Hello Members! In the spirit of showing gratitude this month, I want to acknowledge the excellent work that you are doing to support our legal community and other organizations in the Peoria area. I see your names listed as members of non-profit boards and on donor lists. I hear about the interesting things you are doing, and it is such a privilege to be associated with you. Just recently, several PCBA members, including our very own Executive Director Stephanie Bitner, were recognized for their Pro Bono Service by Prairie State Legal and Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI). I am so proud of our members and inspired by their generosity with their time and talents. Thank you for helping people to gain meaningful access to the legal system.
Thank you also to all of the PCBA committees for their hard work this year, especially the CLE committee. The CLE committee plans most of the CLE opportunities offered by the PCBA. It focusses on topics and issues that resonate with PCBA members and local attorneys. The value for the legal community is that these CLEs are generally presented by your local colleagues and at times include panels of our local judges. This is the kind of information that you will not get elsewhere, and our presenters graciously agree to accept follow up questions.
The CLE committee usually plans at least 20 hours of potential CLE credit each year, which includes two professional responsibility seminars and the winter series. Currently, these seminars are slated to mostly take place over Zoom, and the seminars are usually recorded for purchase later. As a special benefit, PCBA members also have access to another 4-5 hours of free CLE through the Brown Bag series. The Brown Bag series started as free lunch-time one-hour CLE seminars in March with limited space for attendees, but now the series is hosted via Zoom and recorded so that any PCBA member can access those free hours. Kate Swise is Chair of the CLE committee this year, and she is doing a great job of leading the committee. The committee is always looking for members to provide new seminar ideas, so if you have ideas, please come to the next committee meeting on November 17.
Last, but certainly not least, thank YOU. Thank you for continuing to support your local bar association and making Peoria a great place to practice law. Thank you for the time and effort you have put forth over the past year – even when it is so easy to feel worn down by the stress of the lingering uncertainty of the pandemic. The PCBA would not exist without your active participation. As we head into the holiday season, I hope that you have time to relax, recharge, and reflect on all of the good things happening around us.
Emily H. Wilburn