Ethical Questions Abound With New Practice

Congratulations, new sole practitioner. You are about to embark on a path followed by other great lawyers in history- Thurgood Marshall, Mahatma Gandhi, even Abe Lincoln himself.

You should draft a business plan, advertise your services, and attend networking events.  But, at the same time, you must remember that you practice within certain professional and ethical boundaries.  Social media and technology make it difficult at times to locate those boundaries.  That’s why we’re here.  We at the Commission on Professionalism encourage the use of social media and technology to better serve clients.  But we want to make you aware of ethical and professionalism issues that arise when incorporating technology-driven forces into your practice.

We’ll take a hypothetical new lawyer.  Let’s call her Ali the Attorney.  Ali struggled her way through three years of contracts, torts, and ancient Icelandic mythology.  She graduated from law school, passed the bar exam, was sworn in, and is now ready to open up her very own employment practice.  She’s excited, she’s nervous, and she wants to make sure she doesn’t run afoul of any ethical rules and is aware of professionalism considerations. More…

Michelle Silverthorn

Michelle Silverthorn

Former Diversity & Education Director at Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism
After spending seventeen years living in the Caribbean, Michelle undertook a number of around-the-world detours before ending up at the doorstep of the Commission, including four years as a general litigator in New York and Chicago. She remembers pretty much everyone she’s met in her travels but she would especially like to meet again the passengers on a January 2001 flight from Miami to JFK. At the pilot’s request, they donated enough money for Michelle, who had her wallet stolen, to get back to college safely. She would very much like to tell them all thanks.
Michelle Silverthorn

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Michelle Silverthorn

Michelle Silverthorn

Former Diversity & Education Director at Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism
After spending seventeen years living in the Caribbean, Michelle undertook a number of around-the-world detours before ending up at the doorstep of the Commission, including four years as a general litigator in New York and Chicago. She remembers pretty much everyone she’s met in her travels but she would especially like to meet again the passengers on a January 2001 flight from Miami to JFK. At the pilot’s request, they donated enough money for Michelle, who had her wallet stolen, to get back to college safely. She would very much like to tell them all thanks.
Michelle Silverthorn

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