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

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. 


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.



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.  


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.



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.



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.



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.


Bob Craghead, ISBA director and NABE president, with Zoe Linza, outgoing NABE president and executive director of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
Bob Craghead, ISBA director and NABE president, with Zoe Linza, outgoing NABE president and executive director of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
Robert 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.



Asked and Answered

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

Q. I serve on the management committee of our 16-lawyer firm in Columbus, Ohio. We do not currently have a strategic plan and have been discussing whether we should spend the time developing one. However, we are not sure what a strategic plan would do for us or why it is worth the investment. We appreciate any thoughts that you might have.

A. One of the major problems facing law firms is focus. Research indicates that three of the biggest challenges facing professionals today are: time pressures, financial pressures, and the struggle to maintain a healthy balance between work and home. Billable time, non-billable time or the firm’s investment time, and personal time must be well managed, targeted, and focused. Your time must be managed as well.

Today well-focused specialists are winning the marketplace wars. Trying to be all things to all people is not a good strategy. Such full-service strategies only lead to lack of identity and reputation. For most small firms, it is not feasible to specialize in more than two or three core practice areas.

Based upon our experience from client engagements, we have concluded that lack of focus and accountability is one of the major problems facing law firms. Often the problem is too many ideas, alternatives, and options. The result often is no action at all or actions that fail to distinguish firms from their competitors and provide them with a sustained competitive advantage. Ideas, recommendations, suggestions, etc. are of no value unless implemented.



Back by Popular Demand! This two-day program in Chicago on September 7-8, 2017 is designed to help those attorneys who represent children. Under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 906(c), an attorney should receive ten hours of education every two years in child developments; roles of guardians ad litem and child representatives; ethics in child custody cases; relevant substantive state, federal, and case law in custody and visitation matters; and family dynamics, including substance abuse, domestic abuse, and mental health issues. Topics for this seminar include: the role, scope and limitations of representation; the conflicts that will limit the role of the appointment; child development issues, including mental health, milestones, attachment, and parental separation; working with impaired and high-conflict families; restricting parental responsibilities; how to assess and analyze a child’s best interest on a limited budget for testing and evaluation; domestic violence and how it affects children; conducting the child interview and the developmental issues you need to consider beforehand; cultural competency; and more.

The program is presented by the ISBA Family Law Section. It qualifies for 14.5 hours MCLE credit, including 13.0 hours Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.