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


 The Illinois State Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division is hosting a four-part series of Professional Development Lunches (PDLs) aimed at teaching law students and young attorneys practical steps in advancing their career. The next installment will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at noon at the Chicago Regional Office, 20 S. Clark Ste. 900.

This program is titled “Taking Charge of Your Legal Career.” It will feature the following panelists:

  • Paula H. Holderman, ISBA President-elect, Chief Attorney Development Officer, Winston & Strawn
  • Shaw Kasserman, Partner, Corboy & Demetrio
  • Mary Sabatino, Partner, Wiedner & McCauliff

Cost: $10 includes lunch

Registration required at

No MCLE credit is available for this program.

For general inquiries, please contact Matt Coleman at; Jessica Durkin at; or Heather Pfeffer, at

ISBA President John Thies informs members that federal courts in the Northern District of Illinois could be forced to close in 2013 for one day a week or for the whole month of February. This will occur unless congressional action is taken to avoid sequestration. Please contact your elected representative and encourage them to act at

Some 1.9 million Illinoisans are considered “food insecure,” meaning they lack the ability to secure adequate food. The problem is especially acute for Illinois children, with one in four or over 600,000 children experiencing food insecurity.

These dire statistics were the impetus behind Lawyers Feeding Illinois, a new program announced by ISBA President John E. Thies, a shareholder at the Urbana law firm of Webber & Thies, P.C. Under the leadership of his wife Terry, Lawyers Feeding Illinois kicked off on Nov. 14 with a special event featuring Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

The program’s goal is noble and simple: collect food and raise funds for distribution to the eight Feeding Illinois member food banks. Law firms and legal organizations statewide will be encouraged to participate in a food and fundraising drive held during the final week in February 2013.

Even the choice of timing has a purpose. Most people loosen their purse strings during the holidays, according to President Thies. But feeding the hungry doesn’t start and stop between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. The campaign, they believe, will help call the public’s attention to the fact that donations are needed year-round.

“No one should ever go hungry because they can’t afford to put food on the table,” Thies says. “Even with the federal breakfast and lunch programs for children, and the federal food stamps program for families and individuals, there are still residents in Illinois who go hungry every day.”

The exhibitor hall in the atrium of the Westin Chicago Northwest.
The exhibitor hall in the atrium of the Westin Chicago Northwest.
The Annual Solo & Small Firm Conference is underway in Itasca. This event features the ISBA's first app, available for free download at Online registration is closed, but onsite registration is still available. Find out more about the conference at www.isba/soloconference.

Follow along from your office on Twitter via the hashtag #isbassf2012

The ISBA Election in the Spring of 2013 will elect 9 seats on the Board of Governors, 39 seats on the Assembly for Cook County and 88 seats on the Assembly for Downstate. Nominating petitions may be filed no earlier than Wednesday, January 2, 2013 and must be filed by 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 31, 2013 at either the Illinois Bar Center, 424 South 2nd Street, in Springfield or the ISBA Chicago 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.

Find out more in the 2013 ISBA Notice of Election and at

The following is ISBA President John E. Thies' response to Chief Judge Holderman's letter on the possibility of weekly federal court closings due to budget cuts. ISBA members are urged to join President Thies in this effort by contacting their representatives in Congress. Contact information for Illinois' Congressional delegation can be found at

Dear Chief Judge Holderman:

I appreciate the opportunity to respond on behalf of the Illinois State Bar Association to your September 4, 2012, letter detailing the perilous situation confronting the federal courts in the absence of positive budgetary intervention by the Congress.

You asked about our views on how our lawyer members and their clients would be impacted if the U.S. Court for the Northem District of Illinois is forced to drastically diminish its operations. I want to focus my response on the effect such action would have on our clients - the parties in civil actions and the individuals involved in criminal prosecutions. It is they who would be most affected by the interruption of court services.

ISBA President John E. Thies is proud to announce a new member benefit - 15 hours of free CLE each year for ISBA members.


Find out more at

The Illinois State Bar Association's 8th Annual Solo & Small Firm Conference returns to Chicagoland Sept. 13-15 at the Westin Northwest Chicago in Itasca. Online registration closes today (Sept. 7) - ISBA members register today to save $75 off the onsite fee. Earn up to 15 hours of MCLE credit, including all 6 hours of PMCLE credit.

Top 10 Reasons To Attend This Year’s Conference

  1. Networking with like-minded peers from across the state!
  2. Crowd favorite program Gizmos & Gadgets returns
  3. Basic and advanced Fastcase legal research training
  4. New location in Itasca, just northwest of Chicago
  5. Individual counseling on how to market your firm
  6. Mobile Device App to put Conference info you need at your fingertips
  7. Comedians-at-Law at Friday night social event
  8. Plenary speaker Todd Winegar's Trials of the Century Overview program
  9. New 4th track of programming – Practice Fundamentals
  10. 15 HRS MCLE/ 6 HRS PMCLE credit available

Learn more and register today at

Illinois Judges Association (IJA) President Rita M. Novak has announced that 90 judges have been appointed to committees of the Illinois State Bar Association by its new President John E. Thies.

Judge Novak, an Associate Judge from Cook County, pointed to Illinois judges continuing commitment to the betterment of the legal profession. She said: “It is difficult for both lawyers and for judges to find the extra time, in addition to their already demanding jobs, to be part of the larger profession. But that is our responsibility. I am proud of the commitment of Illinois’ judges to our state bar association.”

Among those serving on ISBA committees are Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier, of Nashville, who is a member of the Bench and Bar Section Council.

Many judges have committed to leadership positions in the ISBA. Hon. Stephen Pacey, of Paxton, is Treasurer of the 33,000-member organization. Judge Pacey, along with the Hon. Russell Hartigan of Cook County, also serves on the ISBA Board of Governors. Both men also perform other committee work for the ISBA. The 27-member Board of Governors oversees the operations and management of the ISBA, subject to policies set by the ISBA Assembly.

Numerous judges also serve on the ISBA Assembly, which is the supreme policy making body of the Association, with 201 lawyer or judge members elected on a pro rata basis from the judicial circuits.

ISBA President John E. Thies revisits the ISBA's efforts to keep multidisciplinary practice out of the legal profession.