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Best Practice Tips: Associate Attorney Compensation and Motivation

Posted on June 20, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Asked and Answered 

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

Q. Our firm is based in Springfield, Ill. We have four partners and four associates. We are a general practice firm. All of our associates have been with the firm for more than 10 years, and they receive $100,000 base salaries plus discretionary bonuses. Our associates are excellent attorneys; however, none of them bring in any business and their production numbers are low. Annual billable hours are below 1,200 and working attorney fee collections are below $300,000. We have not given raises or bonuses for the last several years. We are losing money on some of our associates and not even covering our overhead, alone making any profit from our associates. We are at a loss at what to do. Please share any thoughts or ideas that you might have.

The Folly of Overemphasizing Emphasis

Posted on June 18, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Justice Michael B. Hyman of the Illinois Appellate Court – and one of the Illinois Bar Journal’s regular columnists – has had enough of bold, underlined, italicized, and ALL-CAPPED words and phrases. Don’t even get him started on redundant exclamation points!!! 

We all may agree that such stylizations are all too common in our emails, texts, and social media posts. But Justice Hyman says such bad habits are making their way into legal documents meant to sway his opinion. In his June "Judging Your Writing" column, the justice – in no uncertain terms – says this isn’t a good idea. 

Illinois State Bar Association Assembly Approves Proposed Rule on Succession Planning

Posted on June 18, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois State Bar Association Assembly approved a proposed rule on succession planning for lawyers during the 2018 Annual Meeting. 

It would require all Illinois licensed private practice lawyers to name a designated representative on their ARDC registration documents or certify that they have made a similar designation in a succession plan or other valid document. The designated representative would have the authority to take limited fiduciary action in the event that the designating attorney dies, becomes disabled, disappears, or abandons the practice.

Illinois Judges Foundation Announces 2018-2019 Officers

Posted on June 18, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Judges Foundation recently announced the following officers for 2018-2019:

  • Diann Marsalek, Cook County, President
  • Sarah Smith, Madison County, Vice-President
  • Debra Walker, Cook County, Treasurer
  • Brian McKillip, DuPage County, Secretary 

2018 Annual Meeting Highlights

Posted on June 18, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The 142nd Annual Meeting was held last week, June 14-16, at The Abbey Resort in Fontana, Wisconsin. Attendees celebrated the accomplishments of the past year, planned for the year ahead, expanded their professional networks, and earned CLE credit. During section meetings and at the Assembly meeting, various members of the ISBA community were recognized with awards. At the Friday reception and program, James McCluskey was installed as ISBA president for 2018-19. 

Congratulations to the 2018 Annual Meeting Bingo Winners

Posted on June 15, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

Congratulations to the winners of the Annual Meeting bingo contest: