The Illinois Supreme Court Orientation Program Continues

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism announced today the continuation of the 2014 Law School Orientation program scheduled for all nine Illinois law schools. Incoming students will be welcomed into the legal profession with early exposure to the foundations of the legal profession, including professionalism, ethics, and civility.

On Thursday, August 21, Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita B. Garman will address incoming law students and administering the Pledge of Professionalism at the University of Illinois College of Law, beginning at 10 a.m. After Chief Justice Garman administers the pledge, students will also participate in small group discussions utilizing hypothetical scenarios that incorporate a number of challenging professionalism issues. The scenarios raise questions about a lawyer’s personal code of conduct and the ethical and professional choices students will face as they begin their legal careers.

The judge and attorneys who are facilitating the small group discussions are: Judge Jonathan Hawley of the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois; Bianca Green of Illinois Mediation Services and adjunct law professor; Janet Grove of Armstrong Grove & Shoaff LLC; James Kearns of Heyl Royster Voelker & Allen and adjunct law professor; Traci Nally of The News-Gazette; and Sam Rosenberg of Thomas, Mamer & Haughey LLP.

“The Court believes it is important to impress upon entering law students that they are now entering a profession that requires high standards,” said Chief Justice Garman.

We appreciate the involvement of attorney volunteers who help introduce the students to the ideals of our profession. It is hoped that the law students will incorporate these ideals into their academic careers and into their law practices upon graduation and admission to the bar.

The idea behind professionalism programs during orientation grew out of a belief among justices of the Supreme Court that one of the most effective ways of improving professionalism among attorneys is to begin at the earliest stages with law students. The program has had tremendous success over the past few years and is a highlight of both the law school year and the judicial year.

The professionalism orientation program is organized and sponsored by the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism with the help of the deans at the various Illinois law school s and their faculty and staff.

The program consists of two parts. The first part of the program, held at each school, includes remarks on professionalism by Illinois Supreme Court and Appellate Court justices. The justices then administer the Pledge of Professionalism in which the students commit themselves to upholding the highest standards and ideals of the legal profession.

Commission law school orientations were held at: Northern Illinois University College of Law on August 13 and The John Marshall Law School on August 14.

Future Commission orientations for incoming students will be held at: at DePaul University College of Law on August 19 and 20; and at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law on August 20. Loyola University School of Law on August 22; at Northwestern University Law School on August 25; at the University of Chicago Law School on September 15; and at Southern Illinois University School of Law on October 10.



Jayne Reardon, Executive Director

Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism


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