Supporting the health and wellbeing of Black attorneys in Illinois

The Commission highlighted the long-held stigma of seeking help for mental health, as well as the daily microaggressions, the residual affects of intergenerational trauma and overt acts of racism as being unique stressors for Black attorneys.

Dr. Arline Geronimus coined the term “weathering effect” to evoke the emotional erosion that comes with the constant stress of racism. Geronimus,  a professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health compares weathering to Jenga, with a stressor being the equivalent of pulling one block out at a time.

After some time, so many blocks that are essential to a person’s health and well-being have been removed leading the tower to  collapse. Research has shown that stress can lead to premature biological aging and  worse health outcomes for Black people than their White counterparts.

Read the full story here.

Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism: five ways to improve well-being in the legal profession

Stephanie Villinski, Deputy Director of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, has released her take on improving lawyer well-being, based on ‘The Future Is Now: Legal Services conference’, which is the Commission on Professionalism’s annual future law event.

Ms. Villinski reflects on the fact that many of the changes that can have the greatest impact are in fact simple and easily implementable. With not all changes requiring a major change.

Her recommendations include:

  • Improving practitioner awareness around legal assistance programmes
  • creating clear KPIs and success measure
  • creating cultural shifts, and
  • encouraging professionals to lead by example

Read more about the conclusions and the conference here. 

ICLR Conference 2021 – Online, 28 September – 1 October

For more information about this year’s conference, consult the ICLR 2021 website and register your interest today!

ICLR 2021 – Registration is Open

The 10th Annual International Conference of Legal Regulators will take place virtually on September 28-October 1, 2021.  This four day-long virtual experience will consist of online sessions and networking events specifically created to advance the vital work of legal regulators around the world.

ICLR 2021 delegates can anticipate a dynamic program consisting of plenary sessions and breakout sessions available to view both live and in a recorded format. The sessions slated include, among other topics:

  • Why we do what we do: regulatory theory and practice
  • Legal education in a post covid world: shaking the assumptions but now what?
  • The role of regulators in promoting fairer legal services: responding to issues of vulnerability and legal capability
  • Artificial intelligence: Rise of the Machines
  • Does Fortune Favor the Bold? Deconstructing Legal Innovation Approaches and Finding a Path Forward

More information about this year’s anticipated themes and sessions can be found on the ICLR 2021 website.

In addition to providing thought provoking and academically challenging content, we have developed exciting and interactive networking sessions to facilitate connecting both new and long-time ICLR members.  You won’t want to miss any of this year’s conference. We look forward to seeing you online in September!

Illinois Supreme Court announces new task force to review court fees

The Illinois Supreme Court and Chief Justice Anne M. Burke has announced the formation of a Supreme Court Statutory Court Fees Task Force. The task force has been established to conduct a thorough review of the new Criminal and Traffic Assessment Act (CTAA), an act designed to reduce the statutory fees imposed or assessed on criminal defendants and civil litigants, the task force is mandated with examining the fiscal impact of the civil and criminal fee schedules. The task force will also review the implementation of the act, suggesting any legislative or rule changes that may be required.  The Task Force will submit a report and recommendations to the Supreme Court and General Assembly within one year.

The Task Force is made up of a bipartisan body of judges, retired judges, legislators, circuit clerks, and members of the private bar from across Illinois.

The new Task Force serves as a replacement for the Court’s original 15-person Task Force created under the Access to Justice Act. Recommendations from the original Task Force were the foundation for the CTAA .

Chief Justice Burke has said “The reforms enacted to simplify court costs were an important step and we are grateful to the original Task Force for its hard work. There was always the expectation that additional improvements would be necessary, and we look forward to hearing from the new Task Force on what those might be.”

Read more about the task force here. 

Catherine Marienau on experiential learning and CLE

2Civility, the communications arm of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, has released a new video in its series on reimagining the law. The video features an interview with Catherine Marienau, Professor Emerita at DePaul University, discussing experiential learning and its use in CLE, particularly with regard to online learning.

Watch the video. 

More regulatory responses to COVID-19

Following on from last month’s newsletter, we’ve put together the following list to examine different regulator responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here it is interesting to note the development and changes, as regulators begin to get a grasp on the crisis and develop innovative responses to meet the changing environment. If you have any questions or best practice for the rest of the ICLR community, please do get in touch, and we will be happy to include any of these in the next newsletter.

Illinois has introduced executive order 2020-14, this satisfies notarial requirements that a person must “appear before” a notary public if a two-way audio-video connection is used. It also allows documents to be witnessed through the same technology.

