Reimagining Law: ISBA President Anna Krolikowska Discusses Priorities, Parenthood, and More

In this episode of Reimagining Law, we talk to Anna P. Krolikowska, an attorney in the Northbrook law firm of Anna P. Krolikowska P.C. and president of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA). Anna discusses her priorities as ISBA president, how parenthood has impacted her practice, and the ways membership in the bar has enhanced her career and the careers of others.

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  • 0:58 – What are your priorities as president of the largest bar association in Illinois?
  • 3:40 – How has parenthood changed how you serve your clients and practice law?
  • 5:25 – How has being a member of the bar and now a leader of the bar impacted how you practice law and deliver services to clients?

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Anna P. Krolikowska

Anna P. Krolikowska, an attorney in the Northbrook law firm of Anna P. Krolikowska P.C, focuses her practice in the area of family law. From divorce and child custody to any judgment modifications, Anna considers the unique circumstances of each case to develop a course of action designed specifically to address each client’s unique needs. As a litigator, trained mediator, and a collaborative professional, Anna is able to offer to her clients diverse and creative approaches to resolving marital disputes.

In addition to her practice, Anna is President of the Illinois State Bar Association, which oversees the operations and management of ISBA, a state-wide voluntary association of more than 30,000 attorneys who strive to educate and serve the public and improve the practice of law.

In June 2021, she assumed the presidency of the ISBA making her the 5th female president since its founding in 1877. In 2019, she was named an honoree of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin’s “40 Under Forty” award.

Connect with Anna

Connect with the ISBA

Interview Transcription

Note – Transcription has been edited for clarity

Mark Palmer 0:08
Hi, I’m Mark Palmer and welcome to Reimagining Law. Today I’m joined by Anna Krolikowska, who is the current president of the Illinois State Bar Association. Anna, thanks for joining me.

Anna Krolikowska 0:19
Thanks, Mark. And thanks for inviting me.

Mark Palmer 0:21
You bet. And before we jump in, I just want to remind our viewers to like this video and subscribe to our channel for future episodes, of course. Anna, first congratulations on entering your year as president of the Illinois State Bar Association. I know you have big shoes to fill after your predecessor faced an unprecedented year with the pandemic and being the Zoom president. But I think nevertheless, your year is just as novel as we continue to adjust to this new world, and what it changes practically daily. But I want to hear from you. What are your priorities as president of the largest Bar Association in Illinois.

Anna Krolikowska 1:03
So as you mentioned, it is an interesting time we are transitioning from last year, which was solely virtual for most of us and trying to figure out how do we adapt to the new normal. And for me as president of the ISBA, it means three different initiatives for us. One, we’re focused on helping our attorneys figure out how to practice in this new era, which is why we’re launching a Business Institute, our first session is airing on July 30. And we brought together some amazing ISBA members who have business acumen, who are able to help our members figure out how do I do this? How do I do this better? How do I improve return on my investment in my time. So that’s one of the goals. We also recognize that last year was incredibly difficult for a number of lawyers financially. And because of that, we offered a COVID credit to those members who are choosing to renew their membership within the ISBA. So don’t forget your 50% COVID credit is available, we want you back. We are also focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion. And that is both in terms of membership, and helping our attorney members become more involved with the ISBA. And towards that end, I was very intentional in terms of appointments to Section councils, which are often very coveted. And the way in which many of us begin are more active involvement with the ISBA. So we made sure that we were inclusive and diverse in terms of practice area, geography, ethnicity, and all aspects that make all of us and our members unique. We are also going to look at leadership within the ISBA there will be a seminar offered in September in terms of how to run for office within the ISBA. Because we recognize that we could do better in terms of our leadership within the ISBA. We will also offer additional programming on diversity, equity and inclusion as we go through this year. And the third initiative will focus on life work and wellness, because we recognize that last year was very unique, and it placed unique pressures on our members and their families. And now we are being asked to adapt again as we return to hybrid, or maybe in person, or whatever new experience we will be working through as practicing attorneys.

Mark Palmer 3:32
Yeah, that’s very, very true. Every, every day is different. And we are defining that differently by the day as well. And to play off that, well. you know, you wear a hat as now Madam President, you wear hat as a full time attorney on your day job. And you now serve one of your most important clients. You’re a new mother, during all this. Congratulations on that to you and your spouse. I want to hear how has that changed how you serve your clients and how you practice law and how you be a lawyer entering Parenthood.

Anna Krolikowska 4:08
Recognizing that there are a lot of pressures that there are a lot of things that you want to slash and need to do. And that means adapting and using things that are available to us. So for example, technology. I’m using that to my and my clients advantage in terms of Zoom meetings or teleconferences, and also including that not only in terms of let’s say, a mediation session or a collaborative process, divorce session, but also court appearances. Think about how much time potentially that saves. If we’re talking about a status appearance, or a simple matter that could be resolved just the travel time alone, whether that’s in downtown Chicago or further south in Illinois, that can save someone so much time and it can actually help us to be able to help Illinois residents have greater access to the court system, because we’re not constrained by geography by travel. So just one of the ways that we have adapted and hopefully will continue to adapt.

Mark Palmer 5:15
Yeah. And you mentioned at some weight and a lot of the programming from ISBA kind of centers around some of those topics as well. But you in that day job, you’re practicing family law attorney in Northbrook, Illinois. And I’ve known you for a long time through the Bar Association and other outreach events and so forth. How has been a member of the bar and now a leader of the bar impacted how you practice law or how you deliver services to clients at the end of the day.

Anna Krolikowska 5:50
It has had an incredible impact on my professional life and practice, I have been able to provide input on legislation that was being either proposed by legislators in Springfield, or was being crafted and proposed by ISBA and became part of our legislative package. For example, the collaborative process act, I was involved in shaping that as part of a committee within the ISBA and then went to Springfield to testify on behalf of that bill, which then became law. So the ability to have that immediate input on an area of practice, where I’m involved from, you know, day to day, and being able to help my clients has been tremendous. Also, opportunities to meet those practitioners in my area of practice, who are renowned, right, every every area of practice has a few people who everyone goes to, respects, who are just, you know, teachers and mentors. The ability to meet those people through the Bar Association, because I also found that dose attorneys who make the commitment and make the time to be involved with bar associations, in general, are more generous with their time and their expertise. So these are the people with whom I want to spend my time. And I would highly encourage everyone to get involved with Bar Associations, of course, ISBA. But pick your local bar association, your specialty Bar Association, because the return on the time investment that you put into it is so much greater than what you devote to it.

Mark Palmer 7:22
Well, I totally agree with that sentiment. And I certainly count you among the many friends and colleagues that I’ve met through bar associations that have made my practice so much more enjoyable because of it and better as well. Thank you Anna for joining me today and having this discussion.

Anna Krolikowska 7:40
Thank you, Mark. And right back at you in terms of my appreciation of the friendship with you.

Mark Palmer 7:46
Thank you. I appreciate that. Well, to all of you, thank you for watching. Please like and share this video and subscribe to our channel to stay up to date on new episodes. We’ll see you again soon. Thanks for watching and be well.

This episode was recorded on August 2, 2021.

Check out more episodes of Reimagining Law here.

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