Illinois Bar Journal

June 2019Volume 107Number 6Page 8

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President's Page

May All Be Well With You

ISBA President James F. McCluskey closes out his presidential year with many thanks and highlights of his term.

James F. McCluskey

This year, we focused on well-being for all lawyers. Specifically, we provided Illinois lawyers a roadmap that connected their physical, emotional, and financial wellness. For the legal profession to survive, lawyers need to strike a balance between the rigors of daily practice and their physical, emotional, and financial well-being. Throughout this year, I have stated that, as lawyers, we should act with integrity, honor the profession, be loyal to our clients, treat opposing counsel with respect, and respect the court. If you do these things, the profession will be good to you. These traits, along with health and wellness, comprise what I believe are the essential ingredients to a lawyer's success.

As ISBA President, I have been truly honored and humbled to serve the nearly 30,000 members of the Illinois State Bar Association. Practicing law in a diligent manner and serving your clients well reflect your strong commitment to the legal profession. Not only do lawyers need to make a living, they also must maintain the ethical principles of the profession. ISBA members who actively participate in various section councils and committees likewise promote the integrity of the profession and the ISBA.

This year, it has been a pleasure serving on the Illinois Supreme Court Committee of Professional Responsibility, which is working hard to serve the profession. Many thanks to Supreme Court Justice Robert R. Thomas for appointing me to this committee and being a keynote speaker at my installation. I am keenly interested in continuing on with this committee to promote the interests of Illinois lawyers. ISBA also remains committed to advocating for Illinois lawyers by preserving the attorney-client relationship and promoting the economic well-being of the profession through strong fee-sharing policies.

I would be remiss if I did not thank the ISBA staff, particularly Executive Director Robert Craghead and his assistant Kim Weaver, for their support throughout the year. Melissa Burkholder also deserves special mention for all of her hard work. The entire staff of the ISBA has truly been a pleasure to work with. Their dedication to the organization is unparalleled.

Thank you, Janice Anderson, for your assistance and support this year. During this year, I not only maintained the position of President of the ISBA, but I was honored to be appointed as an associate judge of the 18th Judicial Circuit Court in DuPage County. Most importantly, I became a grandfather for the second time.

I am pleased to be able to report that the ISBA continues to work for you and on your behalf. The Standing Committee on Member Services and its chair Daniel Saeedi are off to an excellent start. This committee was formed to build a stronger communication pipeline between the ISBA and its members and will strive to improve the education, career development, and business development of attorneys in Illinois.

The Special Committee on Succession and Transition Planning continued on with an emphasis on transitioning. The Succession Planning Committee not only aspires to create an Illinois Supreme Court rule requiring lawyers to list a successor to take over their practices if they become disabled or die, but it also plans to develop a strategy for life after the practice of law. This effort intertwined with the work of the Special Committee on Health & Wellness.

The Special Committee on Health & Wellness, chaired by Judge Kenneth Wright, has done an admirable job. With the support of the ISBA staff, Judge Wright has been able to raise greater awareness of the importance of physical, emotional, and financial wellness in life.

In addition, the Lawyers' Assistance Program (LAP) is absolutely essential in the support of wellness for Illinois attorneys. It was our hope this year to increase the level of awareness of this organization and the essential support LAP provides to the wellness of lawyers in this state.

For the very first time, the process for the President's selection of a diversity board member has been changed. Based on a newly adopted policy, I worked in collaboration with the Diversity Leadership Council to select a well-qualified diversity board member. This is a positive step toward a more inclusive ISBA.

The ISBA is in good hands. My special thanks to my fellow officers: President-Elect David Sosin, as he truly has the best interest of the ISBA at heart; Second Vice-President Dennis Orsey, who will do a fine job in his year; and Third Vice-President Anna Krolikowska, who has been a delightful addition to the officers of the ISBA. Incoming Third Vice-President-Elect Rory Weiler will add a stabilizing force to the team. To the ISBA Board of Governors for all your collaboration and cooperation this year-thanks to all of you. These leaders have not only provided support to the ISBA, but have the best interests of lawyers in their hearts and minds.

Thank you for this enjoyable journey and thank you for the opportunity to give back to the ISBA. Farewell.

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