News & Events


COVID Message

The ARDC offices are temporarily closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff is working remotely. We remain available to assist lawyers and the public. 

Just Released – 2021 ARDC Annual Report and Highlights.
Learn more about Illinois lawyers and the regulation of the legal profession in 2021.
New year, new beginning? Practice transitions in 2022

February 25, 2022

Whether it’s called the Big Quit, the Great Retirement or even the Career Rethink, the pandemic has certainly caused more of us to consider (reconsider) changes in our personal and professional lives.  Learn more about the basics of winding down a law practice or leaving a law firm to join another.

Five Ethics Rules You May Not Know

December 28, 2021

Over 4,000 calls are made in a typical year to the ARDC Ethics Inquiry phone line from lawyers with questions about a lawyer’s duties under the ethics rules in Illinois. Most of the time, the answer can be readily found in the ethics rules but some questions involve rules that lawyers may not be so familiar with. Learn more about five ethics rules that lawyers may not know and yet address some of the most asked ethics questions. 

Odyssey eFileIL Launches New Electronic Filing Portal

December 1, 2021

Odyssey eFileIL has launched a new Electronic Filing Portal. The ARDC Electronic Filing Manual has been updated to reflect changes to the process of filing documents electronically in attorney disciplinary proceedings using the new Portal.  Additional training materials as developed by Tyler Technologies can be found here. 

Thinking about “retirement”? Explaining the differences between inactive vs. retired status

October 27, 2021

Whether it’s hitting the “pause” button or considering leaving the practice of law altogether, the pandemic has likely caused more lawyers to consider “retirement”.  Learn more about the differences between inactive and retired registration status.  Learn more

The “Of Counsel” Relationship: What it Means and Why it Matters

August 24, 2021

Defining the “of counsel” relationship and its ethical and risk management considerations.  Learn more.

Answering the Top 10 Questions About a Lawyer’s Duty to Report Misconduct

June 30, 2021

A lawyer’s duty to report another lawyer’s misconduct is perennially the top area of inquiry to the ARDC Ethics Inquiry Program.  Learn more about the duty to report and the answers to some of the most frequently-asked questions.  

ARDC Names Michelle M. Thome as the New Clerk of the ARDC

June 1, 2021

On June 1, 2021, Michelle M. Thome became the Clerk of the ARDC, following the retirement of her predecessor in that position, Kenneth G. Jablonski. Ms. Thome joined the ARDC in 1995 as an Assistant Clerk. In 2009 she was promoted to the position of Deputy Clerk, and in 2012 she became the agency’s Senior Deputy Clerk. She held that position for nine years before succeeding Mr. Jablonski.

Ms. Thome is an experienced records manager with deep knowledge of procedural rules relating to disciplinary cases. She is committed to maintaining the high level of service and efficiency for which the Clerk’s office became known during Mr. Jablonski’s 38-year tenure. Ms. Thome’s Senior Deputy is Andrea Watson, who previously held the position of Deputy Clerk.

Under Commission rules, the ARDC’s Clerk is the individual designated by the Administrator to receive and maintain records and evidence relating to proceedings before the Commission’s Hearing and Review Boards. The Clerk is neutral in all disciplinary matters and does not take case-specific direction from the Administrator. Ms. Thome’s contact information is:

Clerk, Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission
One Prudential Plaza
130 E. Randolph St., Ste. 800
Chicago, IL 60601-6219
Phone: (312) 565-2600
Email: ARDCClerksDepartment@iardc.org

Archived News

Illinois Supreme Court Announcements Released

May 18, 2021

On May 18, 2021, the Illinois Supreme Court issued disciplinary orders impacting 16 Illinois lawyers.  Four lawyers were disbarred.  Eight lawyers were suspended from the practice of law for various lengths of time between 30 days and one year and until further order of the Court.  Four lawyers were placed on probation.  The Court’s decisions and summaries can be found on the ARDC website under Recent Filings & Decisions, Supreme Court Decisions and Summaries of Supreme Court Decisions.

ARDC Submits 2020 Annual Report

May 1, 2021

Shortly before May 1 of each year, the ARDC submits its annual report to the Illinois Supreme Court chronicling all ARDC activities and initiatives, as well as an accounting of ARDC’s finances, during the prior year. The 2020 Annual Report of the ARDC provides a comprehensive, statistical snapshot of the legal profession in Illinois. Highlights from the 2020 Annual Report include: there are 94,907 attorneys on the 2020 Master Roll of Attorneys for the state of Illinois; 65,723 or 69.3% of Active and Inactive attorneys reported a principal business address in Illinois; 57,007 or 86.7% of Active and Inactive attorneys practice within the six most populous counties in the state (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will); in 2020 the Commission docketed 3,936 investigations against 3,027 attorneys; 66.4% of grievances stemmed from a breakdown in the attorney-client relationship (neglect of a client’s cause, failure to communicate, billing and fee issues, and failure to provide competent representation); and 81 lawyers were sanctioned by the Court and one lawyer was reprimanded by the ARDC Hearing Board in 2020.  Learn more by reading the 2020 Annual Report and Highlights.

Administrative Order Regarding Disciplinary Proceedings

May 26, 2021

On May 26, 2021,  the Chair of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission entered an order superseding previous pandemic-related orders for disciplinary proceedings. The May 26, 2021 order, which will remain in effect until further order of the Commission, provides:

  • effective June 1, 2021, in-person contested hearings may be conducted in the ARDC’s Springfield office within the discretion of the Hearing Panel Chair and subject to the agreement of both parties;

     

  • all other proceedings, including uncontested hearings, contested hearings scheduled to take place in the ARDC’s Chicago office, prehearing conferences, oral arguments and discovery, shall be conducted remotely; and

     

  • the Chair or Vice-Chair of the full Hearing Board shall hear any motion objecting to proceeding with a hearing remotely.
ARDC Releases PMBR (2020-2021) Program

May 18, 2020

Today the ARDC released the PMBR (2020-2021) Program on its Online Learning Portal.  This law practice management self-assessment series is available to all lawyers for up to 4 hours of CLE credit.  Lawyers who are in private practice and do no maintain malpractice insurance must complete this entire program as a 2021 registration requirement.  Find out more about the program here.

Our Ethical Obligations During the Coronavirus Shutdown

March 20, 2020

On March 20, 2020, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a statewide stay-at-home order aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus. All non-essential businesses in the state were ordered to close their doors effective March 21, 2020, at 5:00 p.m., and remain closed through April 7, 2020. Read more >>

Upcoming Events

Past Events

International Conference of Legal Regulators 2021 – Virtual Conference

Event Dates: September 28 – October 1, 2021

The ARDC is hosting the 10th annual International Conference of Legal Regulators (ICLR) virtually on September 28-October 1, 2021.  This four day-long virtual experience will consist of online sessions and networking events specifically created to advance the vital work of legal regulators around the world. The sessions slated include, among other topics: 1) Why We Do What We Do: Regulatory Theory and Practice; 2) Legal Education in a Post COVID World: Shaking the Assumptions but Now What?; 3) The Role of Regulators in Promoting Fairer Legal Services: Responding to Issues of Vulnerability and Legal Capability; 4) Artificial intelligence: Rise of the Machines; and 5) Does Fortune Favor the Bold? Deconstructing Legal Innovation Approaches and Finding a Path Forward. Register for the ICLR 2021 and find more information about this year’s conference on the ICLR 2021 website.