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ISBA News


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 January 2017, there were 1003 referrals. ISBA helped people in need of legal services find lawyers in the following areas:

Nominations are being accepted for the 2017 class of Laureates of the ISBA Academy of Illinois Lawyers. ISBA members may submit nominations of colleagues through February 17, 2017.

A class of Laureates is selected by the Academy Board of Regents. Nominees must be ISBA members who personify the values, standards and ideals of the best of the legal profession.

Judge Debra Walker
Judge Debra Walker
Judge Debra Walker, former President of the Illinois Bar Foundation, is the recipient of the 2017 National Conference of Bar Foundations (NCBF) Excellence Award.  The award, to be presented at the NCBF midyear meeting in Miami in February, recognizes an outstanding contribution to law-related philanthropy by an individual. Prior to her election to the Cook County Circuit Court in 2008, she was a partner at the law firm of Clausen Miller, P.C. where she concentrated on professional liability matters. 

Judge Walker has a long record of leadership in the legal profession. As a past president of the Illinois Bar Foundation, she served longer than any other board member in its 65-year history, holding the offices of Secretary and Vice President, as well as Chair of the Fellows program. A regular attendee at NCBF meetings, she served one term on the NCBF Board of Trustees, which included her service as chair of the Awards Committee and as a member of the Program Committee.  She also participated as a presenter at NCBF midyear and annual meetings. She was recently elected to the Illinois Judges Foundation board of directors.


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 December 2016, there were 594 referrals. ISBA helped people in need of legal services find lawyers in the following areas:

The ISBA Election in the Spring of 2017 will elect the new Third Vice President, five seats on the Board of Governors (Cook – 2, Under age 37 Outside Cook – 1, Under age 37 Cook – 2) and 21 Cook County Assembly seats. Nominating petitions are now being accepted and must be filed by 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at either the Illinois Bar Center, 424 South 2nd Street, in Springfield or the ISBA Office at 20 S. Clark Street, 9th Floor, Chicago. Petitions must be physically submitted with original signatures. Petitions submitted via email or fax will not be accepted.

The ISBA Springfield and Chicago offices will be closed for the holidays beginning Thursday, December 22 at 3 p.m. The offices will reopen on January 3, 2017.

On behalf of the ISBA staff, we wish you all happy holidays and best wishes in the new year.

At its December 10 meeting, the ISBA Assembly approved the recommendations of the ISBA Task Force on the Future of Legal Services, voted to support adoption of the Uniform Bar Exam in Illinois, and endorsed legislation and an ethics rule change to expressly authorize collaborative process. The Assembly also voted to oppose adoption of ABA Model Rule 8.4(g), an anti-discrimination provision that critics regard as too subjective.

Futures report. The futures task force grew out of concern about the creation of court-licensed nonlawyer legal service providers, also know as LLLTs, in Washington state (for more, see the September 2015 Illinois Bar Journal cover story). The task force recommends against the adoption of an LLLT program in Illinois.

The group also studied broader challenges to the profession, including the rise of internet-based legal service providers, the impact of technology on legal practice, and the increasing number of self-represented litigants. The task force recommends that the ISBA create a consumer-oriented lawyer directory, provide technology and practice-management education and resources to members, and establish a standing committee on the future of legal services, among other measures. The report and recommendations will be the subject of the January 2017 Illinois Bar Journal cover story.

The Assembly meeting agenda has been posted at www.isba.org/leadership/assembly/minutes. This page is password protected and available only to ISBA members. The Assembly will meet at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10 during the Joint Midyear Meeting at the Sheraton Chicago.

Congratulations to the winners of the Annual Meeting bingo contest! Winners can pick up their prizes at the registration desk at the Sheraton Grand Chicago on Saturday, December 10 from 9 a.m. to noon.

  • iPad Mini - Nancy Easum
  • $25 Starbucks gift card compliments of Life's Plan Inc. - Donald P. Shriver
  • $50 Visa gift cards compliments of Advanced Corp Agents - Samuel Levine
  • Portable power bank/charger compliments of Attorneys' Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. - Joan E. Smuda
  • 2 general admission tickets to Lawyers Rock compliments of the Illinois Bar Foundation - Douglas Olivero


In recognition of holding the Midyear Meeting at the Sheraton Grand Hotel for 22 years, the Sheraton has provided a one-time special thank you. There will be complimentary Wi-Fi in all ISBA meeting rooms and programs on Thursday afternoon, all day Friday and Saturday morning.

Access Code: ISBA Midyear Meeting

Password: isba2016

Again, this is a one-time special concession offered by the Sheraton for ISBA’s long-term working relationship.