During the American Bar Association’s recent ABA Equity Summit, Torey Dolan, an attorney and scholar who focuses on Native American self-determination and political actualization, spoke on the slow growth of Native American attorneys in the law, especially in leadership positions.
“We just got here,” Dolan said of Native American attorneys finally securing seats at the table to weigh in on
Continue Reading How to Create Intentional Pathways for Native American Attorneys

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice (ATJ Commission) will release redesigned versions of statewide standardized form sets in January 2024. These forms include eviction, divorce and family law, expungement and sealing, and more.
Beginning in December 2023, the ATJ Commission will offer short trainings for court stakeholders to learn more about the form redesign, rollout plan, and
Continue Reading ATJ Commission to Host Virtual Trainings for Redesigned Standardized Illinois Court Forms

The American Bar Association recently released a qualitative study on the experiences of Native American women in the legal profession. The study is only the second national study focused on Native American attorneys and the first specifically focused on Native American women attorneys.
While younger generations of Native American women attorneys noted in the study that advancements have been made
Continue Reading ‘Native American Talent is Invaluable’: A Q&A With ABA President Mary Smith

During this season of giving, we had the opportunity to connect with Illinois legal leaders who were recently recognized by the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) for their pro bono work and contributions to access to justice. These pro bono award winners were honored during the annual National Pro Bono Week celebration, which highlights inspiring work in pro bono and
Continue Reading Season of Giving: A Q&A with Illinois Pro Bono Leaders

Earlier this month, the Oregon Supreme Court unanimously approved an alternative to the bar exam for students hoping to practice law in the state.
Beginning in May 2024, graduates from an ABA-accredited law school can complete a Supervised Practice Portfolio Examination (SPPE) instead of the traditional bar exam. SPPE requires graduates to complete 675 hours of work under the supervision
Continue Reading Oregon Becomes Third State to Approve Alternative to the Bar Exam

In response to public concerns about a lack of ethics rules governing U.S. Supreme Court Justices, the U.S. Supreme Court adopted a Code of Conduct for Supreme Court Justices (Code) earlier this month.
While the Court said it codified these rules and principles to “dispel this misunderstanding” that U.S. Supreme Court Justices are not bound to ethics rules, a statement
Continue Reading Reaction from the Legal Profession to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Code of Conduct

A new study from the American Bar Association documents the frustration and isolation Native American women lawyers feel in a profession that they feel relegates them “to footnotes.”
In “Excluded and Alone: Examining the Experiences of Native American Women in the Law and a Path Towards Equity,” the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession and the National
Continue Reading New ABA Study Finds Native American Women Lawyers Feel ‘Relegated to Footnotes’

Law firms may lose an average of 10%—or $21,982,675—of their annual staffing costs due to poor employee mental health, according to a survey of six BigLaw firms by Unmind, a workplace mental health solutions provider.
This equates to almost $22 million lost in staffing costs annually or $14,512 per employee, based on estimated loss of wages from firms
Continue Reading Law Firms Lose 10% of Staffing Costs Due to Employee Mental Health, Study Finds

On November 9, 2023, the Illinois Supreme Court welcomed 1,360 new attorneys to the profession across the state, bringing the total number of licensed Illinois attorneys to approximately 98,000.
As newly admitted lawyers who have graduated from law school and passed the bar exam, you’ve already proven your legal knowledge and prowess. But you may not be well-versed in another
Continue Reading Customer Service 101 for New Lawyers

The Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee will hold a public hearing on November 15 to hear public comment on five proposals. The hearing will include proposed amendments to Rule 8.4, which focuses on attorney misconduct, and Rule 794, which outlines the 6-hour professional responsibility MCLE requirement.
The hearing will be held at 10:30 a.m. at the Administrative Office
Continue Reading Illinois Supreme Court to Hold Public Hearing on 5 Proposed Rule Amendments, Including Rules Impacting Professionalism

Legal departments attempting to control costs are moving work in-house, according to a recent survey of in-house legal professionals by the Association of Corporate Counsel and legal tech company Everlaw.
In the survey, 66% of respondents cited bringing work in-house as their top cost-cutting strategy. Respondents noted insourcing increases value by using internal expertise and improves cost predictability.
And this
Continue Reading In-House Legal Departments Cut Costs with Less Outsourcing, Survey Says

The Illinois Supreme Court announced this week amendments to Rule 299 that will double compensation for an attorney appointed by a court in Illinois to represent an indigent party.
The amended Rule raises attorney compensation to $150 per hour, up from its previous minimum of $75 per hour. Attorneys will also receive $150 per hour “for time reasonably expended out
Continue Reading Illinois Supreme Court Increases Compensation for Attorneys Representing Indigent Parties

Law firms looking to improve collection rates should consider online billing and payment options, according to new data from Clio’s 2023 Legal Trends Report. And their clients will appreciate the efficiencies.
According to 2021 data from Clio, a legal technology company, 66% of consumers said they prefer to make payments for legal services online, while roughly 60% said
Continue Reading Clio Identifies Small Efficiencies That Can Add Up Big for Law Firm Revenue

Our Professionalism Spotlight series highlights Illinois legal professionals who are demonstrating the ideals of professionalism in their daily lives.
The Professionalism Spotlight replaces our popular Lawyer Spotlight series, to recognize the inspiring work of lawyers, as well as paralegals, court clerks, legal assistants, trial court administrators, law school personnel, and other legal and court professionals across the state.
These individuals
Continue Reading Professionalism Spotlight: Thomas McClure, Illinois State University

When Jerome “Jerry” Larkin joined the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) in 1978, he had just graduated from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, spent eight years in the Catholic seminary system, and knew he wanted to dedicate his career to public service.
After just a couple of years at the ARDC—an entity charged by the Illinois Supreme
Continue Reading Marking the Retirement of Jerry Larkin, Who Led the ARDC With Exceptional Foresight, Integrity, and ‘Irish Wit’