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Rule 711

Expanding law-student practice opportunities to the private sector

Posted on February 25, 2016 by Mark S. Mathewson

An ISBA proposal would allow qualified students to practice under the supervision of an attorney in the private sector, not just in legal aid or other governmental settings.

Law students and recent, unlicensed graduates can gain practical experience as attorneys before they graduate and pass the bar exam. Illinois Supreme Court Rule 711 currently allows senior law students and recent grads to counsel clients, appear in court, and otherwise engage in legal practice under attorney supervision in public interest or service areas such as legal aid clinics, the public defender's office, or a law office of the state of Illinois or its subdivisions.

An ISBA-championed amendment to Rule 711 would expand its scope to allow senior students and recent graduates to practice in the private sector as well. The ISBA Assembly approved the proposal in December for submission to the Illinois Supreme Court.

The ISBA Special Committee on Rule 711 was created by ISBA President Umberto S. Davi and chaired by Judge Michael Chmiel, who sits on the Circuit Court for the Twenty-Second Judicial Circuit in McHenry County. The committee consisted of Judge Chmiel, a law professor, two law students, and eight practicing attorneys. Find out more in the March Illinois Bar Journal.

ISBA Rule 711 Committee meets

Posted on September 1, 2015 by Chris Bonjean

The ISBA Rule 711 Committee, an initiative of President Umberto S. Davi, met on Thursday, Aug. 27 at the Chicago Office. Members of the committee included (front row, from left) Michelle Dahlquist, President Davi and Jessica Durkin; (back row, from left) Marie Sarantakis, Ryan Henderson, Committee Chair Judge Michael Chmiel, Robert Park, Eva Tameling, Theresa Ceko and Committee Vice-Chair Kelly E. Gordon. The Committee is exploring the expansion of the 711 license to private law firms. Michael Bergmann and Christina Cullom also serve on the committee.