January @theBar

Post Authored by Jennifer Byrne

It’s another New Year @theBar and we’re excited for what’s in store for 2019!

New Year’s resolutions can be difficult to stick to, especially if they involve dieting or fitness. During a cold Chicago winter, is it really reasonable to expect yourself trudge through the snow to the gym, or lay off the carbs?  I think not. Instead, why not resolve to do a little more pro bono service, or to invest in your own professional development this winter? The CBA has several opportunities for you to do both.

new years

The YLS will host its first monthly social of the new year on Thursday, January 10 from 6-8pm at Fulton Market Company (205 N. Peoria).  Join us and bring a friend for complimentary drinks courtesy of our generous sponsors, One Legal!

The Wills for Heroes Committee is kicking off 2019 with its first clinic on January 12 and there is still time to volunteer.  The Wills for Heroes program provides essential estate planning documents free of charge to our nation’s veterans and first responders. The YLS and Exelon have partnered to offer monthly clinics in Chicago – typically at the Chicago Police Department Headquarters (3510 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60653). Visit the program webpage to learn more and volunteer.

On January 19, the Serving Our Seniors Committee will host a volunteer event at the Center on Halsted (806 W. Addison) from 1:00pm-3:30pm. Volunteers will assist low-income, LGBT seniors in completing Powers of Attorney for Healthcare and Property and Living Wills. No experience is necessary to participate, and paralegals and law students are welcome to attend.  Reach out to Maureen Loughran of FMS Law Group LLC to RSVP.

January is national mentoring month! The CBA will celebrate by kicking off its Lawyer-to-Lawyer program with an orientation session for all participating mentoring pairs on January 29. Mark Palmer of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism will join us as our luncheon speaker to explain the ins-and-outs of the program. The CBA’s mentoring program is one of the most robust programs in Illinois, typically pairing between 40-60 mentoring pairs each year. 2019 is no exception — mentee slots in the program are now full due to the popularity of the program! However, we are still in need of additional mentors.  If you’ve been practicing for 5 or more years, please consider volunteering as a mentor. It’s a great way to give back and help a new lawyer learn the ropes. Plus, Illinois CLE credit is available upon completion of the year-long program. Learn more and register by visiting the program’s webpage.

The CBA is excited to announce that applications are now open for the 2019 Leadership Institute program. Now in its 4th Annual year, the Leadership Institute is designed to enhance the leadership skills and professional growth of attorneys within 3-10 years of practice who have been identified by their law firm as, or who aspire to become, leaders in Chicago’s legal community. The program provides emerging leaders with the practical knowledge and business development strategies necessary to attain and be successful in significant leadership roles. Sessions feature dynamic faculty, interactive skill building exercises and networking opportunities. Participants who successfully complete the program will receive a graduation certificate. Illinois MCLE credit is also available. Applications are due by March 4, 2019. However, the program utilizes a small cohort model to maximize learning and engagement…so apply early as space is limited! Visit the program’s webpage to learn more and apply.

Also, in case you missed it, the January episode of CBA’s @theBar podcast is now available and it’s a riveting listen about the Polish government’s efforts to remove more than a third of the country’s Supreme Court judges and replace them with judges sympathetic to the governing party.  The episode features Mikołaj Pietrzak, Dean of the Warsaw Bar Association, as our guest.  I encourage you to check out “Benching Judicial Independence: The Poland Edition” now on Legal Talk Network!


Last, but certainly not least, it’s time to dust off your poker chips and get ready for a Las Vegas-inspired evening of table games and Texas Hold’em at “The YLS Game,” our 12th annual casino night fundraiser!  This year’s event will be held at the Union League Club of Chicago on February 21, 2019. Proceeds from the evening support The Chicago Bar Foundation’s work in Chicago’s legal community to make the justice system more fair and accessible for everyone. Tickets are sale on now by clicking here!

Viva Las Vegas and I hope to see you this January @theBar!

Best wishes,

jen sig

Jennifer Byrne

About the Author:

Jennifer Byrne head shotJennifer Byrne is the Director of the Young Lawyers Section of The Chicago Bar Association, for which she organizes and coordinates the many events its young lawyers enjoy, including continuing legal education and mentoring programs, social events, the CBA @theBar podcast, blog and more. Prior to Jennifer’s work as a bar association professional, she was a domestic relations attorney in Chicago. Jennifer attended law school at DePaul University College of Law and received a B.A. in both English-Literature and Fine Arts from Illinois Wesleyan University. To learn more about how to get involved in CBA’s Young Lawyers Section, feel free to contact Jennifer at jbyrne@chicagobar.org or 312-554-2031.


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