Collaboration is the key to successfully connecting lawyers and inspiring change. We are only as effective as the dedicated individuals and organizations who share our mission. And the sum is way greater than the parts. Our network can be generally divided into:
We live in a pluralistic society governed by the Rule of Law. If the Rule of Law, personified by lawyers and judges, fails to reflect the diversity of our society and excludes people based on race, gender, sexual orientation or other category, our democratic process is undermined and our republic is weakened. The Illinois Supreme Court therefore charges the Commission to foster commitment to the elimination of bias and divisiveness within the legal and judicial systems. Civil behavior is that which recognizes and promotes diversity and inclusion. We are proud to partner with organizations and to support initiatives that share and further this mission.
Civility in this new world requires lawyers to embrace innovation and creativity to improve the law and access to justice. Globalization and technological advances are changing the legal profession. To maintain efficiency and competency in serving our clients, lawyers must ethically embrace innovation in the delivery of legal services while remaining true to the core values of ethics and professionalism. New opportunities abound.
Many other organizations created by the Illinois Supreme Court work with attorneys or the legal system in ways that relate to and complement our work. We appreciate the opportunities these collaborative relationships provide us to strengthen professionalism.
Bar associations serve our profession by providing lawyers a forum for the exchange of ideas and a vehicle for working to reform the law and improve the administration of justice. Our mission overlaps with those of many regional, state and national organizations to promote quality legal education, provide continuing legal education; promote competence, ethical conduct and professionalism; promote pro bono and public service; eliminate bias in the legal profession and the justice system; and to advance the Rule of Law and understanding of the legal process.
We share professionalism programming and initiatives across the nation. Under the auspices the American Bar Association Center for Professional Responsibility, the fourteen state professionalism commissions, as well as interested state bar associations and law school ethics centers, convene twice a year as members of the National Consortium on Professionalism Initiatives. The consortium provides a venue for the exchange of ideas and resources. In addition, through our commissioners’ and staff’s membership on various national committees, we share the Illinois experience and learn from other like-minded individuals across the country.
Lawyers bear the responsibility to use their training, experience, and skills to provide volunteer services in the public interest. This concept pro bono publico distinguishes the legal profession from many alternative career paths and is the source of personal professional reward as well as reforming the law and expanding access to justice. In the spirit of pro bono publico, Illinois lawyers and law firms donate thousands of hours in free legal services each year in addition to providing major financial support to legal aid organizations.