On Demand

Basic Skills for Newly Admitted Attorneys in Illinois: How to Handle Clients, Technology, and Finances Without Losing Your Sanity or Your License

6h 13m

Created on December 15, 2020




The Basic Skills for the Illinois Newly Admitted Attorney (or qualified participants under Rule 711(g)) program helps bridge the gap between education and real world application.

Every session is curated to provide engaging content featuring examples and scenarios applicable to daily life for law practitioners including e- discovery, mediation, alternate fee arrangements and legal malpractice. 

Session 1: "Cybersecurity Ethics for Lawyers: Very Specific Things to Do Today to Be Safer Tomorrow" - Lucian Pera

Cybersecurity can be scary for lawyers. And a pandemic and "working" from home can make it scarier. But it doesn't have to be. Join Lucian Pera, Partners at Adams & Reese, for a one-hour discussion of lawyers' ethical obligations for cybersecurity of client confidential information. The course will discuss very specific applications of the ethics rules and obligations, and how they apply to a number of common technology tools used by lawyers and law firms. Attorneys will walk away with specific and tangible suggestions for how to be safer, a little bit at a time, every day. 

Session 2: "The Ethics of e-Discovery: What "Competence" Means (Update)" - Ronald Hedges

Electronically stored information (ESI) is everywhere. Not surprisingly, ESI is a common feature of civil litigation and disputes and misunderstandings arise on a daily basis about discovery of ESI. Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.1 speaks of the competence of lawyers and, as amended in 2012, requires lawyers to be aware of the benefits and risks of technology. What does it mean for an attorney to be competent in terms of ESI? What conversations should they have with their client and opposing counsel in order to frame and respond to discovery requests? How should an attorney undertake a search for ESI or describe how they want it produced? What should an attorney do to protect against inadvertent production of privileged information or work product? This program will explore these and other questions through in the context of e-discovery and Rule 1.1.

Session 3: "The Ethics of Client Communication: Using Emotional Intelligence Competencies to Improve Your Communication Skills" - Francine Tone

A lawyer's failure to communicate is the number one issue clients cite in bar complaints, complaints over attorney fees, bad reviews online, and even malpractice claims. But attorneys are also feeling overwhelmed by client requests for instantaneous information. So what is getting missed in translation? 

This course, taught by certified appellate law specialist and ethics advisor Francine Tone, is an in-depth exploration of what constitutes effective client communication and how to avoid ethical violations and client dissatisfaction. The program will identify key emotional intelligence competencies that can help every lawyer become more effective communicators, and reduce or eliminate client complaints about poor communication.

Session 4: "Your Time to Thrive: A Journey to Wellness in the Legal Profession" - Laurie Besden

Since the publication of the 2016 landmark survey on lawyer impairment by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and the ABA's Commission on Lawyers Assistance Programs and the Law Student Well-Being Survey by Organ, Bender, and Jaffe, we have engaged in a nationwide conversation about the importance of health and well-being as a vital component of the sustainability of the legal profession. Now that we know the prevalence of substance abuse and mental health disorders in the profession and the critical need to take care of ourselves, how do we actually go about implementing wellness in our daily lives? In practice, what are some of the best ways for attorneys to regularly engage in self-care while also juggling a million other things on their plates?

Join Laurie Besden, Esquire, Executive Director of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania, during the first annual National Lawyer Wellbeing Week, for an in-depth discussion about simple and non-intrusive ways to take care of yourself as a legal professional in order to be the best version of yourself for you, your families, and your clients. 

Session 5: "The Ethics of Escrow Accounts: From the Basics to the Non-Negotiable" - Kaylin Whittingham

Learn the dos and don'ts of escrow accounts. This program, presented by ethics attorney Kaylin Whittingham, will discuss the fundamentals of handling escrow funds, including conversion versus unintentional misappropriation, when attorneys are responsible for the malfeasance of others, bookkeeping records, misuse of escrow accounts, and the essentials of escrow agreements. The program will also review in detail Rule of Professional Conduct 1.15.

Session 6: "How to Be an Upstander: Intervening in Racism in the Legal Workplace" - Suzanne Cerra and Katherin Nukk-Freeman

Examples of discrimination and xenophobia happen every day, and in legal workplaces, these incidents can contribute to the lack of diversity in the profession. Sometimes attorneys are put in a position of hearing something discriminatory that makes them uncomfortable, but may be unsure about how to respond in the moment. It can be awkward to take action, and they may also be concerned about protecting their own employment. However, it is the responsibility of all attorneys to challenge racism in all of its forms, and dedicate resources toward helping dismantle systemic racism in the workplace - unintended or otherwise. 

This program, taught by Suzanne Cerra and Katherin Nukk-Freeman, will equip attorneys with the skills to identify potential racism at both individual and systemic levels, and will encourage them to speak up in response to those all too common "Did they really just say that?!" moments when bias emerges. 

This training will also illustrate the importance of committing to being an upstander in the face of racism, and strategies to proactively and professionally speak out against racism in an effort to foster a better workplace culture for all. By empowering legal professionals to take positive action steps in moments when bias manifests (even at the unconscious level), leaders at law firms and other legal organizations can transform workplace cultures into environments that are inclusive, equitable, and affirming for all employees.  

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