Illinois 1Ls Pledge to Professionalism in Annual Professionalism Orientations

1Ls at the University of Chicago Law School

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce that it has again had the privilege of facilitating professionalism orientations for 1Ls at Illinois’ nine law schools.

Each year, Illinois Supreme Court and Appellate Court justices, federal judges, and Illinois circuit court judges introduce incoming law students to the principles of professionalism and explain why it matters in their legal careers.

They then lead the students in the Pledge of Professionalismduring which the students commit to practicing integrity, civility, and respect as law students and future attorneys.

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the orientations over the past two years have been held virtually.

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis at Loyola University Chicago School of Law

This year, the Commission was thrilled to participate in the orientations in person.

“These 1Ls are entering a thrilling new world that is full of fascinating, important, and meaningful work, but also one that is adversarial and breeds contention. The steps they take to commit themselves to professionalism and civility from the start are paramount to improving the legal profession and the quality of justice delivered,” said Commission Chair Martin Sinclair. “It is always an honor to attend these orientations and to rededicate myself to professionalism by reciting the Pledge alongside the next generation of lawyers. It truly energizes me about the potential of the profession.”

This is the 16th year that the Commission has facilitated professionalism orientations. Each session is held in collaboration with Illinois law schools and includes remarks from Commissioners and/or staff from the Commission on Professionalism.

The 2022 orientation schedule and list of judges, Commissioners, and Commission staff presenters are as follows:

  • Northern Illinois University College of Law, August 10
    • Speakers: Will County Circuit Court Judge Vincent F. Cornelius, Commissioner John O’Reilly, Executive Director Erika Harold
  • DePaul University College of Law, August 15
    • Speakers: Illinois Supreme Court Justice Michael J. Burke, Commissioner and United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Judge Franklin U. Valderrama, Commissioner John F. Kennedy, and Commission Deputy Director Stephanie Villinski
  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law, August 15
    • Speakers: Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis and Commission Executive Director Erika Harold
  • Chicago-Kent College of Law, August 16
    • Speakers: Illinois Supreme Court Justice Robert L. Carter, Illinois Appellate Court Justice Cynthia Y. Cobbs, Commissioner and Illinois Appellate Court Justice Sharon O. Johnson, and Commission Education Manager Dan Davies
  • University of Illinois College of Law, August 17
    • Speaker: Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lisa Holder White
  • University of Illinois Chicago School of Law, August 17-18
    • Speakers: Illinois Supreme Court Justice P. Scott Neville, Jr., Illinois Appellate Court Justice Jesse G. Reyes, Commission Vice-Chair John Kim, and Commission Deputy Director Stephanie Villinski
  • Southern Illinois University School of Law, August 19
    • Speakers: Illinois Supreme Court Justice David K. Overstreet, Commissioner Kathleen Pine, and Commission Executive Director Erika Harold
  • Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, August 25
    • Speakers: United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Judge Edmond E. Chang and Commission Chair Martin Sinclair
  • University of Chicago Law School, September 15
    • Speakers: United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Chief Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer, and Commission Chair Martin Sinclair

This year, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Southern Illinois University School of Law, and Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law incorporated a pinning ceremony.

Illinois Supreme Court Justice P. Scott Neville, Jr. at UIC Law

“On behalf of the Commission, I would like to express my gratitude to the justices and judges, law school deans and staff, and our Commissioners from throughout the state who generously gave their time and wisdom in the spirit of professionalism,” said Executive Director Erika Harold. “With their help, Illinois’ future lawyers have been introduced to one of the most important parts of being a successful lawyer: a career grounded in civility, integrity, and respect.”

In addition to the formal program, the following attorneys participated in facilitated sessions with the students: Jeff Fowler, Patrick Lamb, Bridget Duignan, Carmen Caruso, Jerry Goldberg, John Bailey, Tracy Kepler, Shannon Buckley, Ally Pruitt, Kevin Hull, John Sciaccotta, Bob Karton, Sari Montgomery, Michael Goldberg, Jayne Reardon, Shawn Kasserman, Jim DeAno, Kevin Thompson, and Lewis Check.

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 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. For more information, please visit 2Civility.org and follow us on Twitter @2CivilityOrg.

Press Contact

Laura Bagby, Communications Director
312-363-6209
laura.bagby@2civility.org

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