The Law Society of New South Wales has decided to run it’s annual Law Careers Fair as an online event, rather than cancelling it. The event will use zoom to create virtual presentations, with individual video booths and company landing pages replacing exhibitor booths. More information about the event is available here. The Society has also decided to reduce its $410 membership fee to $10, for the 2020-2021 period, allowing members to redirect funds to priority areas during the crisis.

The Law Society of Hong Kong has announced that civil hearing will take place remotely, with all other non-essential court hearings currently adjourned.

The Legal Sector Affinity Group which is made up of all the legal supervisory authorities in the UK, including the Law Society, Bar Council, CILEx, and the Law Society of Scotland, has released an advisory note on preventing money laundering during the crisis. The note discussed the increased risk of money laundering at the current time and what checks can be put in place to mitigate this.

The Council for Licensed Conveyancers in England and Wales is to allow members to defer fee payments, following the near-complete standstill in the UK property market. Members will be given the option to defer paying their practice fee and compensation fund contributions for April, May and June, which can be paid off over the following 4-12 months.

The California State Bar Board of Trustees has written to the California Supreme Court offering options and recommendations for the June First-Year Law Students’ Exam and the July Bar Exam. Full letter available here. Whilst the State Bar of Califonia has put in place emergency measures waiving late payment fees, as well as extending payment deadlines for membership fees and compliance deadlines.

The Law Society of Ontario has cancelled the lawyer licensing examinations and the call to the bar ceremonies due to take place in June. The society has said that alternative summer/autumn examination dates are being explored and that the administrative aspect of the call to the bar process is being undertaken remotely, allowing students to progress with their careers, with a celebration planned later in the year.

The Law Society of Saskatchewan and the Law Society of Alberta have temporarily reduced the articling requirements to a minimum of 8 months, instead of the previous minimum of 12 months, preventing a backlog of articling students due to limits created by coronavirus. Full statements available here and here. The Law Society of Alberta has also introduced changes allowing articling students to work remotely, as well as giving instructions on the supervision students doing this.

The American Bar Association has created a “Task Force on Legal Needs Arising Out of the 2020 Pandemic”, which launched a website on the 3rd of April to provide resources and information on the ongoing crisis and how this relates to the law. Statement available here, website available here. The ABA has also backed calls to adopt emergency rules that would allow recent and upcoming law school graduates who cannot take a bar exam because of the COVID-19 pandemic to engage in the limited practice of law, under the supervision of a licensed attorney, these individuals would have until the end of 2021 to practice without passing the bar exam. They hope this would limit the disruption to students careers, and help prevent the widening of the access to justice gap.  Full statement available here.

ICLR 2020 update

The ICLR 2020 will be held virtually the week of October 26th, 2020. Mark your calendars. The organizing group is developing a dynamic week-long program that will include sessions on the regulatory challenges encountered and lessons learned from the global COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to “seeing” you virtually this Fall. Registration is expected to open in July 2020. Please continue to visit the ICLR 2020 event website to find out more and get involved.

Despite this, the opportunity for us to meet in Chicago has not disappeared and we hope as many of you as possible will join us in person in 2021 on dates to be announced.

Save the date: ICLR Conference 2020 – Chicago 28th-30th October

ICLR Conference 2020
Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission
of Illinois

Chicago | 28-30 October 2020

Please save the date for the 2020 ICLR Conference, which will be held in Chicago between October 28-30, 2020.

According to Dave Rolewick, Chair, and Jerry Larkin, Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of Illinois (ARDC), “The ARDC is honored to host the 9th International Conference of Legal Regulators in 2020. We are confident, with your help, we will develop a forward-thinking program that intrigues and challenges legal regulators from around the globe, and encourages professional growth and a sharing of experiences. We also are excited to welcome you to and showcase the best of Chicago.”

Illinois becomes first US State to adopt proactive management based regulation

The Illinois Supreme Court has announced today the adoption of certain new rules governing the legal profession in Illinois. The changes are intended to help minimize many of the risks that lawyers face in the private practice of law. In doing so, Illinois becomes the first state in the nation to adopt Proactive Management Based Regulation (PMBR). The rule changes were based upon a multi-year study of PMBR initiatives in other countries and in the United States, and after consultation with key Illinois stakeholders, including many bar association and lawyer groups.

Read full press release

The new programme is currently limited to private practice lawyers who don’t carry malpractice insurance.  Along with other licensing requirements, affected lawyers will have to complete an online self-assessment and education programme covering a range of professional responsibility areas in which bad habits routinely blossom into ethics complaints. The results of the biennial reviews will then be shared with the lawyer, along with resources intended to help them address problems spotted in the review.