Welcome to the premiere issue of the Standing Committee on Government Lawyers newsletter. A complimentary copy of this edition of the newsletter is being sent to all government attorneys in Illinois, regardless of their affiliation with the Illinois State Bar Association, as a way of introducing the ISBA's newest standing committee, the Committee on Government Lawyers, to the government.
By way of background, in March of 1999, the Board of Governors of the Illinois State Bar Association authorized the creation of the Standing Committee on Government Lawyers to encourage government lawyer participation in both the ISBA and the Illinois bar. The Committee on Government Lawyers held its inaugural meeting in June 1999. Since that time, the twenty ISBA members comprising the first Committee on Government Lawyers have been working on the creation of a committee structure that fits into the ISBA's operational system and on the development of a focus for the Committee on Government Lawyers that will compliment the current activities and services of the ISBA's other committees and section councils while providing information, opportunities and services of interest to the government practitioner.
One method the Committee on Government Lawyers has chosen for providing information to government attorneys is through the publication of a newsletter. Specifically, each year the Committee plans to publish two to four newsletters containing substantive articles of interest to federal, state and local government attorneys, legislative updates, case law updates, Attorney General Opinion summaries, notice of Supreme Court Rule changes, profiles of government attorneys or government offices and information regarding upcoming Committee, ISBA or bar activities of interest to the government lawyer.
With the publication of this first issue of the Committee newsletter, the Committee is on its way to fulfilling its goal of providing a forum for government lawyers to identify and address common concerns regarding substantive and procedural legal issues. A second method by which the Committee hopes to satisfy this goal is through the presentation of continuing legal education programs. In this regard, the Committee is cosponsoring a continuing legal education program entitled Ethics and Professionalism for Government Attorneys and the Administrative Judiciary to be presented on June 1, 2000 in Chicago. In addition, the Committee is in the process of developing a government lawyer sub-site on the ISBA's Web site. Through this effort we expect to make information available that cannot wait for the next newsletter and to create a discussion group whereby government attorneys from across the state may discuss issues or situations of common concern. Moreover, as this edition of the newsletter goes to publication, the members of the Legislation Subcommittee are carefully reviewing many pieces of proposed legislation affecting the government bar. Still in the planning stages are a number of other projects the Committee hopes will be of interest or benefit to the government practitioner.
The opportunity is here for government lawyers to make their presence felt in the ISBA and in the Illinois bar. Therefore, please take a few minutes, read our newsletter, complete and return the enclosed survey and share your thoughts with us. We hope that your first encounter with the Committee on Government Lawyers is positive, and we look forward to serving you.