Simply put, it has been another extraordinary year. We know the practice of law has been forever changed. The legal profession continues to innovate and improve how and where we practice law, as well as how lawyers and the public interface with the judiciary.

We have learned how to adapt to a remote work environment, even as we manage the day-to-day impacts of the pandemic on our personal and professional lives. We have embraced legal innovation, more flexibility in the workplace, more empathy for one another, and a renewed focus on the significance of kindness and civility in strengthening overall lawyer well-being.

For those in leadership, the past year required more patience, more hands-on engagement and a pretty good sense of humor to improvise and overcome the highs and lows of law during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CBA has been a leader in meeting the ever-changing needs of lawyers during these unprecedented times and will continue to be part of the transformation of the legal profession. Now more than ever, staying connected with colleagues, learning the latest developments in your practice area, and understanding the changes in the courts are critical insights needed by all lawyers.

The CBA’s new and expanded offerings include professional development and lawyer well-being initiatives, personal career counseling, and training on marketing, better use of new technologies and other legal innovations. One of the CBA’s key objectives is to help lawyers improve the financial viability and sustainability of their law practices. As always, the CBA will continue to offer virtual, hybrid and in-person events.

In 2024 the CBA will celebrate its 150th anniversary. We take pride in our many successes serving lawyers and the greater legal community. We are engaged in a strategic planning process to ensure the organization’s continuing success and to make sure the CBA continues to be the bar association lawyers deserve, want, and need.

When I look back on my leadership experience during the pandemic and experiences shared by members of the bar in Illinois, I know lawyers emerged stronger, more resilient and with a fresh perspective on what is necessary to support personal and professional success.

I also know that the CBA played an important role ensuring access to justice and legal innovation when it was needed most. It is a privilege to serve as the CBA president, and I am proud of the work we have accomplished together.