Press Releases

Illinois State Bar Association Wins International CLE Program Award

Jeanne B. Heaton, ISBA
217-525-1760 or
For Immediate Release: 
June 30, 2010
The International Association for Continuing Legal Education (ACLEA) announced that the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) received the Best Program Award for Professional Excellence for ISBA’s innovative New Admittee Virtual Coffeehouse: Basic Skills and More program, the top award in the Best Program category. ACLEA will formally present the award to the ISBA at the ACLEA Annual Meeting in New York City on Tuesday, July 27, 2010.
ACLEA award winners are selected from competitors representing ACLEA’s more than 300 member organizations.
The ISBA’s New Admittee Virtual Coffeehouse: Basic Skills and More four week session was introduced as a pilot program in February and repeated in May 2010 as an option for new admittees to satisfy the Illinois Supreme Court requirement of 15 hours of Basic Skills instruction in the first year of practice. Additional repeats are scheduled for September and November 2010.  The Virtual Coffeehouse ISBA online learning community offered both required and optional selections to new admittees as if they were selecting items from a menu in a coffeehouse and included online streaming video; live, interactive weekly webinars; online discussion forums; video practice tips; and access to relevant online resources for new admittees.
“The success of the Virtual Coffeehouse program was made possible by the voluntary efforts of many ISBA members, sections, and committees” said Jeanne B. Heaton, ISBA CLE Director.  In order to insure quality interaction and pass on valuable information, various ISBA sections and committee members representing Legal Technology, Law Office Management and Economics, Mentoring, Young Lawyers Division, and CLE contributed by interacting online with community members, posting items regularly to the Coffeehouse website, and monitoring the weekly question and answer discussions.
The live weekly webinars featured presentations by experienced member lawyers and judges, and such innovations as instant polling of attendees with results displayed onscreen. Online attendees were also offered an opportunity for live Q&A discussions with panel members.  ISBA’s vendor and technical partner for the Coffeehouse, Peach New Media - FastCLE, provided the platform, webinar management, and 24/7 logistical and technical support for the Virtual Coffeehouse program.
The 33,000-member ISBA, with offices in Springfield and Chicago, provides professional services to Illinois lawyers, and education and services to the public. Information about ISBA and upcoming sessions of the Virtual Coffeehouse can be found on the web at

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