Barack Ferrazzano is pleased to congratulate partner and general counsel, Edward F. Malone, on his work as a member of the Chicago Bar Association (CBA) and Chicago Bar Foundation (CBF) Task Force on the Sustainable Practice of Law & Innovation (the “CBA/CBF Task Force”). Comprised of 51 lawyers and other legal industry professionals, the CBA/CBF Task Force launched in October 2019, and was charged with developing recommendations for how Illinois can address gaps in access to justice and the ability of the legal profession to meet the needs of its consumers.

On Wednesday, July 22, 2020, the CBA/CBF Task Force released its report and recommendations (the “Report”), outlining the changes Illinois should make to meet those goals. Accompanying the 116-page Report, the CBA/CBF Task Force released a “Pocket Chat” series on YouTube covering each of its recommendations. The Report will be open for public feedback – both written and by participating in a town hall hearing – through August 21, 2020, after which the final recommendations will be presented to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Additional coverage of the Report can be found at Law360, where the CBA/CBF Task Force’s key points are reviewed in more depth.

The CBA/CBF Task Force Co-Chair, retired Justice Mary Anne Mason, said in a statement accompanying the Report, “We can watch as outside forces shape the future of our profession or, instead, we can take a lead role in shaping that change for the good of our profession and the public we serve.”

The CBA/CBF Task Force’s recommendations are threefold, addressing serious issues that the group discovered in their months of research. The CBA/CBF Task Force highlights the need for more avenues through which lawyers can connect to potential clients, including the use of “Intermediary Entities”, such as paid referral services. It also identifies and aims to resolve the issue of people who do not recognize they have legal problems or know where they can turn to for affordable and reliable legal help. Finally, the CBA/CBF Task Force encourages spurring more innovation within the profession, particularly regarding the delivery of services.

“The Rules of Professional Conduct provide essential ethical guardrails for our profession, but they often lag behind changes in the legal market-place driven by technology and other factors,” Mr. Malone said.  “There is a huge demand for legal services that is going unmet because the current rules prevent the market from operating efficiently, particularly for consumers looking for lower-cost services. The CBA/CBF Task Force has spent the last ten and a half months examining how the rules can better serve the needs both of providers and consumers of legal services, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in that process.”

To learn more about the CBA/CBF Task Force and its Report, visit:

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