Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
A Value of $1,344, Included with Membership

Three judges have been appointed to terms on the Judicial Conference of Illinois Committee on Education.

  • Circuit Judge Robert J. Anderson of DuPage County, a member of the Judicial Conference, was reappointed to the Committee on Education for a term expiring June 30, 2021 or until he is no longer a member of the Judicial Conference.
  • Circuit Judge Colleen F. Sheehan of Cook County was appointed as an advisor of the Committee on Education for a term expiring June 30, 2022.
  • Chief Circuit Judge Craig H. DeArmond of Cumberland County was reappointed as an advisor of the Committee on Education for a term expiring June 30, 2022.

ISBA Mutual Insurance Company provided tote bags as part of a giveaway during ISBA Member Appreciation Month. The winners are:

  • Gina Fabian, Law Office of Gina Fabian, Chicago
  • Tammy Paquette, Hennessy & Roach PC, Chicago 
  • Deborah Schaefer, Law Office of Deborah L. Schaefer, Elmhurst
  • Thomas Carlisle, Ostling & Associates, New Berlin
  • Daniel Janowski, Shaw & Martin, P.C., Mount Vernon  
  • Michael Logan, Michael J. Logan, Springfield 

Thank you to everyone who participated!

Dean Harold J. Krent (left) and ISBA President Umberto S. Davi
Dean Harold J. Krent (left) and ISBA President Umberto S. Davi
IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law has received the Illinois State Bar Association's (ISBA) first Excellence in Legal Education Award for its innovative Praxis program. Dean Harold J. Krent accepted the award on behalf of the law school at the ISBA's annual meeting June 19.

IIT Chicago-Kent is the first recipient of the award, created by the organization's Committee on Legal Education, Admissions and Competence to honor a law school program that emphasizes "real-world skills" for its students. The law school's Praxis certificate program was launched in the fall of 2014.

"The law school is honored to accept this award on behalf of so many at Chicago-Kent who have worked to make Praxis succeed," said Dean Krent. "Together we are responding to calls from the legal community for new graduates who are thoroughly trained in both the skills and the art of legal practice."

Students in the Praxis program learn to think and talk about their education in new ways, explore issues of law practice management, and learn how to build and market their own portfolios. Upon completion of all the program requirements, students earn a Praxis certificate upon graduation. Students enrolled in the Praxis program may concurrently enroll in an additional, subject-matter certificate program offered by IIT Chicago-Kent.

The ISBA 139th Annual Meeting kicked off Thursday at the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, Wis. We will celebrate the many accomplishments of ISBA President Richard Felice and, we will celebrate the induction of 2015-16 President Umberto Davi. The Grand Geneva Resort provides an ideal setting for this gathering of the profession. Follow along and join the conversation on Twitter at #139thAnnual.

  • June 18 - 20, 2015
  • Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, Lake Geneva, Wis.

Full schedule and more information available at

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the civil cases In re Marrige of Mueller and Hadley v. Subscriber Doe and the criminal case People v. Downs.


In re Marriage of Mueller

By Karen Kies DeGrand, Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth LLC


With their powers of analysis and ability to get quickly up to speed, lawyers often become star members of nonprofit boards. But professional conduct rules pose challenges for lawyer board members, Chicago lawyer Dan Ebner writes in this month's The Bottom Line, newsletter of the ISBA's committee on law office management. 

"The role of a board member who happens to be an attorney can inadvertently slide into that of an attorney who represents the organization through its board," Ebner warns. And even a lawyer board member who deliberately chooses to represent the organization can step on an ethical landmine.

For example, lawyer board members might be pressured to give free legal advice outside their competence by others on the board. Or the lawyer's role as a board member could compromise his or her ability to represent a given client. The lawyer board member should consider whether she has confidential information that will affect the advice she gives her client or, alternatively, the decisions she makes as a board member, Ebner writes. And she should question whether her desire to see her client succeed -- or her board -- will limit her "ability to give independent professional advice to the client, and to use proper business judgment when participating in board decisions," he writes. Read his article and find out more.

Asked and Answered

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

Q. I am a partner in a three attorney litigation firm in Boston. Two of us are partners. We are in our fourth year in practice after leaving a very large firm. We are concerned that we could be doing better financially. We are haphazard in our record keeping, have no goals, and are not even sure what numbers matter. What are your thoughts are to the key number (metrics) for a small firm like ours?

The ISBA Standing Committee on Legal Technology is inviting members to participate in a short, 3-5 minute survey regardning their legal tech needs. This will help the committee better plan newsletter and CLE offerings.

Please take the survey at

The Illinois State Bar Association is happy to announce the winners of our Twitter contest as part of Member Appreciation Month:

GRAND PRIZE WINNER (Prize: Apple Watch Sport)

  • Carl Newman

‘eClips to be current today, CLE for tomorrow's practice, and participating in a community of great lawyers for a lifetime #isbabenefits

… For perfectly capturing everything we hope members see in the ISBA … a partner in the profession throughout their career.

3 RUNNER-UP WINNERS (Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card)

  • Justin Raver

Need coverage? Need a case? Need insurance? Need CLE? Just need to know if I'm on the right track! One place has it all. #isbabenefits

… For perfectly capturing many of the great reasons we hope lawyers join and continue to belong to the ISBA.

  • Underwood King LLP

CLEs and Fastcase on our iPads or MacBooks, wherever we are, whenever we have time. Mobile and reliable! #ISBAbenefits

… For perfectly capturing the ease-of-use of two of our top member benefits.

Umberto Davi
Umberto Davi
Umberto S. Davi, of Willowbrook, a principal in the Western Springs Law Firm of Umberto S. Davi, P.C., was installed as president of the Illinois State Bar Association at the organization’s 139th Annual Meeting on June 19, at the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, Wis.

During his year as president, Davi will concentrate on several initiatives. He will establish a special committee charged with exploring the expansion of the 711 limited law license that would enable qualifying law school students to work more directly with private law firm clients and to be able to appear in court. In addition, he will establish a special task force to address the implications of new client service approaches in certain legal matters, such as the Limited License Legal Technicians program recently enacted in the state of Washington.

A third initiative will focus on providing another practice tool – a library of Illinois-specific, automated legal forms for members of the association. Davi will also continue work to expand the Courtroom in the Classroom program, a joint project with the Illinois Judges Association. He will support the ongoing work of a task force examining necessary changes to what law schools teach students and he will bring substantive and management educational programs to members around the state, through a series of one day Solo and Small Firm Practice Institutes.