Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
ISBA Mutual Lawyers Malpractice Insurance
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A Value of $1,344, Included with Membership
Free CLE
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New Referral Program Seeks to Close Gap in Services for Low-Income Individuals

Posted on February 14, 2018 by Sara Anderson

In much of Illinois outside of Cook County, there is only one legal service agency serving low-income people with civil (non-criminal) legal needs. Due to ethics rules, these organizations sometimes have to turn a potential client away due to a conflict of interest. Hundreds of potential clients are denied services in Illinois every year for this reason.

There are a number of scenarios in which a conflict of interest may arise that would prevent the local legal aid office from providing assistance. One example would be where that office is already providing representation to another party in the same legal matter.

Best Practice Tips: Compensation Ideas for Law Firm Staff

Posted on February 14, 2018 by Sara Anderson

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am the firm administrator with a ten attorney firm in Long Beach, California. I really enjoyed reading your blog post Law Firm Compensation – Bonuses for Staff, which discussed how to measure performance for bonuses. I really like the approach of establishing goals at the beginning of each year — two for the firm, and two that are personal — and tying bonuses to measurable outcomes. Have you used other approaches other than percentage of salary? Can you give additional examples of specific goals that would be appropriate for a bookkeeper, office manager, or firm administrator?

Web Meetings Can Keep You Connected to Clients, Colleagues

Posted on February 14, 2018 by Mark S. Mathewson

It's likely you have attended a "webinar" recently for a remote CLE seminar or training program. While webinars have introduced us to attending a seminar from the comfort of our own office (or couch, for that matter), you can use the same technology for meetings with clients, co-workers, and colleagues.

A web meeting is displayed on a computer screen (maybe with a shared PowerPoint or other presentation). The audio portion is either transmitted simultaneously over the telephone or by using the computer's microphone and speakers.

CLE: The Ethics of Social Media for Attorneys and Judges

Posted on February 13, 2018 by Sara Anderson

While social media provides new ways for attorneys to communicate and collaborate, it also presents ethical challenges that may result in an attorney or judge being LinkedIn with the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission or the Judicial Inquiry Board.

Chicago Public Schools Seeks Assistant General Counsel

Posted on February 12, 2018 by Sara Anderson

The Board of Education of the City of Chicago, also known as Chicago Public Schools (CPS), has set ambitious goals to ensure that every child, in every community, have access to a high quality education that prepares him or her for success in college and career.

CPS is seeking an Assistant General Counsel to represent CPS and its agents  in state court and various administrative forums. Matters include personal injury cases ranging from slip and falls to sexual assaults and death cases, mechanic’s liens, property tax appeals, construction cases, whistleblower claims, limited employment matters and breach of contract claims.  The Assistant General Counsel will have the following responsibilities: 

Three New Fastcase Features

Posted on February 9, 2018 by Sara Anderson
The decision to switch to Fastcase, our free legal research service sponsored by ISBA Mutual, is an easy one. You can put the money you save to better use, like vacation or student loans; you'll find it intuitive and easy to use; and you can sync your account with the Fastcase app for on-the-go access. 
This great member benefit just got event better with three new Fastcase features:
  • Cloud Linking. A new automated hyperlinking tool from Fastcase, Cloud Linking automatically finds citations to judicial opinions in your PDF or MS Word documents and instantly creates hyperlinks in your document to original sources, without affecting the document's formatting. 
  • Type-Ahead Search(Exclusive to Fastcase 7) As you type into the search box a search phrase or the name of a desired document, Fastcase will autocomplete your query suggesting the most likely search phrases. Once-tedious lookups can be accomplished in the blink of an eye.
  • Expert Commentary from LexBlog. Now included is a new library of expert legal commentary, including curated posts from LexBlog the largest network of over 15,000 legal bloggers. This content provides first-response legal analysis and insights across state, national, and international legal matters in many cases reporting legal news and commentary faster than newspapers.

Fastcase also offers training resources, including:


Spotlight on Pro Bono: Why Pro Bono? Why Not!

Posted on February 9, 2018 by Sara Anderson

By Sandy L. Morris

Tired of answering “zero” hours of voluntary pro bono service on your annual attorney registration form? It’s time to think about why and how you can help the increasing numbers of self-represented litigants.  

If you were to ask the 31,972 Illinois attorneys who self-reported pro bono service in 2016 (the most recent year for which this information is available) why they logged those hours, you would probably get 31,972 different answers. The reasons for pro bono are as varied as they are personal. But attorneys who perform pro bono services often cite one or more of the following benefits:

Cook, Boone, Winnebago County Courts Closed Due to Weather, DuPage Courts Remain Open

Posted on February 9, 2018 by Sara Anderson

The Circuit Court of Cook County is closed today, Friday, Feb. 9, due to severe winter weather, according to a statement released by the court. With the exception of Central Bond Court at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago and juvenile detention hearings at the Juvenile Center in Chicago, there will be no court in session in any Cook County courthouse and the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court will be closed.