As winter’s glove descends on Chicago with the onset of standard time, many of us in Chicago begin to count the weeks until "May Day," that festive day the world over when hope springs eternal and workers (and pagans) of the world unite.

Next year’s "May Day" offers lawyers an opportunity to reflect on the state of their profession, but only if they attend the 6th Annual DePaul Business & Commercial Law Journal Symposium, whose program this year is entitled "Lawyers, Law Firms & the Legal Profession."  Some–such as my former classmate, and now Stanford Law dean, Larry Kramer–scream "May Day" when they ponder the state of the legal profession today.  This rallying cry, Larry hopes, will encourage today’s generation of law students to "secure the future of our profession" and "preserv[e] the qualities that attracted so many of us to the study of law in the first place."  Of course, if Larry’s more radical, anti-establishmentarian generational predecessors could be overseeing today’s system where–as he sees it–success and prestige are first and foremost judged by how well the firm’s "profits-per-partner" are maximized, then Larry’s hopes of a sea-change in attitude among today’s newly-minted lawyers when they assume the profession’s leadership reins 25 years from now will likely go unrequited.

My firm’s founder, Bob Coleman, and many others at the Coleman Law Firm, have spent much of their professional careers analyzing, advising, and litigating issues regarding a lawyer’s professional and ethical responsibilities.  Many are also DePaul Law grads.  It is thus with great pride that Coleman Law Firm will co-sponsor (with Development Specialists, Inc., and Financial Solutions Network) DePaul’s "May Day" Symposium on Lawyers, Law Firms & the Legal Profession.

To that end, Holly D. Howes, Editor-in-Chief of the DePaul Business & Commercial Law Journal, has graciously agreed to guest blog today’s post and describe the one-day symposium’s topics, distinguished panels, and enrollment details.  To say that the $75.00 entry fee is a real bargain for the one-day event is an obvious understatement given the quality of the presenters, the complimentary catered lunch, the many hours of CLE credits earned by those attending, and thick stack of program materials distributed to all.  It’s also a great time to visit Chicago!

So, without further ado, heeeeeeere’s Holly!


© Steve Jakubowski 2007

Lawyers, Law Firms, & the Legal Profession, by Holly D. Howes, Editor-in-Chief, DePaul Business & Commercial Law Journal

I am extremely thankful to Steve Jakubowski for this opportunity to tell you about an exciting and newsworthy event: The DePaul Business and Commercial Law Journal’s Sixth Annual Symposium.

Since 2002, the Commercial Law League of America and DePaul University College of Law have teamed up to produce two outstanding products: a quarterly journal and an annual symposium.  Maybe Steve will let me write about the Journal later, but for now, I am writing to you about our upcoming Symposium on May 1, 2008 from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

This year’s Symposium, Lawyers, Law Firms, & the Legal Profession, will make you take a second look at the way you practice law.  Leading experts, timely issues, and CLE credit are just a few of the reasons to come.  As a struggling law student, the great luncheon generously sponsored by Development Specialists, Inc. ,caught my attention, but the three superb panels are the reason why I will be missing class.

Here’s a rundown of what’s in store:

Lawyers in a Fee Quandary: Must the Billable Hour Die?
In a recent ABA Journal article, author Scott Turow proclaimed that “the billable hour must die.”  Our panel will debate the merits of Turow’s assertion, discussing the results of a new fee study of bankruptcy professionals’ compensation as well as the pros and cons of alternative billing arrangements.

Speakers: Claude R. “Chip” Bowles, Jr., Greenebaum, Doll & McDonald, PLLC, Louisville, Kentucky; William Hornsby, American Bar Association, Chicago, Illinois; Prof. Forrest Mosten, UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles, California.

Lawyers in Transition: Ghosts from the Old Firm Haunting the New Firm
Attorneys are more mobile than ever and recent years have seen an unprecedented level of law firm mergers and failures.  Unlike other professionals, however, attorneys face unique issues when making transitions, especially in terms of conflicts and potential liability that result from the move.  Explore these issues in this program and learn what to know – and what to avoid – when you or your firm is in transition.

Speakers: Janet S. Baer, Kirkland & Ellis, LLP, Chicago, Illinois; Robert S. Bernstein, Bernstein Law Firm, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Faye B. Feinstein, Quarles & Brady, LLP, Chicago, Illinois; Thomas P. McGarry, Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP, Chicago, Illinois.

Lawyers in the Hot Seat: The State of Ethics & Professionalism

Attorneys and the legal profession do not fare well in the eyes of the general public, which sees the profession and the individuals that comprise it as lacking trustworthiness and prestige.  Our panelists will discuss issues that affect this perception, including the latest decisions on individual attorneys’ misbehavior and attorneys’ collective behavior viewed in light of the standards of professionalism.

Speakers: Hon. Jeffery P. Hopkins, United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Ohio, Cincinnati, Ohio; Ronald R. Peterson, Jenner & Block, LLP, Chicago, Illinois; Catherine E. Vance, Development Specialists, Inc., Columbus, Ohio; Prof. Mark D. Yochum, Duquesne University School of Law, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

I welcome you on behalf of the DePaul Business and Commercial Law Journal and the Commercial Law League of America to this truly stimulating event at the Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago, 909 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.  Utmost praise and overwhelming thanks go to Coleman Law Firm, Development Specialists, Inc., and Financial Solutions Network, our generous sponsors for this Symposium.

Tickets are $75.00 on or before April 1, 2008 and $90.00 after that date.  Judges and students are free.  For registration and sponsorship information, contact Don Carrillo, the Symposium Editor, or me at (312) 362-6178 or, or Paula Lucas of the Commercial Law League of America at (800) 978-2552 or

Happy learning!