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Chicago one of 10 grant awardees nationwide for neighborhood-court project

Posted on June 2, 2016 by Mark S. Mathewson

The Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance recently announced that it had awarded $2 million to the Center for Court Innovation ("Center") to fund 10 community courts around the United States. The Circuit Court of Cook County was one of the sites selected.

According to a press release issued by Chief Cook County Circuit Judge Timothy C. Evans, the Restorative Justice Community Court's mission will be to "empower[] victims and residents to play an active role in the rehabilitation of adult offenders who commit certain nonviolent crimes" (

As part of the award, the court will receive $200,000 and technical assistance from the Center, a non-profit that seeks to create a more effective and humane justice system. It conducts research and designs and implements operational programs like the community court project.

The courts are neighborhood-focused courts that attempt to address local problems via the justice system. The community court model has seen significant growth since its inception in 1993. According to a Department of Justice report, "Community courts grow out of frustration. Observers have noted that justice has grown remote from communities and the people who live in them."

Find out more about the Cook County Community Court, including where it will be located and when it will open, in the June Illinois Bar Journal

ISBA Board seeks candidates – Assembly, Under 37 Board, and Under 35 ABA Delegate

Posted on June 2, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

The ISBA Board of Governors will fill vacant leadership positions at a June 18, 2016 meeting. Members who are qualified and interested in being candidates for the positions are encouraged to submit their names for consideration.

  • ISBA Assembly – There is one vacant seat in each of the following circuits – 2nd, 13th, and 17th. The terms are for three years and commence immediately. There is one vacant seat in Cook County (First District) with a term of two years, and the term begins immediately. Candidates must reside in the applicable circuit or district.
  • Board of Governors – There is a vacancy in one of the Under 37 seats from outside Cook County. The term will be for one year and begins immediately. Candidates must reside outside Cook County and be under age 37 as of June 16, 2016.
  • ABA Delegate – There is a vacancy in the Cook County Under 35 delegate seat in the ABA House of Delegates. The term begins at the close of the upcoming ABA Annual Meeting in August and is for two years. Candidates must be under age 35 by August 10, 2016 and reside in  Cook County.

Any member who wishes to be considered as a candidate for a vacant position should communicate interest by email communication with the Executive Director by Friday, June 10, 2016 at A brief biographical statement should be submitted with the communication. If there are questions, please contact Kim Weaver, Assistant to the Executive Director, at 800.252.8908 or

CLE: How to Deal with Units of Local Government – Live Webcast

Posted on June 2, 2016 by Morgan Yingst

Join us from the comfort of your home or office on June 23, 2016 for this two-hour exploration of the rules and regulations for dealing with units of local government. Attorneys with basic to intermediate practice experience who are involved in the legalities of local government attending this seminar will learn: the basics for appearing before a municipality; what information is (and isn't) available through the Freedom of Information Act; the obligations of a government to provide an "Open Meeting"; the rules, regulations, and requirements for procurement bidding; and much more!

Congratulations to the winner of the Annual Meeting registration package!

Posted on June 1, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

Congratulations to Moria Bernstein for winning the Annual Meeting All-Inclusive Registration Package.

This is an All-Inclusive Registration Package' ($340 package value) to the ISBA's 2016 Annual Meeting at the Westin O'Hare in Rosemont, June 16-18!

Join us for #moreCLEmoreFUN at this year's Annual Meeting, redone with an emphasis on training and networking for today's young lawyer. One lucky member will win a free registration that includes: Opening Reception, Law Office Management Breakfast Symposium, Networking Lunch & Plenary Session, Installation Reception, Installation Ceremony, Celebrating the Profession Event (Black-Tie Optional), and Networking Breakfast.    

For more information about the ISBA Annual Meeting, including a complete schedule of programs and events, visit our Annual Meeting website.

ISBA committee work provides inspiration to do more

Posted on June 1, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

Karen MunozBy Karen Munoz, ISBA Standing Committee on Delivery of Legal Services

I am wrapping up my first year as a member for the Delivery of Legal services committee. Over the last year I have been exposed to some incredible lawyers and organizations throughout the state that do what they can each day to level the playing field of justice.

