View from the Chair

Since becoming Chair of the Senior Lawyers’ Section Council, 1 have been asked several times exactly who is a senior member of the ISBA, and how do you become a member of the Section?

Several years ago, the ISBA discontinued paid membership fees for the Senior Lawyers’ Section. Thus, ISBA members age 55 years and older or ISBA members who have been practicing 25 years or more are automatically members of the Senior Lawyers’ Section without cost to the member.

Because of age longevity, it is apparent that senior lawyers now make up one of the largest (if not the largest) memberships of the ISBA, and I, as Chair, want all senior lawyers in Illinois to know about this perk as one more advantage of being a member of the ISBA. Therefore, one of the goals of this Section Council is to encourage all ISBA senior members to let other senior lawyers, who are not members of the ISBA, know about some of the advantages of being a member of the ISBA, such as automatic membership in the Senior Lawyers’ Section free of charge. Obviously, there are numerous other advantages of membership which can be found on the ISBA’s Web site, and by contacting ISBA staff in Springfield or Chicago.

Another goal of this Section Council is to present CLE programs focused on the needs and concerns of senior lawyers. We have already had successful CLE programs last year in Chicago and Springfield entitled “What Senior Lawyers Want to Know.” If you missed this half day program, a video is available through the ISBA. The Section Council is presently in the process of putting together another CIE program of interest to senior lawyers in early 2012.

This is now our third newsletter since the Spring of 2011, and I hope to have future newsletters sent both electronically through the Senior Lawyers’ Web site (, which is not password protected and is available to all. It is also available electronically to all ISBA members in the “Illinois Lawyer Now Weekly.” Our newsletter has the widest distribution and availability of all ISBA newsletters produced. In addition, depending on budget constraints, we are looking into having our newsletters available in paper form either by regular mail and/or at the mid year and annual meetings of the ISBA.

If you read our last newsletter, you will see that our Section Council is attempting to take the fear out of getting, for starters, CLE credit electronically or by other means in lieu of live programs. For seniors, including yours truly, this can be a daunting undertaking, but one that will be the wave of the future. Consequently, we will have to adapt and deal with it during the time we remain in active practice.

Finally, as I mentioned in my previous “View from the Chair,” I would like to encourage networking among all senior lawyers on issues of concern to us. I ask you to send me topics to be discussed at our Section Council meetings and I promise to reply to you regarding our thoughts on the subject. Since live CLE programs and personal face to face networking are fast becoming a way of the past, this may be a small way of continuing some of this old fashioned networking.

Therefore, I would very much appreciate your thoughts, comments and suggestions on any of the topics covered in this article and in our newsletters as well as any topics you might want to present or have the Section Council comment on in future newsletters. ■


Editor’s Note: As Gary says, you are automatically a member of the Senior Lawyer Section Council if you are an ISBA member and at least 55 years of age or have practiced law for more than 25 years. As such, you automatically get this newsletter. No dues required! However, despite the protests of those of us who are dinosaurs (defined as not possessing an I-Pad), if you want to continue receiving this newsletter on real paper (versus electronically), you must affirmatively request that. Future issues will be sent electronically without action on your part.

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February 2012Volume 3Number 2PDF icon PDF version (for best printing)