Last week, the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism emailed Illinois lawyers a brief, anonymous survey on their experiences with bullying in the legal profession.
The survey was emailed to active Illinois lawyers who, based on information submitted to the ARDC, listed an Illinois business address or, if such address was left blank, listed an Illinois home address.
The responses will help the Commission better understand when and why bullying occurs in the Illinois legal profession, what types of bullying are common, and whether particular groups of lawyers are more likely to experience bullying.
“Lawyers are often in situations where imbalances of power can be improperly leveraged to bully other lawyers. This bullying can seriously impact the health and well-being of attorneys and dissuade promising lawyers from a career delivering justice to the public,” said Erika Harold, Executive Director of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. “This initiative will explore the experiences of lawyers who are actively practicing in the state of Illinois, so we can put forth meaningful recommendations for the attorneys and employers who work here.”
First step in wide-scale research project
This survey is the first part of the Commission’s “Bullying in the Legal Profession: Its Prevalence, Impact, and Strategies for Prevention” initiative, which is believed to be one of the first wide-scale research projects conducted in the U.S. on this topic.
Part two will happen later this year, with focus groups of Illinois lawyers to facilitate more in-depth discussions about their experiences with bullying.
The data will be compiled into a report that provides recommendations for reducing bullying in a variety of legal settings and guidance to individuals, employers, and judges for preventing and combatting bullying.
The Commission will also use the research to inform our educational programming promoting civility, professionalism, well-being, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the legal profession.
“The Commission is well-suited to advance needed research in this important area and to put forth best practices that will help promote a more civil and inclusive legal profession,” Illinois Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth M. Rochford, who serves as the Commission’s Supreme Court Liaison, said in a press release announcing the initiative.
No individual will be identified in the report based on their participation in the survey or focus groups. The data will be aggregated by The Red Bee Group LLC, an independent consulting firm that designed the survey.
If you would like to send us any comments about this project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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