The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce the launch of a free online CLE that explores strategies lawyers can use to reframe and respond to uncivil communication.
Incivility in the legal profession continues to be a challenge. According to the Commission’s 2021 Survey on Professionalism, 54% of Illinois attorneys have experienced uncivil or unprofessional behavior from another lawyer in the past 6 months.
A significant amount of the incivility reported comes in the form of communication: sarcastic comments or a condescending attitude, inflammatory writing, inappropriate language, and interrupting others (e.g., clients, colleagues, counsel, judges, or witness).
“Communicating During Conflict: Understanding Your Role,” is a 30-minute eLearning that uses role-playing and problem-solving to help attorneys managing their emotions in high-stress situations that could undermine civil communication.
Attorneys will develop strategies for identifying competing interests, avoiding adversarial positions, and building mutually beneficial outcomes. They will also learn how to gain buy-in from others and deter further conflict.
“Effective communication is the lifeblood of the legal system,” said Dan Davies, Education Manager at the Commission on Professionalism. “However, we know that in the high-stakes legal profession, client advocacy can quickly turn overly aggressive, which can increase costs and undermine confidence in the legal process, while making it more difficult to resolve a matter.”
As a result of taking this course, participants can expect to learn how to:
- Understand the impacts of engaging in uncivil discourse
- Manage their reaction to uncivil communication
- Reframe their response to incivility
“Communicating During Conflict: Understanding Your Role” is available on the Commission’s website. It is the Commission’s seventh online CLE. The course is eligible for 0.5 hours of professional responsibility CLE credit in Illinois.
About the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism
The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism was established by the Illinois Supreme Court in 2005 under Supreme Court Rule 799(c) to foster increased civility, professionalism, and inclusiveness among lawyers and judges in Illinois. By advancing the highest standards of conduct among lawyers and judges, the Commission works to better serve clients and society alike.
Laura Bagby, Communications Director