This week, the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism launched a first-of-its-kind interactive online course for in-house counsel covering issues of ethics and professionalism.
The Buck Stops Here: Ethics and Professionalism for In-House Counsel is a free online course, available on our website for all lawyers to take, including in-house attorneys. The course highlights a number of ethical dilemmas in-house counsel may encounter on their jobs, and advises them how to handle those issues in accordance with both the ethical rules and standards of professionalism.
This interactive online course introduces the user to three Illinois lawyers: Margaret Miller, Sanjay Chopra, and Jennifer Miller. Each one faces sticky ethical and professionalism situations including conflicts of interest, confidentiality, and competency. The user is tasked with helping each in-house counsel make the correct decision, while learning relevant ethical rules along the way.
“The Rules of Professional Conduct apply to all lawyers, in-house counsel included,” says Jayne Reardon, Executive Director of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. “However many ethics courses do not focus on the applicability of the rules to the daily practice of in-house counsel. This course helps in-house attorneys understand how to best represent their client while adhering to rules of ethics and aspiring to high standards of professionalism.”
The course uses an interactive platform similar to that used for the Commission’s first online course, “Talking About My Generation: Learning Conversations in the Legal Workplace“. The ethical and professionalism issues highlighted were developed with the invaluable assistance of the Association of Corporate Counsel and members of the Illinois Supreme Court’s Committee on Professional Responsibility.
The online course is approved for 1.0 hours of Illinois professional responsibility CLE credit. Other jurisdictions may approve the course for credit; non-Illinois lawyers are advised to consult the accrediting institutions in their states.
This course is also the required ethics course for foreign in-house counsel seeking limited admission to practice law in Illinois, in accordance with January’s changes to the Illinois Supreme Court Rules.
For questions about the online course, please contact Michelle Silverthorn, Diversity and Education Director for the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism.