Chief Justice Rita B. Garman and the Illinois Supreme Court announced on Wednesday changes to a rule that will now require attorneys to register online each year.
Under Amended Supreme Court Rule 756, attorneys will also have to provide specific practice-related information to the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC).
The amendments to Rule 756, which governs the annual attorney registration process, will make Illinois one of at least seven states that will require the online submission of registration data by next year. At least a handful of states already mandate lawyers to do so.
ARDC Administrator Jerome Larkin said while 81 percent of Illinois' approximate 95,000 attorneys registered online this year, the rule's mandate for online registration will allow the ARDC to collect practice-related information from all lawyers, not just those who provide it voluntarily.
Historically, lawyers have been required to provide an address and telephone number for inclusion on their public listing on the Master Roll. With the amendments, an attorney will also have to furnish to the ARDC a residential address; the name of all other states in which he or she is licensed to practice law; the type of entity at which the attorney practices; the number of lawyers working there; the areas of law the lawyer primarily practices; and whether that organization has created a written succession plan.
"The disclosure of practice-related demographic information will allow us [the ARDC] to better understand lawyers' practices," Mr. Larkin said. "We'll be able to target our educational and regulatory resources to lawyers and assess whether those approaches are working."