Civility

Walking in the Public’s Shoes: Courthouse Professionalism Training

Justice for all.As Professionalism Counsel at the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism,
Mark C. Palmer promotes civility and delivers statewide professionalism programming, including its mentoring program, across Illinois to lawyers and law students with a dedication to justice and the rule of law.

Trial attorneys feel at home in the well of the court, advocating for their clients. Veteran judges know the view from the bench well, conducting the court’s business. Courthouse employees across the Land of Lincoln constitute a well-oiled machine inside the brick and mortar buildings, each fulfilling their role serving justice for our citizens in civil and criminal matters, day after day. But have you ever stopped to consider the administration of justice from the perspective of the patron? Maybe they are visiting the courthouse for the first time. Perhaps attending court to deal with a traffic ticket or find information on how to get an order of protection. Or maybe they were subpoenaed to be a witness or are attending a hearing to support a family member who was a victim to a crime. They may not speak English as a first language. Whatever the reason for the visit, the process and language of the business conducted in our courthouses can be bewildering and intimidating.

A Different Viewpoint 

That’s why the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism developed its Courthouse Professionalism Training program. This training program brings together representatives from every segment of the courthouse – security, clerks, judges, court reporters, lawyers, administration, and so on – to step into the shoes of courthouse patrons to see their perceptions and understand their perspectives. The Commission challenges them to consider ways they can increase their professionalism and service to those who access our judicial system.

READ MORE Illinois Courts Connect April 19, 2017

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