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The Newly Admitted Attorney Basic Skills Program by the ISBA

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ISBA Members: Use your 15 hours of Free CLE credits to order this program –
just use the green button next to the “Add to Cart” button below!

Presented by the Illinois State Bar Association

6.0 hours MCLE credit, including 6.0 hours approved Professional Responsibility MCLE credit in the following categories:
  • 4.75 hours Professionalism, Civility or Legal Ethics MCLE credit
  • 0.75 hour Diversity and Inclusion MCLE credit
  • 0.50 hour Mental Health and Substance Abuse MCLE credit

Original Program Date: September 15, 2021
MCLE Accreditation Extension Period: ­­­­­­­August 17, 2023 - August 16, 2025 (You must certify completion and save your certificate before this date to get MCLE credit)

Newly Admitted Attorneys: Satisfy your Illinois Basic Skills
MCLE requirement with this complimentary program!

Jump start your new Illinois legal career by attending this outstanding Basic Skills professional responsibility course that’s designed to equip you with the information you need as a new Illinois attorney, as well as help you begin to fulfill your Illinois Supreme Court Newly Admitted Attorney requirement (S. Ct. Rule 793)*. Our faculty of high-profile attorneys and judges offers insights, tips, and advice on the issues you face in your practice. The program closes with an in-depth look at the questions you need answered and issues you need help with as a new attorney.

Program Moderators:
Judith E. Conway, YLD Chair 2021-22, Cooney and Conway, Chicago
Brian D. Flynn, YLD Vice Chair 2021-22, Flynn Guymon & Garavalia, Belleville

Welcome and Introduction
Jeanne B. Heaton, ISBA Director of CLE, Springfield
Anna P. Krolikowska, ISBA President 2021-22, Anna P. Krolikowska P.C., Northbrook

Perspectives from the Bench
1.0 hour MCLE credit, including 1.0 hour Professionalism, Civility, or Legal Ethics MCLE credit
Although judges may operate their courtrooms in diverse manners, there are some things they agree that new attorneys should know. Our esteemed panelists share tips on common mistakes to avoid, civility, brief-writing, persuasive arguments, career options, remote court issues, and more!

Moderator: Carol A. Casey, Office of the Public Guardian, Chicago
Hon. Thomas M. Harris, Fourth District Appellate Court, Lincoln
Hon. Arthur F. Hill, Cook County Judicial Circuit, Chicago
Hon. Julie K. Katz, 20th Judicial Circuit, Belleville

Ethical Dilemmas & Common Mistakes to Avoid
1.25 hours MCLE credit, including 1.25 hours Professionalism, Civility, or Legal Ethics MCLE credit
This segment examines some of the common mistakes made by new attorneys and explores some of the best ways to deal with them once they've occurred. Using the framework of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct, our panelists discuss common issues you may encounter with supervisory attorneys, opposing counsel, and clients. The discussion covers the requirements for properly setting up a firm, including necessary paperwork, managing trust accounts, recent case law issues impacting law firms, facts about risk management and malpractice, and important issues to be aware of. The importance of being prepared and conducting your practice with honesty and integrity (as well as the potential consequences when you don't) are also examined.
Michael P. Downey, Downey Law Group LLC, St. Louis
Sari W. Montgomery, Robinson, Stewart, Montgomery & Doppke, LLC, Chicago

Improving and Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession
0.75 hour MCLE credit, including 0.75 hour Diversity and Inclusion MCLE credit
Join us for this in-depth look at how to improve and promote diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. Learn how your experiences and the challenges you have faced can create implicit bias toward others, as well as the barriers it creates during the hiring, retaining, and promoting process. A discussion on how to recognize unconscious biases in yourself and the strategies you can use to halt it in both your personal and professional life is also included.
Moderator: Juan R. Thomas, Quintairoa, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, Aurora
Khara A. Coleman, Office of the Cook County Sheriff, Oak Park
Bhavani K. Raveendran, Romanucci & Blandin LLC, Chicago
Huy M. Nguyen, Factor Law, Chicago

Recognizing Impairment Issues and Lawyers Assistance Program Resources to Help
0.50 hour MCLE credit, including 0.50 hour Mental Health and Substance Abuse MCLE credit
You’ve learned to think like a lawyer. You also need to recognize that these thought processes can result in increased stress anxiety, and depression. Learn to be aware of potential pitfalls and how to utilize the numerous resources available through the Lawyers’ Assistance Program.
Dr. Diana Uchiyama, Lawyers Assistance Program, Chicago

Professional Responsibility, Professionalism, and Technology Update
0.50 hour MCLE credit, including 0.50 hour Professionalism, Civility, or Legal Ethics MCLE credit
Equip yourself with the information you need to effectively and ethically incorporate technology into your practice. Technology provides great benefits for attorneys, including highly efficient workflow, unprecedented access to information and rapid, cost-effective communications. Most lawyers, however, do not consider the great risks that technology creates for the practicing attorney. This session identifies those risks and shows you how to address them before launching into the latest and greatest in technology.
Melissa A. Smart, Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, Chicago

Tips to Protect Your Practice
0.50 hour MCLE credit, including 0.50 hour Professionalism, Civility, or Legal Ethics MCLE credit
As a new attorney, you want to make sure you have procedures in place to avoid a malpractice claim. In this session, the President and CEO of the professional liability insurance company founded by the ISBA in 1988 shares some of the tops tips to protect your practice, including client screening, ethical office sharing, conflicts of interest guidance, and more!
Jeffrey B. Strand, ISBA Mutual Insurance Company, Chicago

Time and Technology Strategies for Success
0.75 hour MCLE credit, including 0.75 hour Professionalism, Civility, or Legal Ethics MCLE credit
Maximize your effectiveness by implementing time management strategies into your practice. Learn tips on managing multiple interruptions, calendaring for success in managing case deadlines, juggling email overload, using technology to stay organized, communicating with clients effectively, and more. Tips on how these strategies help you reduce the stresses of the profession are also shared.
Paul R. Unger, Affinity Consulting Group, Ohio

Your New Legal Career
0.75 hour MCLE credit, including 0.75 hour Professionalism, Civility, or Legal Ethics MCLE credit
Our panelists draw upon their own experiences as a litigation lawyer, transactional practitioner, corporate counsel,and government attorney to address the issues you want to discuss during the closing segment! Topics include: challenges for new attorneys; where to turn for guidance; surviving the stresses of the first year of practice; settling on an area of practice (or transitioning from one you hate); finding your work/life balance, and much more!
Moderator: Jennifer A. Haase, Pirok & Haase, Chicago
Judith E. Conway, Cooney and Conway, Chicago
Brian D. Flynn, Flynn Guymon & Garavalia, Belleville
Ryan Suniga, Law Clerk, Northern District of Illinois, Chicago
Starr M. Rayford, Product Counsel, eBay, California

*Amended Supreme Court Rule 793(c)(1) requires newly admitted attorneys to complete a Basic Skills Course consisting of 6.0 hours of Professional Responsibility MCLE credit and/or mentoring plus additional hours to equal 15 hours of MCLE credit. For information on mentoring programs visit

Pricing Information
  • Please Note: You must attend the entire program in order to earn MCLE credit for this seminar.
  • Fees:
    • New Attorney Member - Free
    • ISBA Member Price of $180 is displayed below when you login and program is eligible for Free CLE member benefit
    • Non-Member Price - $300
    • Law Students - Free