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Northern Illinois

Naperville lawyer, ISBA member, tech expert, and Solo and Small Firm Conference presenter Bryan Sims (aka The Connected Lawyer) says there are four must-have tools for sole practitioners: a smart phone, a laptop, a scanner, and a good backup system. “Unless you’re going to be tied to your office, you should have some sort of smart phone,” such as an iPhone, a BlackBerry, or a PalmPre, Sims told Helen Gunnarsson in an interview for the yet-to-be-released September Illinois Bar Journal. “You need something that will allow you to get your e-mail, look at documents, and otherwise get some work done when you’re out of the office.” As for laptops, Simms recommends buying a business class model directly from the manufacturer instead of the cheapest thing available. “If you’re using your computer for your law practice, you can’t afford to have it out of operation for a week,” he says. A scanner will help you create a paperless and a portable office. “I recommend that you keep all of your documents in .pdf format. If you want to keep the hard copy too, fine, but scan everything,” Sims says. Scanned documents are easy to manage and disseminate. Finally, you need a good backup system.
Governor Quinn has signed 543 new public acts into law. He will have another 200 to sign in the next 30 days. You may want to go to the General Assembly's homepage at and click on "public acts." It lists them in chronological order in the order he signs them. Some of these new public acts take effect the day he signs them and could affect your practice area.
[gallery] Members of the Illinois State Bar Association staff worked the "Looking for Lincoln" tent on Sunday at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield and will be back again on Tuesday, August 18. The "Looking for Lincoln" tent also sponsored a re-enactment of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Fair attendees can collect rubbings from all five Lincoln storyboard medallions and receive half-off an adult admission to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. The ISBA tent is located on the north east side in the Heartland area, near the "Dock Dogs" show on the outer perimeter. All fair attendees are invited to stop by.
Even during a three-year, round-the-clock renovation soon to be under way, the Everett McKinley Dirksen U.S. Courthouse, home of the nation's third largest federal district court, will remain open with normal hours for courts and government offices, the U.S. General Services Administration announced today. The phased construction, which begins in September, will be keyed to keeping the 30-story building open, along with its 57 courtrooms and 11 federal government offices. The renovation's major focus will be the replacement of the building's nearly 50-year-old heating and ventilation, fire alarm and lighting systems. Most work will be done at night and on weekends to limit disruptions. "The modernization of this architectural landmark designed by Mies van der Rohe exemplifies GSA's commitment to sustainable design," said GSA Acting Regional Administrator J. David Hood. "By making our public buildings higher-performing and more energy-efficient we maximize their value to the taxpayer. And with the benefits of new technology, we are renewing the future of this courthouse by building upon the creative energies that produced it and the stewardship that has preserved it." The building's largest tenant is the U.S. District Court for Northern Illinois with 40 judges and more than 400 employees. The courthouse is also the seat of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Northern Illinois. Other tenants include the U.S. Attorney, U.S. Marshals Service and the U.S. Trustees. Chief Judge James F. Holderman of the U.S. District Court for Northern Illinois acknowledged that the project will cause some disruption and inconvenience. He said, however, "We of the United States District Court, as tenants, look forward to working cooperatively with GSA to keep the disruption to a minimum and the courts running smoothly as GSA completes these necessary renovations."
We've heard all the negatives, but now we want to hear the success stories and share them with ISBA members. For the premiere print issue of Illinois Lawyer Now Quarterly in September, we would like to feature how ISBA members are adapting their practices in light of the challenging economic climate.
  • Have you succeeded in attracting new clients or growing your practice despite the downturn?
  • Have you been able to cut your overhead while still maintaining the same level of service?
  • Have you been successful in finding a new job despite the current economy?
If so, we want to hear how you did it! Please send your story (as long or as short as you feel necessary) to Alexa Giacomini, ISBA Director of Marketing & Membership at
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Looking for Lucky No. 500 ...

ISBA members and member firms have been eagerly signing up for the ISBA's Member MarkSM and Member Firm MarkSM program.  We've now almost reached our "500" participant milestone! Sign up today -- our 500th member or member firm to do so will be profiled on Illinois Lawyer Now! Click here to learn more and join Member Mark.
The Women's Bar Association of Illinois (WBAI) is seeking nominations for its 2009 "Women with Vision" Awards. The awards will be presented at the WBAI Joint Professional Dinner, on Thursday, November 5, 2009. The "Women with Vision" Awards were first presented in 1997 by the WBAI to honor and recognize women who have demonstrated visionary approaches in their professional endeavors and who have made a contribution to the well-being and empowerment of women. Nominees may be chosen from various professions, including law, medicine, academics, public office, business/entrepreneur, trades/labor, journalism, community/religious service, etc. WBAI members are invited to apply for or nominate candidates for the "Women with Vision" Awards. Please submit a statement no more than four 81⁄2" by 11" pages, about a candidate's specific qualifications and resume to: Women with Vision Committee, WBAI, 321 S. Plymouth Ct., Suite 4S Chicago, IL 60604. Application statement, resume, which may include press clippings and copies of published articles, must be received by noon on Wednesday, September 16, 2009. Any materials submitted after the deadline will not be accepted. All submitted material will remain the property of the WBAI.