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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Fastcase
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Best Practice Tips: Measuring Partner Performance

Posted on August 23, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a partner in a 12-attorney firm in Houston. The firm has five partners and seven associates. We are a first-generation firm and we, the partners, have never practiced in other law firms. Currently, the partners have equal ownership interests and are compensated equally. We are experiencing issues with the present method of partner compensation and we are giving some thought to considering other approaches. One of the issues that we are trying to wrap our heads around is how to measure each partner's performance, value, and overall contribution to the firm. Do you have any suggestions? 

CLE: Construction Escrow, Lien Waivers, and Sworn Statements - Best Practices [LIVE WEBCAST]

Posted on August 23, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Discover the importance of and best practice in construction escrow, lien waivers, and sworn statements with this one-hour online presentation on September 20, 2017. Construction law attorneys and real estate practitioners with intermediate practice experience who attend this seminar will learn: the proper payment system of the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act (know and follow it or pay twice for the same work); what to look for from a sworn contractor’s statement; and lien waivers and their accompanying statutory affidavits.

The seminar is presented by the ISBA Construction Law Section and qualifies for 1.0 hour MCLE credit.

Click here for more information and to register.

Word of Mouth in the Digital Age

Posted on August 23, 2017 by Sara Anderson

In today's digital age, consumers use the Internet to research referrals. When selecting an attorney, they start their research with a trusted source: the bar directory. Watch the video below to learn about how sharing accurate, up-to-date information about your practice and firm on IllinoisLawyerFinder can help new clients find you. 

Quick Takes for Your Practice: Advising a Client Stopped on Suspicion of DUI

Posted on August 17, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Juliet Boyd, of Boyd & Kummer, LLC, discusses a frequently asked criminal and traffic law question: How do you advise your client who was stopped under suspicion of driving under the influence? Watch the video below for eight helpful tips.

CLE: First Annual Abraham Lincoln's Legacy - Lessons for Today's Lawyer

Posted on August 17, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Abraham Lincoln overcame poverty, lack of formal education, chronic depression, and other obstacles to become one of the leading lawyers in Illinois. Lessons from Lincoln's life and law practice continue to inspire, influence, and impact generations of lawyers who strive to be leaders in the legal profession. Don't miss this full-day seminar in Lincoln, Illinois on September 8, 2017 that examines Lincoln's legal career, the character traits that helped him achieve success in law and politics, how he dealt with his personal and professional issues, and how he networked with clients and lawyers around the state to build a successful practice.  

Yes, Lawyers Must Report Judicial Misconduct

Posted on August 17, 2017 by Mark S. Mathewson

The Illinois Bar Journal recently covered what happens when attorneys baselessly accuse judges of improper conduct (http://bit.ly/2u4L5LU). But what about when a judge truly does something improper? Is there an obligation to report?

The simple answer is yes. An attorney's duty to report attorney misconduct under Rule of Professional Conduct 8.3 extends to judges as well (http://bit.ly/2u50X19). Rule 8.3(b) states, "A lawyer who knows that a judge has committed a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct that raises a substantial question as to the judge's fitness for office shall inform the appropriate authority." Note, however, that Comment [3] to the Rule provides that a "measure of judgment" is required when a lawyer seeks to comply with the reporting requirement and that not all violations may trigger it.

Find out more in the August Illinois Bar Journal.

Best Practice Tips: Book Writing as a Business Development Strategy for Attorneys

Posted on August 16, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a partner in an 18-attorney law firm in Jacksonville, Florida. Our business development committee requires all attorneys to submit annual personal business development plans. I have been thinking about writing a book. Is such a goal worth my time investment? I welcome your thoughts.

A. While writing a book is not terribly difficult, it takes time and commitment, and will consume some non-billable hours. However, as David Maister often states, “attorneys should consider their billable time as their current income and their non-billable time as their future.”  In other words, non-billable time is an investment in your long-term future. I believe that authoring a book is an excellent way of building your professional reputation and brand and it will pay dividends in the long-term. Authoring a book can create opportunities that could change your whole life.

When I wrote my book, I had 142 non-billable hours invested in the book and I had some content available from past articles that I had written over the years. Often a good starting point is to start writing articles around a particular topic/theme and later tie them together in a book. This is a good way of taking “baby steps.”

During the writing process, authoring a book may seem like anything but freedom. However, it is a trade-off. Work for the book now and it will work for you later.

Stay Current on Mandatory E-Filing with Practice HQ

Posted on August 15, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Effective January 1, 2018, e-filing will be mandatory for all civil cases in the Illinois circuit courts. Practice HQ, our new one-stop microsite that houses together high-quality practice information, has a page dedicated to e-filing. This page was designed to help our members understand e-filing basics, stay up-to-date on the latest rule changes, and prepare for what's coming next.

Wind Down Your Practice with Practice HQ

Posted on August 9, 2017 by Sara Anderson

We recently launched our new member benefit, Practice HQ. Organized by the lifecycle of a law practice, this one-stop microsite houses together high-quality practice information in one place.

Once you've opened your firm, developed a marketing and retention strategy to build your client base, learned the ins and outs of managing and protecting, the final stage of your firm's lifecycle is to ethically wind down. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to succession planning because practices close for many different reasons; sometimes it is planned while other times the circumstances are outside of our control. As a result, the Practice HQ resources geared toward winding down your practice are valuable to members at all stages of their career, whether you're nearing retirement or simply want to prepare for the future. After all, the planning for eventual succession takes place long before any transactions.

ISBA Executive Director Installed as President of National Association of Bar Executives

Posted on August 9, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Bob Craghead, ISBA director and NABE president, with Zoe Linza, outgoing NABE president and executive director of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. LouisRobert E. Craghead, executive director of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), was installed as 2017-18 president of the National Association of Bar Executives (NABE) Thursday, August 10, at the group’s annual meeting in New York City. He was elected vice-president in the spring of 2016 and automatically ascended to the presidency.

NABE members are management-level staff who work for state, metropolitan, and local bar associations from all over the country. Craghead has been active in NABE for decades, having served on the governing board and numerous committees. He received the organization’s Bolton Award for Professional Excellence in 2003.

Craghead has spent his entire career with the 30,000-member Illinois State Bar Association, starting there in 1975 and holding a variety of positions before becoming executive director in 1994. He is the third ISBA executive director to serve as NABE president. Amos Pinkerton led the group in 1954-55, as did John H. Dickason in 1976-77.

Craghead was born in Galesburg in 1953 and is a graduate of Illinois College. He lives in Springfield with his wife, Fran, and has three children — Brent, Adam, and Rachel — and four grandchildren.

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