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Basic Skills - ISBA's Program for Newly Admitted Attorneys

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

Original Program Date: February 15, 2024
Accreditation Expiration Date: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­February 14, 2026 (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:
Natali Thomas, ISBA Young Lawyers Division Chair 2023-24, South Carolina
Hannah R. Lamore, ISBA Young Lawyers Division Vice-Chair 2023-24, Mahoney Silverman & Cross LLC, Joliet

Welcome and Introduction
Shawn Kasserman, ISBA President 2023-24, Tomasik Kotin Kasserman LLC, Chicago

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, Attorney at Law, Joliet
Hon. Jeffrey A. Goffinet, First Judicial Circuit Court
Hon. Chantelle A. Porter,18th Judicial Circuit Court
Hon. Elizabeth M. Rochford, Illinois Supreme Court

Ethical Dilemmas & Common Mistakes to Avoid
1.0 hours MCLE credit, including 1.0 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, Equity, 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: Khara A. Coleman, Office of the Cook County Sheriff, Oak Park
Lindy A. Giesler, Perbix and Morgan Attorneys at Law, Havana
Antonio Lee, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, Chicago
Kenneth A. Matuszewski, Goldberg Segalla LLP, Chicago
Bhavani K. Raveendran, Romanucci & Blandin LLC, Chicago
Taylor Tyler, Tyler Law Offices PC, Chicago
Natali Thomas, ISBA YLD Chair 2023-24, South Carolina

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, Illinois Lawyers Assistance Program, Chicago

Professional Responsibility, Professionalism, and Technology Update
1.0 hour MCLE credit, including 1.0 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, including the benefits and risks of using Artificial Intelligence.
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
0.5 hour MCLE credit, including 0.5 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: Judith E. Conway, Cooney & Conway, Chicago
Hannah R. Lamore, ISBA YLD Vice Chair 2023-24, Mahoney Silverman & Cross LLC, Joliet
Susannah Price Sullivan, Union Pacific Railroad Company, Lake Forest
Ryan Suniga, Securities Exchange Commission, Chicago
Natali Thomas, ISBA YLD Chair 2023-24, South Carolina

Legal Technology Assessment (Optional)
New! As a bonus benefit to completing the ISBA Basic Skills program, your registration includes a free Legal Technology Assessment (LTA) by Procertas valued at $129, compliments of the ISBA.

The LTA establishes how fluent you, as a new legal professional, are with the basic technology tools of the trade: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF. The LTA is both a benchmarked assessment and a training platform. Benchmarked results can be used for marketing, professional development, rate negotiation, etc. Primarily, however, results should be used to ensure that you, as a new legal professional, are getting the training you need. The LTA pairs competence-based assessments with synchronous, active learning and will help you assess your legal technology skills as you begin your new legal career.

To access the LTA, compliments of the ISBA:
  1. Email with “ISBA Access” in the subject line to request your complimentary activation link.
  2. Receive your activation link by email directly from within 24 hours of sending the email.

*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

To certify completion of this course, you must complete all the video or audio segments below.  Then to retrieve your certificate, complete the course evaluation and access your MCLE Certificate.  ISBA will report your credit to the MCLE board no later than 6 weeks after your certification.

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 $210 is displayed below when you log in and program is eligible for Free CLE member benefit
    • Non-Member Price - $420
    • Law Students - Free