What we accomplished in my year as president of the Illinois State Bar Association

  • PHOTO COURTESY OF ANGELA B. GARBOTAnna Krolikowska was voted in as the fifth female president of the Illinois State Bar Association.

    PHOTO COURTESY OF ANGELA B. GARBOTAnna Krolikowska was voted in as the fifth female president of the Illinois State Bar Association.

 
By Anna Krolikowska
Illinois State Bar Association
Posted8/21/2022 1:00 AM

A year passes so quickly. As the elected president of the Illinois State Bar Association, the year passed very quickly.

My term as the elected president of The Illinois State Bar Association concluded at the end of June. This was a significant leadership role both for me, personally, and for the ISBA professionally.

 

ISBA is the preeminent professional organization for attorneys in the state of Illinois. More than 30,000 members draw upon myriad resources. Every member has a common goal -- the advancement of legal practice and promoting access to courts and justice in our state.

As a seasoned family law attorney, I have dedicated myself to service to the legal profession and the community. Beyond my commitment to clients, I am incredibly proud that I was able to give back to my professional community through my service as the president of the ISBA.

To be elected president I engaged in a statewide election campaign from fall 2017 through spring 2018, a process that required meeting with stakeholders throughout Illinois and listening to their needs. The campaign was exciting and I'm proud to say I won in a landslide victory and carried all 102 voting precincts in Illinois.

The victory was all the sweeter as I became the fifth female president in ISBA history -- a remarkable fact considering the organization was founded in 1877.

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I devoted my presidency to three major initiatives. First, I created and sponsored ISBA's Business Institute. The Business Institute is designed to offer programmatic resources designed to support attorneys in the building of practices and the actual back-office business facets that each attorney needs as every practice is a business at its core. The Business Institute met a great need within our profession and its work will continue in the coming years.

Second, it was essential we focus programs and attention on diversity, equity and inclusion in the profession. Our DEI programs raised awareness among members and inspired each and every ISBA member to consider the role DEI can play in their hiring, management and client case practices.

Third, I placed a special focus on work-life balance for attorneys. For many of us the last few years exposed and exacerbated many fissures between our work and home lives. Many of us had to balance new realities of work, and home life, including caring for and educating children remotely.

For many of us the last few years were the most difficult of our professional and personal lives. As a mom, I knew from personal experience that work-life balance, though elusive for many attorneys, is worth striving for and very much needed. To assist our members, ISBA offered programing on parenting during pandemic, building resilience and perseverance, and promoting healthier nutritional, sleeping and wellness habits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

From panels featuring esteemed Illinois judges, to workshops aimed at helping newly minted attorneys launch startup practices, to panel conversations where we examined business approaches for well-established practices, ISBA worked hard for every member.

I'm proud not just of my tenure and the inspiring work we did, but also of each member who devotes their career, their workdays toward advancing the practice of law in Illinois and giving back to our community. Together we accomplished a lot and continue to give back to the Illinois community.

I invite those readers in need of legal assistance to first contact ISBA attorneys, myself included. Our commitment to honing our craft and assisting the people of Illinois is evident through the time and energy we commit to improving the legal system for all. Following the presidency term, I'll continue my work with the legal community as the chairwoman of the ISBA's Legislative Committee and the Illinois Delegate to the American Bar Association's house of delegates, to which I was recently elected.

I invite all legal professionals to join ISBA and become an active member and join with me to help advance the practice of law and justice in Illinois. There is much work to be done and together we can accomplish so much.

• Anna Krolikowska is a divorce attorney in private practice serving clients in Chicago and the suburbs. She is a collaboratively trained attorney and a Fellow of Collaborative Divorce Illinois. Within her law practice Anna works with clients using mediation, collaborative divorce process, or the litigated approach. To learn more contact Anna at anna@annaklaw.com, or (847) 715-9328 to schedule a consultation. Follow Anna on Facebook.com/AttyKrolikowska, on Instagram: @annaklawchicago, or on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/annaklaw, or on Twitter @AnnaK_Law. Anna is the Immediate Past President of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) and is the 5th woman to have been elected President of the ISBA since its inception in 1877. She has been recognized and honored for her work by her fellow attorneys and the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, which named her one of "Top 50 Women Lawyers in Illinois" in 2021, one of the "40 Under Forty" in 2019, and a Leading Lawyer. She has also been recognized as a Super Lawyer in Family Law 2019-2022.

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