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February 2016 – IICLE, Membership in NWSBA

In January we entered a contract with IICLE for the recording of selected NWSBA live CLE seminars. Several members of the Board, Ken Apicella, Mike Rothmann, Mike Lightfoot, and myself have been working on this initiative for several years. Julie Barth was also instrumental in moving this project forward, and in making the connection with IICLE Director, Mike Rooney, which culminated in this recent agreement. We believe it is extremely beneficial for our organization to begin this affiliation with IICLE, which has been one of the premier CLE providers in Illinois for many years.

Effective immediately, IICLE will begin recording selected live 2 to 3 hour NWSBA CLE seminars, which recordings IICLE with then market for sale across Illinois on their website. Also, our members will be able to purchase these recorded seminars through the NWSBA website, at a discounted price.

Our hope is that this connection with IICLE, and the increased exposure to lawyers throughout Illinois will help us continue to attract high caliber speakers and presentations. Now, by sharing their professional expertise, our presenters are no longer just promoting themselves to lawyers in the northwest suburbs, but to lawyers and judges throughout the state of Illinois. We also believe that creating web based CLEs is a step forward for our organization, and affords us an opportunity to expand the reach and reputation of the NWSBA!

Developing Relationships in the Northwest Suburban Bar Association

I have come to believe that for most, the real value in our NWSBA membership is the opportunity to make and develop professional relationships. Law is just not practiced in a vacuum – the practice of law is a people business, and the more people you know in the local legal community, the better. A great place to get started in your efforts to use the NWSBA to build your professional network is to become active in a substantive law committee. Your substantive law committee chairs have been hard at work this year; eight substantive law committees are now holding regular monthly one hour committee meetings. See the listing published in Newsbriefs each month. Why attend a free monthly committee meeting? First of all, it’s free, and you get one hour of CLE. You are also likely to gain some professional knowledge, which is always good. And, each meeting is an opportunity to meet some of your professional colleagues.

Getting to know lawyers who do the same kind of work you do is worthwhile. First of all, don’t ever think that you won’t get a referral or have a chance to make a referral to one of your “competitors”. There are a variety of instances when you are unable to help a particular client (conflicts, special expertise required, other commitments), where a referral opportunity presents itself. It is also valuable to have a circle of lawyers who you can consult with when needed. Also, there are times when you need a professional courtesy from your opposing lawyer, and you sure stand a better chance if you know that opposing lawyer.

A local bar association like the NWSBA is also a great place to meet lawyers in a variety of practice areas. Meeting local lawyers in all practice areas can be a benefit to your most important people – your clients. The more people you meet, and the more you extend your professional reputation, the more your clients benefit. This can come in the form of your ability to refer a valued client to a lawyer who you are confident will take superior care of that person, which makes you look good in the process. And, I know several lawyers who are in their present jobs because of contacts they developed through the NWSBA.

On a personal note, I, like apparently many music lovers of my generation, were especially saddened by the passing of Glenn Frey last month. As most of you know, Frey was a very accomplished signer songwriter, and founding member of the Eagles. We were fortunate to see the Eagles live several times over the past few years, and they were one of the best live bands I have ever seen. RIP Glenn Frey!

R.F. Wittmeyer

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