Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism

Our Mission To promote a culture of civility and inclusion, in which Illinois lawyers and judges embody the ideals of the legal profession in service to the administration of justice in our democratic society.

Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism Blogs

Latest from Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism

I recently attended my first Association for Continuing Legal Education (ACLEA) conference right here in Chicago.   A recurring theme I heard was how to enhance legal education to change the hearts and minds of lawyers who view CLE as a time suck. If my two decades of teaching and facilitating has taught me anything, it’s that if your audience comes into the room thinking “I have a million things to do,” then the phrase “tough crowd” doesn’t even begin to describe the experience you’re going to have.  …
Today’s attorneys have discovered the importance of online lawyer reviews. While one bad review has the potential to cripple a firm, a few good reviews can provide a ton of marketing power. Timely, effective management of your online reviews can be a strong tool for generating leads. Online platforms are putting your firm’s profile as the lead component of search results, whether you’ve claimed the profile or not. Establishing and maintaining your online business presence…
Change doesn’t come rapidly in law. That’s a good thing. The rule of law is predicated on predictability and consistency with precedent. However, if the rapid pace of changes in technology and globalization leave law behind and out of the equation, that’s a problem. Here’s where the idea of regulatory sandboxes may help. What’s a regulatory sandbox? “Regulatory sandbox” refers to a way for companies and regulators to experiment with new types of services and…
“Only one thing is impossible for God: to find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.” – Mark Twain, The Complete Works of Mark Twain: Mark Twain’s Notebook 381 (Albert Bigelow Paine ed., 1935). Twain’s documented frustration notwithstanding, the highest Court in the land will soon weigh in on a unique aspect of copyright law – copyrighting the law itself. The facts seem simple enough: PublicResources.org bought a copy of the official statutory…
Have you ever told yourself “I really should [insert personal goal here]”? If yes, then this post is for you. About two months ago, my teenage son recommended that I play goalie during a soccer game so I “could take a break.” “Right, that’s it,” I thought to myself, “I’m going to the gym at least three times a week from now on. No excuses.” I’ve reflected on that since. It’s a good thought with…
Do lawyer ethics rules prohibit innovation in the delivery of legal services and contribute to the access to justice gap? Yes, according to a task force on lawyer regulation formed last summer by the California State Bar’s Board of Trustees. The task force has recommended changing some key lawyer ethics rules. California isn’t alone in exploring this issue. Arizona and Utah have also convened task forces. Illinois has been studying similar issues for some time.…
What channels of trust have you built lately? Put another way, what social capital tracks have you put down to promote and maintain the delivery of your firm’s services? Whether you’re the managing partner at a large firm or a solo practitioner, part of your job as a professional is being attentive to your social capital networks. This could include anyone from friends, neighbors and former classmates, to colleagues in civic organizations and legal associations.…
In recognition of Pride Month, the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism will feature biographies of LGBTQ+ legal professionals who have promoted a culture of civility and inclusion within the Illinois legal community. This week we profile Judge Nancy Katz, the first openly lesbian judge in Illinois. Earlier this month, we featured Pearl Hart and Thomas Chiola. Nancy Katz Katz dedicated her career to advocating for justice on behalf of underserved communities in…
There’s been a disturbing justice gap in the U.S. for decades. The legal profession has responded by encouraging pro bono legal services to low-income Americans, allowing the “unbundling” of legal services into smaller pieces, utilizing technology to reach more people and exploring efficiencies in the delivery of legal services. Most of these approaches assume people aren’t using lawyers for their civil legal needs because they’re too expensive. But cost is not the only reason for…
In recognition of Pride month, the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism (Commission) will feature biographies of LGBTQ+ legal professionals who have promoted a culture of civility and inclusion within the Illinois legal community. Our first biography, featuring Pearl Hart, came out last week. Keep an eye out for more later this month. Thomas Chiola Thomas Chiola, 67, grew up in Springfield, Ill. As a self-described “all-American boy,” Chiola was the Springfield High…