2Civility Blog

The 2Civility Blog is a thought-provoking platform of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. It is a forum that provides the space to dive deeply into key issues impacting the legal profession.

Through the blog, the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism advances its mission to promote a culture of civility and inclusion within the following topics: civility, diversity and inclusion, ethics, future law, justice, law school, leadership, legal profession, mentoring, professionalism, technology, and wellness.  These topics demonstrate that the law can be both a rewarding and challenging vocation.

The 2Civility Blog is a tool to think critically about and navigate the straight lines, curves, and detours of the legal profession. Our intent is to foster an open and ongoing dialogue. Don’t delay. Join the 2Civility Blog community and conversation.

The bar exam is a rite of passage for lawyers. It is a proctored, in-person examination administered across all U.S. jurisdictions on the same two days each February and July. This year, the February exam took place as planned. But the coronavirus and social distancing requirements have caused uncertainty for 2020’s second bar exam, which has been scheduled for July 28-29. Graduated law students who intend to sit for the upcoming bar exam face three…
For most Illinois attorneys, day-to-day work patterns have been upended since the coronavirus pandemic hit. In fact, our entire workforce has been challenged to find new avenues for delivering their goods and services. As the “how” is redefined along the way, hopefully the “why” can be reimagined and improved. Nevertheless, our remote work environment and social distancing guidelines are no reason to pause your professional development, including your mentoring relationships. In fact, it is…
Today, the National Taskforce on Lawyer Well-Being kicks off its first annual Lawyer Well-Being Week. From May 4-8, the Taskforce, the American Bar Association, and other participating organizations will sponsor activities, CLEs, and events around the five dimensions of well-being: physical, spiritual, occupational & intellectual, social, and emotional. A significant number of lawyers struggle with mental health and substance abuse disorders. Up to 36% of attorneys qualify as problem drinkers, 28% report…
The American Inns of Court celebrated Professionalism Month in April. However, the professionalism challenges its members are facing in 2020 are a bit different than in years past. The American Inns of Court is a nationwide professional association consisting of more than 30,000 members across the legal community, including federal and state judges, lawyers, law professors, and law students. The organization promotes professional excellence through networking, mentoring, and continuing education opportunities centered on ethics…
We are re-examining litigation practices through the prism of a global pandemic. Courts are issuing orders designed to keep the public and court personnel safe while still delivering essential court services. Lawyers are representing clients and trying to make a living despite courts that are only hearing emergency or essential business. But where are we drawing the line on what constitutes emergency or essential business? Judges Make the Tough Call Right now, it’s up to…
When writing a blog, I’ll often start with an anecdote. It’s usually something personal, with a connection to the topic that is best described as tenuous. But I’m not going to do that. Right now, each of us are living through a million of our own anecdotes; unique, unprecedented, and absolutely ours. This blog is a celebration of human ingenuity; how we learn and innovate and what we can take forward from these times and…
My late father practiced law in Illinois for 53 years as a self-described “small town [Champaign] lawyer.” While Champaign-Urbana may be a micro-urban area and he litigated many complex cases for high-profile clients, he prided himself most for his work on behalf of individuals and small business clients. So, when he found himself at a bar association golf outing in a foursome with three other trial attorneys, he was ready to demonstrate his modesty with…
As the situation surrounding COVID-19 evolves, and thereafter as we start to settle on the new normal of the legal profession, hosting a full or partial practice out of a virtual law office is an apparent reality. In the past, operating a virtual law office (also known as a VLO) meant less overhead, more flexibility, and new marketability to target audiences and geographical regions (e.g., see the Disappearing Rural Lawyer). Nowadays, frankly, it may…
An email lands in your inbox. It begins: Following recently updated guidelines from the CDC, we have made the difficult decision to move the course you’re scheduled to present this month to an online webinar session. If you’re scheduled to present a CLE in the next few months, you may have received a similar email. You had committed to a CLE presentation in front of a friendly crowd of attorneys seated in a nice…
“We want people to trust the judicial branch in good times. We want people to trust the judicial branch even more in bad times.”  Dan Wallis, Trial Court Administrator of Illinois’ 22nd Judicial Circuit, offered this remark to over 300 members of the Illinois judicial branch on March 19, 2020. He, along with Chief Judge Gene Doherty of the 17th Judicial Circuit, were presenting the timely webinar, “Access to Justice and Emergency Preparedness in a…