Faculty Guidelines for Course Materials

Why Prepare Great Course Materials and Submit them On Time?

You may also download a PDF of Faculty Guidelines for Course Materials


  1. Materials reinforce the learning objectives conveyed to the audience in your presentation.
  2. You will learn more about the subject through the preparation of materials.
  3. You will earn MCLE credit for prep time for up to 6 times your presentation time.
  4. You will increase your credibility, enhance your reputation, and improve potential business opportunities.
  5. You will better serve your legal audience and your evaluation scores will improve.
  6. Attendees expect your complete set of great materials to be in the course book.
  7. Your well-developed materials in the course book, demonstrates you can meet deadlines, which will improve your reputation and enhance opportunities for referrals from audience members.
  8. If your materials are not in the course book, it may reflect negatively on your organizational skills and generate negative evaluation comments.
  9. If you don’t submit materials by the deadline, it will be your responsibility and expense to copy handouts of your materials for attendees.

What Does ISBA Expect?

  1. “Thorough, high quality, readable and carefully prepared written materials” (S.Ct. Rule 795(5)).
  2. Original materials (preferred).
    If copyrighted materials are submitted, you must provide written permission for ISBA to use or they will not be included in the course book. ISBA cannot use Lexis and Westlaw materials.
  3. Materials submitted to ISBA electronically.
    Word and Power Point only. Please do not submit scanned copies. Scanned PDFs are not accessible to screen readers and also produce inferior print quality.
  4. Materials submitted by the required deadline so they are in the Law Ed course book.
    Typically due 4 weeks prior to the program date
    This allows ISBA time to apply for Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism credit
  5. Supplemental Power Point slides to highlight important points, submitted in advance for inclusion in the course book.
    Do not include all your written material in the Power Point format.
  6. Signed presentation agreement giving ISBA non-exclusive rights to reuse the presentation and materials.
    You also retain those rights as the author/presenter.

Top 10 Tips for Terrific Law Ed Materials

  1. Establish learning objectives for your presentation and make sure the materials support your objectives.
  2. Write materials that will provide a complete, independent legal resource after the program is over.
  3. Stay on topic by delivering information about the topic described in the original brochure promoting the program.
  4. Provide original language or your own paraphrase whenever possible.
  5. Don’t attach copies of statutes or cases unless you are presenting from the actual language of the attachment, rather provide e-links to an online version suck as Fastcase.
  6. Provide forms if pertinent; attendees love them.
  7. Provide full citations of all cases and resources that you reference.
  8. Organize with headings, subheadings, etc. for readability.
  9. Edit for grammar, punctuation, proper word usage, and spelling. Your Law Ed materials reflect your work quality.
  10. Remember, your Law Ed materials reflect your work quality, so represent yourself well with great materials.

ISBA Law Ed Formatting and Submission Requirement

  1. The ISBA CLE Editorial Staff accepts original speaker materials in MS Word and Power Point only. Please do not submit your materials in PDF format! The only exceptions to this are court dockets, materials extracted from FastCase (or similar database research center), articles/information taken from print magazines, copies of a case or statute, etc. (In essence, things that you, the author, did not create yourself, but have secured and provided written permission for ISBA to reprint.)
  2. All original materials should be:
    1. Typed in 12-point font
    2. Double-spaced
    3. Paginated (center bottom)
  3. All materials (including bios) should be submitted to the ISBA CLE Editorial Staff no later than four weeks prior to the program date! Every program contains a course book, and every course book must be constructed, printed, and shipped to the program location. This process takes time, which means it is imperative that you submit your materials at least four weeks prior to the program. Materials submitted late will not be included in the ISBA course book and will not be available to webcast viewers of live webcast programs. In these situations, it will be your responsibility, as the speaker, to copy, pay for and bring enough copies of the material to hand out to the on-site registrants. Live webcast viewers will be left out -- to the detriment of the online viewer and your evaluation rating. Also, all Professional Responsibility topics must have approval of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. This application/approval process takes 2-4 weeks and program attendees expect certainty as to PMCLE credit approval.
  4. Materials should be submitted electronically (do not convert materials to PDF format prior to submitting).
  5. Power Point slides are meant to highlight important points! While Power Point slide shows are a great way to engage your audience during presentations, they are not the appropriate way to present all your information. Please limit the amount of information included on each slide. You should use an additional text document to present the bulk of your materials and reference information.
  6. Please submit your bio with your materials! Every ISBA course book contains a “biography” section, which is our way of giving credit where credit is due. Bios are a way for speakers to advertise themselves...to flaunt their accomplishments, so to speak. Bios submitted late will not be included in the ISBA course book.