Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism

Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism Blogs

Latest from Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism

  On a brisk February morning in 2020, I schlepped my suitcase from my car to the train platform in Champaign, Illinois. The frost scrapings still clung to my windshield as they wouldn’t meet their fate of the morning sun for another hour. Three busy days in Chicago awaited me, filled with talks of innovation, engaging with new friends, and catching up with colleagues from around the country at the Women of Legal Tech Summit and the ABA TECHSHOW.   While we had already begun making plans to work remotely, I couldn’t have comprehended that this was going to be my last train trip to the office for the year. A growing news story about a faraway virus was about to change everything for everyone.  We all anticipated the complications of working from home, as organizations around…
In late February, the Illinois Supreme Court approved new temporary orders in response to an anticipated surge in evictions when state and federal eviction moratoriums come to an end.   Currently, the moratorium on eviction cases in Illinois expires on March 6; federal protections for renters lapse on March 31. Over 20,000 evictions are predicted in Chicago alone once Governor JB Pritzker’s moratorium is lifted, according to a forecast by the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing and the Center for Urban Research & Learning at Loyola University.  Encouraging ADR in eviction cases  The first order authorizes Illinois judicial circuits to establish early resolution programs to allow for alternative dispute resolution in eviction cases. Circuits are encouraged to develop…
  Attorneys in need of research assistance on pro bono matters can now partner with Illinois law school students through the new Illinois Pro Bono Research Alliance.   The free program was recently launched by the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI), in an effort to make pro bono work easier for lawyers while offering law students an opportunity to develop experience and build their professional network.   Though new to Illinois, the Illinois Pro Bono Research Alliance is based on a similar and successful program launched at the University of Nebraska College of Law.  Attorney Participation   Attorneys who are interested in research assistance through…
Registration is open for The Future Is Now: Legal Services conference. Elevate your practice virtually this spring during the Commission’s signature future law event. The fifth annual conference will be held Tuesday, April 27 – Thursday, April 29, from 12 – 2 p.m. CDT on The Future Is Now website thefutureisnow.2civility.org. As in years past, The Future Is Now will bring together lawyers, judges, legal academics, entrepreneurs, and other professionals from across the U.S. and internationally. Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Anne M. Burke will open the conference. Over three days, the conference will explore the interplay between the changing legal profession and attorney professionalism…
The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce that Commissioner and First District Appellate Court Justice Mary Ellen Coghlan will receive the Hon. Mary Heftel Hooton Award from the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois (WBAI). The Award will be presented virtually at the WBAI’s 22nd Annual Judicial Reception on Friday, March 5. The WBAI honors members of the judiciary with the Mary Heftel Hooton Award for their exceptional leadership, professionalism, and efforts in advancing women in the law. In addition to Coghlan, former Commissioner Judge Jorge Alonso will also be honored with the Mary Heftel Hooton Award…
A lack of diversity and inclusion has plagued the legal profession for decades. Despite incremental progress in hiring, law firms haven’t been successful in retaining women of color lawyers in the associate ranks or promoting them to partner. While the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the stark realities of the legal profession’s diversity, equity, and inclusion challenges it may offer a catalyst for positive change—if the right steps are taken. COVID-19’s Impact on Women According to the Women in the Workforce Report by McKinsey & Co. and Lean In, in the five years preceding the pandemic women and men…
In this episode of Reimagining Law, we talk to Cook County Circuit Court Judge Diane M. Shelley and Kenyatta S. Beverly, Labor and Employment Counsel at The Davey Tree Expert Company. Judge Shelley and Kenyatta talk about COVID-19’s impact on women of color lawyers, the importance of diversity in law firms and on the bench, and how legal organizations can recruit and retain diverse attorneys. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up to date on new episodes of Reimagining Law! Timestamps 1:08 – Data shows that COVID-19 has led to alarming job loss and retention challenges for women of color, impacting their ability…
It’s no secret the legal profession has changed drastically in the last past year. Despite initial hesitation, lawyers have been forced to embrace technology and new ways of practicing law, many of which have cut costs and increased efficiency. However, pandemic aside, the profession has been exploring new ways of doing business for some time now. An example is the growing role of alternative legal service providers (ALSP) in the legal landscape. ALSPs offer clients specialized expertise that enables law firms and corporate law departments to reduce their costs and free up their attorneys’ time. Law firms and corporations…
It’s no secret the legal profession has changed drastically in the last past year. Despite initial hesitation, lawyers have been forced to embrace technology and new ways of practicing law, many of which have cut costs and increased efficiency. However, pandemic aside, the profession has been exploring new ways of doing business for some time now. An example is the growing role of alternative legal service providers (ALSP) in the legal landscape. ALSPs offer clients specialized expertise that enables law firms and corporate law departments to reduce their costs and free up their attorneys’ time. Law firms and corporations…
Diversity, equity, and inclusion have rightfully dominated the conversation over the past year, especially since the death of George Floyd. In Illinois, we’re fortunate that the Illinois Supreme Court has recognized the need for diversity and inclusion (D&I) education for some time, even amending Illinois Supreme Court Rule 794(d)(2)(i) in 2017 to require every licensed Illinois attorney take one hour of D&I CLE every two years.  The Court used data from the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism to make this change. At the time of adoption, the number of D&I CLEs offered was significantly lower than other professional responsibility areas, particularly legal ethics and professionalism. In the first two years of this rule change,…
Our Lawyer Spotlight series highlights Illinois lawyers who are demonstrating the ideals of professionalism in their daily lives. These attorneys are teaching us how to adapt and thrive in the changing legal environment. Shayla Louise Maatuka currently serves as managing partner for the Maatuka Al-Heeti Emkes LLC. She combines her expertise as an entrepreneur – successfully establishing four businesses – with the practice of law, concentrating on civil and commercial litigation, personal injury, workers’ compensation, as well as business litigation. Her passion for the community helps others achieve their goals through entrepreneurship. She formerly sat on the boards of the…
In this interview, we talk to Cathy L. Cupp and Grant Ossler, a mentor and mentee in the Commission’s mentoring program. Cathy and Grant discuss how mentoring has helped them weather job changes and expand their career prospects as well as an attorney’s obligation to pass the torch to the younger generation. Cathy and Grant participate in the Commission’s mentoring program through the Chicago Bar Association.  Want to jumpstart your professional development and earn free CLE? Become a mentor or mentee! Find out how to sign up here.  Subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up to date on new videos from…
In this episode of Reimagining Law, we talk to retired Illinois Supreme Court Justice Robert R. Thomas and Circuit Court of Cook County Judge Debra B. Walker. Thomas and Walker discuss the early years of the Commission on Professionalism, including why it was founded and what it has accomplished. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up to date on new episodes of Reimagining Law! Timestamps 0:54 – Justice Thomas, why did you establish the Commission on Professionalism? What were the challenges you were trying to address? 2:14 – Judge Walker, you were a member of the Committee on Civility in 2002. What…
Last month, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced 80 grants totaling $31.5 million to support organizations across the state that provide legal aid, violence prevention, and re-entry services. The Restore, Reinvest, and Renew Program (R3) grants were created as part of the 2019 Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA), which requires that 25% of cannabis revenue be used to support communities impacted by economic disinvestment, gun violence, unemployment, and criminal justice system overuse, according to a press release. Among the inaugural grant recipients were more than 15 Illinois organizations that provide civil legal aid services, including the Public Interest Law…