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


The Joint Midyear Meeting hosted by the Illinois State Bar Association and Illinois Judges Association kicked off Thursday afternoon with the Opening Reception at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers. Highlights on Friday include the sold out luncheon featuring U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the Supreme Court Dinner featuring Illinois Supreme Court Justice Robert Thomas.

View the full schedule at

View pictures from the Opening Reception at

The Assembly meeting agenda has been posted at This page is password protected and available only to ISBA members. The Assembly will next meet at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13 during the Joint Midyear Meeting at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers.

ISBA members can choose from a range of programs including life, major medical, dental, vision, catastrophe major medical, long term care, and disability insurance programs administered by Mercer Health & Benefits Administration LLC.

ISBA Health Insurance options are available for individuals and small groups, including PPO's and HSA Qualified Medical Plans from well-respected carriers such as Blue Cross / Blue Shield, Humana, Unicare, Celtic and others. For more information, contact Mercer at (800)-321-1998 or for online quotes visit

For information on a plan other than medical insurance, contact Mercer at (800)-503-9230 or on the web at

NEW! Members can enroll for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through GetInsured, powered by Mercer Marketplace*. Explore ACA-compliant plans in your area with the company that administers public health insurance exchanges. Compare available plans confidently and conveniently in minutes to secure a solution that strikes the best balance between coverage and affordability. ISBA members pay no additional cost to take advantage of this service.

Specify what you need in health care coverage and receive a list of all plans that are scored for: overall suitability, monthly cost, estimated out-of-pocket expense (deductibles/copays), which services are covered, and which doctors participate.

Bringing the Courtroom to the Classroom

This innovative program is designed to bring civics education about the legal system and courts in Illinois to students throughout the State.

Judges and lawyers are now being invited to make presentations together. Complimentary training of 45-60 minutes is required and will next be provided and videotaped on Thursday, December 11, 2014, at 3 p.m. at the Chicago Regional Office of the ISBA, at 20 S. Clark Street, 9th Floor, Chicago, Illinois, by Judges Clare McWilliams, Eileen O'Neill Burke, and Mike Chmiel.

Space is limited – to reserve a spot, please email

The Illinois State Bar Association’s Lawyer Finder Service provides referrals to local lawyers Mondays through Fridays. The Service makes referrals in a number of areas of law. For the month of November 2014, ISBA helped people in need of legal services find lawyers in the following areas:

Here are the results for November 2014:

  • 783 phone referrals made by Lawyer Finder staff
  • Most requested areas of law: Family (139), Criminal Law (119), Civil Disputes (85), Real Estate (76), Personal Injury (72), Employment Law (53) and Civil Rights (42).
  • 18,278 visits to (16,419 unique visitors)

Want to be part of the ISBA Lawyer Finder Service? Call (800) 252-8908 and ask for the Legal Department, or visit

Clients should call (800) 922-8757.

Please join us at the ISBA/YLD Annual Holiday Party and show your support for the IBF/ YLD Children's Assistance Fund, a 501(c)(3) charitable entity. Initially created to assist with the opening of children's waiting rooms in courthouses across the State of Illinois, the IBF/YLD Children's Assistance Fund has since grown, and now provides funding to organizations across the State of Illinois that provide legal assistance to children, maintain children's waiting rooms in courthouses, work to reduce recidivism of juveniles, and/or work to reduce the incidents of domestic violence in families with children.

WHEN: Friday, December 5, 2014, 6 p.m.-10 p.m.

WHERE: Duffy's Tavern and Grille, 420½ W. Diversey, Chicago, Illinois

WHAT: Open Bar, Warm Appetizers, and Live Band!

COST: $50 per person for tickets purchased at the door the evening of the event.

By E. Alex Espinoza, Equal Justice Works/AmeriCorps, Veterans Legal Corps - Legal Fellow, U.S. Army Reserve

Each Veteran’s Day, our nation pauses to thank our 19.6 million living veterans. As an Iraq War veteran, I can attest to the awkwardness of responding to “thank you for your service.” At best, veterans don’t know how to respond. A response of “you’re welcome” seems too self-serving. At worst, “thank you for your service” is considered only lip service; a required response similar to “gesundheit” or “bless you” after a sneeze.

By Umberto S. Davi, ISBA President-Elect

Looking for a chance to lead? To grow? To make a difference in the Illinois State Bar Association and the legal profession? Then consider nominating yourself for one of our many section councils and committees for 2015-16.

As president-elect, it's my privilege to make appointments to section councils and committees for the coming fiscal year. These small but influential groups are the lifeblood of the ISBA. They produce newsletters and CLE programs, propose legislation, and help ISBA serve its members in countless ways.

Join judges and lawyers from across the state to conduct the business of the bench and bar and celebrate professional achievements. Highlights include an Opening Reception, a luncheon presentation by Attorney General of the United States Eric H. Holder, Jr., and an evening celebration honoring the Justices of the Supreme Court of Illinois. Additional programs and business meetings will be held throughout the conference. All this camaraderie takes place at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers, steps away from the holiday pageantry Chicago offers during this time of year. Advance registration ends Dec. 5.

Find out more and register at

The Illinois State Bar Association's Task Force on the Impact of Law School Curriculum and Debt on the Future of the Profession will hold seven open hearings throughout the state. The Task Force was established by President Richard D. Felice and is chaired by Honorable Ann Jorgensen, Justice of the Second District Appellate Court. ISBA members are encouraged to attend these hearings to discuss the core skill sets that new lawyers should have and how law schools can graduate more “practice ready” lawyers.

The final hearing will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, December 10 at the ISBA Chicago Regional Office, 20 S. Clark, Ste. 900.