I have barely begun to scratch the surface of how important these organizations are in our society. I have been an attorney in the private sector for my entire career. Despite volunteering for different bar associations, this is really my first exposure to the provision of legal services to the indigent and it truly has been eye-opening.

Even though the work that I do is in many ways relatable (the client pays nothing up front in most cases, thus allowing access to a lawyer not ordinarily found in most areas of law), it does not compare to the needs I have witnessed over the last 12 months. I also have recognized that as our haves and have nots have drifted further and further apart, the need has only deepened.

Without many of these organizations operating at low to no cost in our state, many people would be left with absolutely no legal recourse. Obtaining these services can sometimes be the difference between becoming homeless, bankrupt, or worse in continuing physical danger.

Best Practice: Law firm succession - Transitioning clients to the next generation

Posted on June 1, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

Asked and Answered

By John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

Q. I am a member of a three-member executive committee for a 34-lawyer firm in Austin, Texas. We have been in practice for over 100 years. While we have had partners retire in the past with no issues, we are now facing a situation where seven partners are approaching retirement at the same time and each of them controls significant books of business. What can the firm do to ensure that retiring partners properly transition their clients so the firm can continue to flourish after the partners are no longer here? We would appreciate your thoughts.

Please renew your ISBA membership by June 30

Posted on May 31, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

Thank you for being an ISBA member - 2016-2017 bar association dues are due by June 30, 2016. An invoice has been mailed or you can also pay online here.

We hope you remember that ISBA offers a wide range of services designed to help you be productive and efficient. ISBA provides a services package valued at over $1,300. We are adding new services in the coming year that are outlined below.

To help us continue to provide quality services and to streamline the dues structure, we have reduced the number of dues categories and instituted a modest dues increase - the first one in over 10 years. We are committed to continuing to expand premium benefits for you.

Renew now so you don't miss the exciting new services and continue to enjoy the current line-up.


  • Law Practice Management & Technology Resources: Checklists, Videos, Training & More
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Register now for the all-new Annual Meeting in Rosemont

Posted on May 26, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

Registration is now open for the 140th ISBA Annual Meeting. Join us at our new convenient location in Rosemont, IL for three days packed with learning and networking opportunities.

We're offering 2 tracks of Solo and Small Firm Practice Institute programming, focusing on Transforming Your Practice with Technology and Establishing Your New Solo/Small Firm Practice.

We're also rolling out the red carpet for today's new lawyers. Come Friday to hear from The Good Wife's legal technical advisor and stay for an afternoon of improv with our Young Lawyers Division, followed by an all-night party celebrating the profession. 

It's the best ideas merged into one exciting conference, with more than 16 hours of CLE, 58 business meetings, an exhibit hall, and the Chicago Catz Band. It's Annual:Redone, with #moreCLEmoreFUN.

View the schedule at

Register at

ISBA Statehouse Review for May 26, 2016

Posted on May 26, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers FOIA (House Bill 4715), Juvenile justice (Senate Bill 2370), Counties Code (House Bill 4603), IMDMA cleanup (House Bill 3898), Cannabis civil penalties (Senate Bill 2228), Limited Liability Company Act (House Bill 4361), Income shares and child support (House Bill 3982), Land Trust Beneficiary Rights Act (House Bill 4697), Trust law (Senate Bill 2842) and Sex crimes against minors (House Bills 1127). More information on each bill is available below the video.

Supreme Court amends application deadlines for bar exam

Posted on May 26, 2016 by Chris Bonjean

The Illinois Supreme Court announced Thursday changes to a rule that will slightly modify the deadlines to apply to take the Illinois bar examination.

The amendments to Supreme Court Rule 706, which governs the filing deadlines and fees to take the bar exam, will take effect July 1, 2016. The fees will not change under the rule amendment.

Under the amended rule, the on-time deadline to apply to take the February bar exam will be extended by approximately two weeks, from September 1 to September 15, and the final late deadline to apply for the February and July exams will be moved up by two weeks, from December 31 to December 15, and May 31 to May 15, respectively.