Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism

Our mission is 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

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Black History Month is a time to celebrate the achievements of African Americans and to recognize the critical role of black people in U.S. history. In 1926, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) sponsored the first national Negro History Week. The group chose the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglass. Negro History Week gained prominence in the following decades, receiving…
One of my favorite guilty pleasures is The Great British Bake Off. It’s a perfect blend of quintessentially British stoicism and quiet drama, and very much reminds me of home. In addition to creating nostalgia for desserts that contain enough sugar to make Willy Wonka blush, it has also introduced me to the art of complementary flavors and the importance of balance and measure. But more on that later, as the more astute among you …
Sometimes, in order to find a solution, barriers in the legal profession need to be analyzed. As lawyers, we tend to focus on barriers. How is that going to happen if X and Y are true? This is a potential problem, so how would that solution work? These are questions likely heard between a lawyer and their client. We learn to think like this in law school and it continues throughout our practice. This barrier-based…
In December 2019, the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) released its annual Report on Diversity in U.S. Law Firms. Across the board, progress for women and people of color is, to quote the report commentary, “at a rate so slow as to almost seem imperceptible at times.” Additionally, a recent report from the American Bar Foundation (ABF) Scholars found that bias in the legal workplace continues to be widespread. It’s been over two years…
Earlier this year, I wrote about the disappearing rural lawyer. In Illinois, more lawyers are hanging their law firm shingle in urban areas. This isn’t just an Illinois trend, it’s happening across the U.S. For instance, in Illinois, roughly 7,000 lawyers across 95 counties outside of Chicagoland serve 35% of the state’s population, or approximately 4.5 million people. This breaks down to a 1:700 lawyer-resident ratio. In The Disappearing Rural Lawyer part I, I…
Happy 2020! A new year and a new decade have arrived. Have you set any resolutions for the year ahead? If so, I have some bad news. Eighty percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. However, all hope isn’t lost. The success rate improves if you set small, realistic goals. Therefore, I’ve laid out three manageable goals for lawyers in 2020 that can improve your practice and the profession. Prioritize wellness First in my…
Modifying the Model Rules of Professional Conduct that prescribe the business of lawyers could help lawyers as well as consumers. That’s a premise of work being done by task forces across the U.S. As I’ve written before, task forces in several states including Illinois, California, Arizona, and Utah are developing recommendations to change legal regulations to spur innovation and the effective delivery of legal services to consumers. In addition, a resolution from the…
A new American Bar Association resolution encourages U.S. jurisdictions to consider innovative approaches to lawyer regulation to increase access to affordable and quality legal services. If approved by the ABA House of Delegates, the resolution would support the revision of existing regulatory structures to better align with the public interest. The resolution and report, which was released by the ABA’s Center for Innovation, supports regulatory reform in three broad areas. These include new categories…
Why are women leaving BigLaw? Because they’re more likely than men to be denied business development prospects, promotions and other career advancement opportunities, according to a survey from the American Bar Association (ABA) and ALM Intelligence. The Walking Out The Door: The Facts, Figures, and Future of Experienced Women Lawyers in Private Practice study is part of an ABA initiative launched by former-President Hilarie Bass to explore why experienced women lawyers leave the legal profession.…
Why are women leaving BigLaw? Because they’re more likely than men to be denied business development prospects, promotions and other career advancement opportunities, according to a survey from the American Bar Association (ABA) and ALM Intelligence. The Walking Out The Door: The Facts, Figures, and Future of Experienced Women Lawyers in Private Practice study is part of an ABA initiative launched by former-President Hilarie Bass to explore why experienced women lawyers leave the legal profession.…