This July, Illinois made changes to its professional responsibility CLE requirement. From here on out, Illinois attorneys must take one hour of diversity and inclusion CLE and one hour of mental health and substance abuse CLE as part of the six hours of professional responsibility CLE required in each two-year reporting period.
To aid Illinois lawyers looking for online CLE that fulfills part of the requirement, the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) launched a free diversity course. The ARDC produced this free one-hour CLE in co-sponsorship with the Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, the Chicago Bar Association, the Cook County Bar Association, and the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois.
The online course – Diversity and Inclusion: A Blueprint for 2017 and Beyond – is divided into two sections. The first part is led by Jeffrey Cusic, Chief Council for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He discusses how US Presidents have made efforts to diversify the US Supreme Court over the years and provides insight on how lawyers can lead inclusively. The second half of the course is led by Dennis Garcia, Assistant General Counsel for Microsoft and a speaker at this year’s The Future Is Now Conference. Dennis sheds light on the business case for diversity, providing best practices for organizations to create a more inclusive workplace.
The ARDC however isn’t the only arm of the Illinois Supreme Court that offers free online CLE that can fulfill a piece of the new professional responsibility CLE requirement in Illinois.
All of the Illinois Lawyers’ Assistance Program’s (LAP) online CLE offerings fill the new mental health and substance abuse requirement. LAP continues to update its online and in-person seminar offerings on a wide range of substance abuse and mental health issues.
Additionally, our team at the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is in the process of developing a free online CLE on implicit bias, with plans to provide more offerings down the road to help Illinois lawyers fulfill both the new diversity and mental health and substance abuse CLE requirements.