Continuing Legal Education

ISBA Basic Skills Live – For Newly Admitted Attorneys

September 9, 2013
8:55 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
6.50 MCLE hours, including 6.50 approved Professional Responsibility MCLE credit hours

ISBA Regional Office
20 S. Clark Street, Suite 900
(map and directions)

Please note that this program is taking place on MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 9TH.
This program was incorrectly listed in the ISBA Illinois Quarterly Newsletter.

Onsite Registration is Closed because Room Capacity is Full! 

Visit ISBA's Free CLE Channel to Access the Online Basic Skills Program!

Don’t miss this complimentary seminar that’s designed exclusively for
Newly Admitted Attorney ISBA Members in their first year of practice!

Jump start your new Illinois legal career by attending this outstanding Basic Skills course that’s designed to equip you with the information you need as a new Illinois attorney, as well as help you begin to fulfill your Illinois Supreme Court Newly Admitted Attorney requirement (S. Ct. Rule 793)*. Our faculty – consisting of high-profile attorneys and judges – offers insights, tips, and advice on the issues you face in your practice. Topics include: common mistakes to avoid; brief-writing; setting up an IOLTA account; risk management and malpractice issues; effective legal research; negotiations; using technology in your practice; ethical risks created by modern technology; satisfying your clients; maintaining accurate records; dealing with conflicts; handling the stress of a legal career; and much more! The program closes with a discussion of topic generated by your suggestions when you register for the program.

Program Moderators:
Sarah E. Toney,
The Toney Law Firm LLC, Chicago
Jean A. Kenol, Mahoney, Silverman & Cross, LLC, Joliet



8:55 a.m.  Welcome and Explanation of Basic Skills Requirement
Jeanne B. Heaton
, ISBA Director of CLE, Springfield

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.  Perspectives from the Bench*
Looking back at your collegiate and law school experiences, you’re bound to remember the nuances of your many professors – like fingerprints, no two were exactly the same! Although judges are equally as diverse, there are a few things they all seem to agree on, so don’t miss this discussion. Our esteemed panelists will share tips on common mistakes to avoid, civility, brief-writing, persuasive arguments, career options and more!
Moderator:  Pamela J. Kuzniar, Attorney at Law, Chicago
Hon. Mark S. Goodwin, Fifth Judicial Circuit, Danville
Hon. Michael B. Hyman, First District Appellate Court, Chicago

Hon. Neera L. Walsh, Cook County Circuit Court, Chicago

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.  Ethical Dilemmas & Common Mistakes to Avoid*
This segment examines some of the common mistakes made by new attorneys and explores some of the best ways to deal with them once they've occurred. Using the framework of the new Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct, our panelists discuss common issues you may encounter with supervisory attorneys, opposing counsel and clients.  The discussion will cover how to set up an IOLTA account and the requirements for properly setting up a firm, including necessary paperwork, managing trust accounts, new laws on IOLTA accounts, recent case law issues impacting law firms, facts about risk management and malpractice, and important issues to be aware of. The importance of being prepared and conducting your practice with honesty and integrity (as well as the potential consequences when you don't) are also examined.
Moderator:  Pamela J. Kuzniar, Attorney at Law, Chicago
Michael J. Flaherty, Flaherty & Youngerman, P.C., Chicago
Mary Robinson, RobinsonNiro, LLC, Chicago

11:00 – 11:15 a.m.  Break

11:15 – 11:45 a.m.  Effective Legal Research*
Get the information you need on the best legal research resources available to new attorneys! Learn how to find forms, conduct searches, get free information, and much more. Particular emphasis is given to using multiple formats for cost and time-effectiveness. The current state of web-based information is also discussed, as well as what the practitioner needs to know about online government information.
Jean M. Wenger, Cook County Law Library, Chicago

11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.  Negotiations*
Learn the basics of advocacy for your client in the give and take work of negotiations with the effective methods shared by our experienced practitioner and negotiations expert.
Prof. Thomas C. Britton, Southern IL University School of Law, Carbondale

12:15 – 1:00 p.m.  Lunch (provided)
Kurt B. Bounds
, ISBA Mutual Insurance Company, Chicago

1:00 – 1:30 p.m.  Client Intake, Client Retainer Agreements, and Collecting From Clients*
What do you want to learn from your potential client before agreeing to take the case? This session discusses handling client intake, protecting yourself through retainer agreements, collecting payment, and dealing with non-paying clients (that you need). Case law updates regarding retainers are also provided.
Juliet E. Boyd, Boyd & Kummer, LLC, Chicago

1:30 – 2:00 p.m.  Discovery and Incivility*
Avoid ethical pitfalls with the information presented throughout this session.
Hon. David A. Hylla, Third Judicial Circuit, Granite City

2:00 – 2:30 p.m.  Ethical and Practical Uses of Technology in Your Practice*
Like any new business, law firms must be marketed for the best possible exposure to new and potential clients. This session explores the various options available to lawyers who are setting up their own firms and offers an in-depth examination of free vs. paid websites, effective social media tools, and how to ethically use the latest technology to help you in your new practice.
Sarah E. Toney, The Toney Law Firm LLC, Chicago 

2:30 – 3:00 p.m.  Professional Responsibility, Professionalism, and Technology Update*
Technology provides great benefits for attorneys, including highly efficient workflow, unprecedented access to information and rapid, cost-effective communications. Most lawyers, however, do not consider the great risks that technology creates for the practicing attorney. This session identifies those risks and shows you how to address them before launching into the latest and greatest in technology.
Jim Grogan, Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, Chicago

3:00 – 3:15 p.m.  Break

3:15 – 4:00 p.m.  Top 20 Tips for Satisfying Your Clients*
Satisfying your clients is the key to keeping the clients you have and obtaining new ones along the way. This presentation explores the top 20 ways to make your clients happy – from returning phone calls and dealing with conflicts, to maintaining accurate records and training your staff.
Paul A. Osborn, Ward, Murray, Pace & Johnson, P.C., Sterling

4:00 – 4:45 p.m.  Your New Legal Career*
Submit your questions at registration and ISBA panelists will address the issues you want to discuss during the closing segment! Topics may include: challenges for new attorneys; where to turn for guidance; handling the stress of a legal career; settling on an area of practice (or transitioning from one you hate); and much more!
Jean A. Kenol, Mahoney, Silverman & Cross, LLC, Joliet
Paul A. Osborn, Ward, Murray, Pace & Johnson, P.C., Sterling
Sarah E. Toney, The Toney Law Firm LLC, Chicago

5:00 - 6:30 p.m.  Reception
Enjoy refreshments and hors d’oeuvres while you mix and mingle with your peers, ISBA members, and ISBA faculty.



*Amended Supreme Court Rule 793(c)(1) requires newly admitted attorneys to complete a Basic Skills Course and/ or mentoring plus additional hours to equal 15 hours of MCLE credit.  For information on mentoring programs visit