Illinois Bar Journal

May 2019Volume 107Number 5Page 8

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President's Page

It Might Be, It Could Be, It Is!

It's Member Appreciation Month … and a great time to celebrate your ISBA membership benefits.

James F. McCluskey

Spring is in full bloom. Along with the welcomed change in weather and a fresh baseball season upon us, May is Member Appreciation Month at the ISBA! As the late Harry Caray once said, "It's the fans that need spring training. You gotta get 'em interested. Wake 'em up. Let 'em know that their season is coming, the good times are gonna roll."

With that in mind, ISBA members have much to be excited about. As one of the largest voluntary bar associations in the United States, we are able to provide members with top-tier benefits that cater to every phase of your career.

On behalf of our nearly 30,000 members, I would like to summarize the many ISBA benefits that cover a lifetime of practicing law.

For new attorneys

Our goal is to get you practice-ready. To accomplish this, we offer the following:

  • Practice Ready CLE programs: Intense three to four-hour deep dives into topics every new attorney needs to know.
  • Lawyer-to-Lawyer Mentoring: Learn from an experienced ISBA member and earn CLE credit.
  • Opportunities to market your expertise and earn CLE hours at the same time: Write an article for a section newsletter or for the Illinois Bar Journal.
  • Network with the largest Young Lawyers Division in the state: Our YLD hosts regularly occuring events, from speed networking to free happy hours.
  • E-Clips: Daily legal news curated by ISBA staff and delivered straight to your inbox to keep you informed. E-Clips content includes case summaries and statewide legal news.

For established attorneys

These ISBA benefits help you organize, maintain, and grow your practice:

  • PracticeHQ: Your one-stop resource for running your practice. At Practice HQ, you'll find advice, how-to tips, white papers, comparison charts, checklists, and videos addressing a wide range of topics, including e-filing, technology, risk management, billing, and human resources.
  • Section councils and committees: Learn, educate, and make decisions relative to your practice by joining one of more than 40 law-area groups. Serving as a member on a section council or committee is a great way to market your firm and earn recognition as a leader in your area of expertise.
  • ISBA Central: The Association's online community platform used daily by hundreds of attorneys allows members to receive referrals and knowledgeable answers to specific practice-related questions.
  • Become a faculty member: Enhance your professional brand by presenting at an ISBA CLE program and being interviewed in how-to videos for members.
  • ISBA awards: Nominate yourself or a colleague for one of many ISBA awards granted every year honoring the hard work and dedication of our high-achieving members.
  • Illinois Lawyer Finder: Fill out your free online profile so members of the public can find and hire you.

For senior attorneys

If you are planning to wind down your practice or are looking for opportunities to give back to the legal profession, these resources are for you:

  • Winding down your practice: Use PracticeHQ's white papers, videos, checklists, and other materials that provide detailed information about selling your practice and transitioning into the next phase of your life.
  • Become a mentor: Through our mentoring program, seasoned attorneys have the opportunity to educate and give back to young lawyers who are eager to receive advice and encouragement.

For all members

Behind the scenes, the ISBA is hard at work advocating for the profession, acting on your behalf, and serving the public. The Association's efforts include:

  • Advocating in Springfield for legislation supporting our profession.
  • Running a confidential Ethics Hotline.
  • Offering Ask an Expert, in which experienced legal consultants address your questions about technology, management, leadership, software selection, process mapping-you name it. Submit a question via email or schedule one-on-one remote consultation. It's free!

To learn more about these benefits-and many others (such as free access to Fastcase, subscriptions to IllinoisBarDocs, vendor discounts, and legal reference books) visit

The total value of all your benefits far exceeds your membership dues. Can that be true? In the words of Harry Caray (appreciated by Cubs, Cardinals, and White Sox fans alike), "It might be, it could be, it is!"

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