Welcome to Law Bulletin Media’s celebration of Law Day 2022, based on the theme “Toward a More Perfect Union: The Constitution in Times of Change.”
When COVID-19 dropped an inertia-blasting new reality on the world more than two years ago, leaders quickly realized they not only had to steer through a crisis, but also build a better future for the long-term, driven by imperatives of technology and collaboration.
Inspired by the Law Day idea of striving for that “more perfect union,” we decided to examine how leaders could seize this once-in-a-career opportunity to create a better justice system in Illinois.
Many of their insights grew from the idea that the pandemic pierced grandeur, formality and plain old routine in so many areas, while refocusing attention on the practical needs of the people being served. Some hustled to meet essential needs that were more urgent than ever. Others took a pause to examine which traditions should stay and which should fall away.
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin reporter Grace Barbic took the pulse of the courts, asking sources around the state to describe the immense impact of hybrid proceedings and other changes in the system. Judges descried an initial culture shock and even fear, with faster-than-imagined adaptations. That ripened into an appreciation of the benefits of new approaches — and now an examination of how to integrate it all into the future.
We also wanted readers to hear directly from the VIPs drawing up the plans for what’s next in the legal community. Our double dose of Law Day Letters includes essays by top leaders of the courts, professional groups, bar associations and more, introduced by Peter Mierzwa, president and publisher of Law Bulletin Media.
Special thanks to all who took the time to write and share their progress and their views on leadership.
On a national level, talk of change and the courts centered around the Supreme Court and the historic confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black woman justice. With momentous issues on the docket this year, CDLB reporter Emma Oxnevad spoke to Carolyn Shapiro of the Chicago-Kent College of Law about how these times compare to other transformative eras in society and the high court.
To keep up with it all — or just wonk out with some extended discussion — regular contributors Pat Eckler and Dan Cotter recommend 10 podcasts featuring Supreme Court analysis and conversation.
We hope you’ll find our special issue thought-provoking as you take a moment to reflect on how far we’ve come in the past two years and the challenges still ahead. On behalf of the editorial team at the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and all our colleagues at Law Bulletin Media, I thank you for reading all year round as we navigate the future together.