.

The future is now 2023
Deputy Director Stephanie Villinski with Kara Hardin, Chief Executive Officer of The Practice Lab

The annual spring conference explores how attorneys can keep up with advances in the legal profession while adhering to the standards delineated in the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct.

The 2023 conference included topics like building a business tailored to the public’s needs; developing cultural competency to serve more people; balancing stress, perfectionism tendencies, and mental health; and responding to incivility in the courtroom and workplaces.

“At the Future Is Now, we aim to bring new and practical content to the attorneys of Illinois that supports more civil, fulfilling, and effective legal practices,” said Laura Bagby, Communications Director at the Commission on Professionalism and Conference Chair. “We are thrilled with the positive feedback from attendees, who overwhelmingly indicated that the Future Is Now was a valuable learning experience and provided strategies to improve the way they work. Importantly, almost 100% of attendees said they would strongly consider attending the conference next year.”

More than 700 lawyers, judges, law students, and other legal professionals registered to attend the Future Is Now from across Illinois, the U.S., and international locations including Canada, Germany, and New Zealand, among others. Attendees ranged from BigLaw practitioners to solo/small-firm attorneys and from large urban areas to rural communities.

Attendees were eligible to receive 4.0 hours of PR CLE credit, including 1.0 hour of diversity and inclusion CLE credit and 1.0 hour of mental health and substance abuse CLE credit.

the future is now 2023
Chief Counsel Mark Palmer with Justice Sharon O. Johnson, Deborah Enix-Ross, and Nathan Hinch

“We hope the Future Is Now equipped attendees with strategies to be efficient problem-solvers, mediators, and counselors, to forge consensus out of conflict, and to help opposing sides find resolution and sometimes even peace,” said Erika Harold, Executive Director of the Commission on Professionalism.  “I would like to thank the attendees for their thoughtful participation and the speakers and Commission staff for their hard work in making the conference a success.”

The legal professionalism conference has been a signature event for the Commission since 2016 and an important part of its educational catalog, which also includes tailored online and in-person CLEs in PR topics, Courthouse Professionalism Trainings, a Lawyer-to-Lawyer Mentoring Program, and OnDemand PR CLE courses.

The Commission will announce the date for its 2024 conference early next year. Sign up here to stay updated:

About the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism 

The Illinois Supreme Court established the Commission on Professionalism under Supreme Court Rule 799 to promote integrity, professionalism, and civility among the lawyers and judges of Illinois, to foster a commitment to the elimination of bias and divisiveness within the legal and judicial systems, and to ensure those systems provide equitable, effective, and efficient resolution of problems for the people of Illinois. 

The Commission achieves this mission through professional responsibility CLE, lawyer-to-lawyer mentoring, legal professionalism programming, educational resources, and more. To learn more, visit and follow us on Twitter @2CivilityOrg. 

Press Contact 

Laura Bagby, Communications Director

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