Commission Announces Speaker Talks for Future Is Now: Legal Services Conference on 4/20

the future is now 2023

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce the speaker talks for the 2023 Future Is Now: Legal Services conference. The Future Is Now will be held virtually from 12 – 4:20 p.m. CDT on Thursday, April 20. 

The Future Is Now will explore the intersection of legal innovation and professionalism through the lens of delivering legal services to today’s consumers. 

The conference will kick off with a talk on the implications of incivility in the legal and judicial systems from featured speaker Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Jane Theis.  

Chief Justice Theis will be followed by TED-like talks and interactive town hall discussions from legal industry thought leaders including: 

  • “Build Your Law Firm Pyramid.” Mark Britton, founder of Avvo and Advisor to Clio, Clearbrief, and Tangibly, will discuss simple yet transformational ways lawyers can build their law firm’s business structure to create a sustainable and successful future. Britton will also demonstrate how businesses in other industries have built their “pyramids,” often with you as an unwitting participant. 
  • “High-Performing and Highly Stressed: How Attorneys Can Prioritize Mental Health. Kara Hardin, a mental health educator, Registered Psychotherapist, and former practicing corporate and securities lawyer, will explore the complicated relationship between the lifestyle lawyers lead and their mental health. Hardin will share individual and organizational strategies to change the way lawyers approach well-being challenges in the pressure-packed legal profession. 
  • “Expand Your Practice: How to Increase Your Cultural Competency and Serve More Clients.” As technological advances and demographics shift, the legal consumer base is also evolving. Nkoyo Effiong Lewis, Director of the State Bar of Georgia’s Law Practice Management Program, will discuss cultural competency as a “must-have” skill for legal professionals committed to pursuing justice and closing the access to legal services gap. She will share strategies lawyers can use to increase their cultural competency and expand their client pool, no matter where they start.  
  • “Civility in Legal Practice: Why it Matters.” Practicing law can be inherently adversarial. Attorneys frequently experience uncivil behavior from opposing counsel, clients, colleagues, and even judges. The question is, how should they respond? And what impact might attorneys’ uncivil behavior have on their practice and the justice system itself?  

This panel will explore the theoretical, practical, and public implications of incivility in the legal profession. Panelists include Deborah Enix-Ross, President of the American Bar Association; Justice Sharon O. Johnson, Illinois First District Appellate Court; and Nathan B. Hinch, transactional/litigation attorney at Meyer Capel in Bloomington, Ill. 

The clock is ticking and space is limited. Don’t miss the opportunity to join the conversation. 

Attendees are eligible to receive 4.0 hours of professional responsibility CLE credit, including 1.0 hour of diversity and inclusion CLE credit and 1.0 hour of mental health and substance abuse CLE credit.  

If you are a student or require financial accommodation, please contact Chelsea Woodmansee at for a promotional code. 

About the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism 

The Illinois Supreme Court established the Commission on Professionalism under Supreme Court Rule 799 to promote integrity, professionalism, and civility among the lawyers and judges of Illinois, to foster a commitment to the elimination of bias and divisiveness within the legal and judicial systems, and to ensure those systems provide equitable, effective, and efficient resolution of problems for the people of Illinois. 

The Commission achieves this mission through professional responsibility CLE, lawyer-to-lawyer mentoring, legal professionalism programming, educational resources, and more. To learn more, visit and follow us on Twitter @2CivilityOrg. 

Press Contact 

Laura Bagby, Communications Director

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