Illinois Law Students to Participate in Annual Professionalism Orientation

professionalism orientationEach year, Illinois law schools welcome hundreds of new students to the legal profession. The Commission on Professionalism is privileged to once again facilitate a professionalism orientation for incoming students at each of Illinois’s nine law schools.

The professionalism orientation is designed to introduce first-year law students to the core concepts of attorney professionalism. The orientations are held in conjunction with broader law school orientation activities. 2019 marks the 13th year that the Commission has led the program.

At each orientation, judges and justices from across Illinois deliver remarks reflecting on the importance of civility and professionalism in the law. Following these remarks, they administer the Pledge of Professionalism. Upon taking the pledge, law students promise to uphold the highest standards and ideals of the legal profession.

In addition to the pledge, several law schools provide small-group trainings that expose students to real-world professionalism challenges in law school and future legal practice. These breakout sessions are led by local attorneys.

The schedule and list of presenters at the professionalism orientations is as follows:

  • Northern Illinois University College of Law, Thursday, August 15
    • Facilitator: Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas L. Kilbride
  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Friday, August 16
    • Facilitator: Illinois Supreme Court Justice Robert R. Thomas
  • DePaul University College of Law, Monday, August 19
    • Facilitators: Illinois Supreme Court Justice P. Scott Neville, Jr. and First District Appellate Judge Jesse G. Reyes
  • The John Marshall Law School, Tuesday, August 20 and Thursday, August 22
    • Facilitators: Justice Kilbride and First District Appellate Judge Joy V. Cunningham
  • Chicago-Kent College of Law, Wednesday, August 21
    • Facilitators: First District Appellate Judge Cynthia Y. Cobbs and Circuit Court of Cook County Judge Diane M. Shelley
  • University of Illinois College of Law, Wednesday, August 21
    • Facilitator: Illinois Supreme Court Justice Rita B. Garman
  • Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, Wednesday, September 4
    • Facilitator: Northern District of Illinois Judge Edmond E. Chang
  • University of Chicago Law School, Monday, September 23
    • Facilitator: Northern District of Illinois Chief Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer
  • Southern Illinois University School of Law, Tuesday, October, 22
    • Facilitator: Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier

“To continue to improve the administration of justice in our society, we must foster lawyers who embody the ideals of civility and professionalism,” said Martin Sinclair, Chair of the Commission on Professionalism. “This is the third year that I’ve had the opportunity to moderate a professionalism orientation. It remains one of the most gratifying parts of serving as a Commissioner.”

More information on the Commission’s law school professionalism programs can be found on its website.

About the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism 

The Illinois Supreme Court established the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism 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 on Professionalism works to better serve clients and society alike. For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter @2CivilityOrg.

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Laura Bagby, Communications Director

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