Each year on Law Day, lawyers, judges, and other legal professionals across the country reflect on their professional obligation to serve as a public citizen. According to the Preamble to the Rules of Professional Conduct, lawyers must use their training to “seek improvement to the law, access to the legal system, and to the administration of justice.”
Many legal professionals fulfill this obligation through civic education, speaking in their local communities and schools. And now, thanks to the Illinois State Bar Association, Illinois lawyers can fulfill this obligation, too.
Earlier this year, the ISBA created its new Speakers Bureau. The Speakers Bureau is comprised of Illinois lawyers who would willingly speak for free in their neighborhoods with civic and other local organizations about the legal profession. This listing of lawyers will be accessible to the public, so professional organizations and other groups can seek out Illinois lawyers to discuss various legal issues that impact the public at large.
The goal of the Speakers Bureau is to foster public confidence in our legal system and create a more transparent profession, especially as we continue to see consumers refrain from using our services.
Speaker volunteers are encouraged to speak about their expertise in certain practice areas and engage the public in basic principles of our legal system that we may take for granted.
For example, if you are familiar with traffic court, DUI, and other laws that relate to licenses and driving, you may offer to speak to a group about driver’s education. If you practice with family law and domestic violence issues, you may be asked to speak to at a women’s domestic violence shelter. If you draft wills, trusts and practice in estate planning, you may speak with a church, charitable organization, or senior group.
If you are interested in participating as a speaker in the ISBA Speakers Bureau or would like to request a lawyer speak to your local organization, please contact Kim Furr for more information.
This Law Day, our team at the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism encourages you to use your skills and trainings to serve both the public and the legal system. Happy Law Day!