The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism is pleased to announce that Deputy Director Stephanie Villinski has been named Chair of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Standing Committee on Professionalism. Her one-year term commenced on August 10 at the adjournment of the ABA’s 2021 Annual Meeting.
Villinski’s appointment marks the second time a member of the Commission on Professionalism has served as Chair of the Standing Committee. Executive Director Jayne R. Reardon served in the role from 2015-2018.
The Standing Committee on Professionalism assists ABA entities, bar associations, the judiciary, law schools, and the legal community in the development and coordination of professionalism initiatives.
The Committee also administers the E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Awards, which recognize innovative professionalism programs. 2021 recipients included The Chicago Bar Foundation – Justice Entrepreneurs Project, Florida International University College of Law – Well-Being at FIU Law, and Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law – LRW Student Outreach Program.
“As the legal profession continues to address the challenges of COVID-19, access to equal justice, an increase in mental health and substance use issues, and the erosion of certain civility norms, a lawyer’s obligation to actively serve the public interest and maintain a just society has never been more important,” Villinski said. “I look forward to serving as Chair of the ABA’s Standing Committee on Professionalism, as we advance the ideals of professionalism to lawyers across the nation.”
Villinski has served as Deputy Director of the Commission on Professionalism since October 2017. At the Commission, she oversees operations and supports the development of professionalism programming, including the Commission’s mentoring, CLE, and law school programs.
Before joining the Commission, Villinski was Content Director at Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO), where she oversaw the publication of user-centered content for those in need of legal assistance, and an attorney at LAF (now Legal Aid Chicago), where she specialized in public housing issues throughout Chicago.
Villinski has served on the ABA’s Standing Committee on Professionalism since 2020. She is a member of the ABA, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs’ (CoLAP) Law School Outreach Committee, and an advisory committee member of Catholic Charities Legal Assistance.
She received a J.D. with Order of Coif distinction from DePaul University College of Law and graduated summa cum laude from Saint Mary’s College in Indiana.
About the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism
The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism was established by the Illinois Supreme Court in 2005 under Supreme Court Rule 799(c) to foster increased civility, professionalism, and inclusiveness among lawyers and judges in Illinois. By advancing the highest standards of conduct among lawyers and judges, the Commission works to better serve clients and society alike. For more information, please visit 2Civility.org and follow us on Twitter @2CivilityOrg.
Laura Bagby, Communications Director