Our Lawyer Spotlight series highlights Illinois lawyers who are demonstrating the ideals of professionalism in their daily lives.
Jesse Hodierne is a managing attorney at Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. in Rockford. He currently supervises attorneys practicing in public benefits, housing, domestic violence, and many other areas.
Jesse received a J.D. from Southern Illinois University School of Law. In 2022, he received the Joseph R. Bartylak Memorial Legal Services Award from the Illinois State Bar Association for his extraordinary commitment and dedication to civil legal services.
How has your practice evolved during the last few years?
As with many attorneys, my practice has evolved significantly over the last few years to include more virtual/remote court appearances. As a supervising attorney, this also means many supervisees have been remote, which has posed new challenges.
What’s one piece of technology you couldn’t function without?
The ability to use a remote desktop protocol, which allows me to access my electronic files securely from anywhere. Similarly, programs that allow me to make calls from my business number using my cell phone.
How do you manage your well‐being?
It can be hard to take on many of the challenges and issues that our clients experience. Staying organized and always doing my best helps me manage stress because, at the end of each day, I know I did all I could do.
How do you remain civil in tense situations?
I always assume good faith as a starting position. There are things that are beyond my authority, but the way I react is something I have the most control over.
How can attorneys advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession?
Always check your implicit bias. Avoid nepotism and decisions or selections based on someone’s surname or who they know.
What is an attorney’s role in furthering public confidence in the rule of law?
Attorneys must always fully abide by the Rules of Professional Conduct [and] maintain professional demeanor and courtesy, but demonstrate true passion for the rule of law and justice.
If you could offer one piece of advice for young lawyers, what would it be?
Take initiative, check the rules and law, but do not be afraid to ask questions. It is natural to have questions and no attorney knows everything.
What do you do for fun?
Spend time with my daughter, including going to movies, playing board games, doing puzzles, and similar activities.
Our Lawyer Spotlight recognizes attorneys throughout Illinois who are admired for their professionalism and civility. Check out more interviews with attorneys here.