Formalized in 1879, the Peoria County Bar Association began the treasured tradition of service to its members and the community. The committees work tirelessly to continue this tradition in challenging times for the legal profession. The PCBA has excelled in promoting respect and camaraderie among its members in every endeavor undertaken, whether it is one of our social events, a CLE, or our final tribute to our members at the memorial service.
My mission in the coming year is to continue the tradition of service to our members and the community. We will be introducing new CLE programs and formats to give our members more CLE opportunities including more updates. We will provide training to help you and your office embrace electronic filing. The PCBA is more than an association – it is a family of hard working and yes, fun-loving lawyers. We will help this family grow more diverse and even more talented with efforts such as the Peoria Legal Academy.
All these goals are prefaced with “we.” I know from over 38 years as a proud member of this association, the work is done by the determined work of the committees and the dedicated support of the members. I thank you for the opportunity to work with you in the coming year.
The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism (ILSCCP) begins its 2016-17 Lawyer-to-Lawyer Mentoring Program with an orientation on Tuesday, July 26, at the Peoria County Bar Association (PCBA) office. Guest speaker will be Sonni Choi Williams, a PCBA member who is a member of the ILSCCP. This is a voluntary one-year program available for new lawyers admitted to practice in Illinois no more than two years prior to beginning the program and mentor lawyers admitted to the practice in Illinois not less than six years. You may register online at http://lawyermentor.ilsccp.org/pcba/
As a young attorney the thought of finally being in the legal profession, alone, and without the support of your law school professors and faculty members can be quite overwhelming for some. However, that is why programs like the PCBA’s mentoring program are so important because they are very beneficial to the development of young attorneys. Over the past year I have come to truly appreciate the value of the PCBA mentoring program, and I am grateful the committee selected me, in addition to many other young attorneys in our area to participate in the program. When I initially applied for the program I had one goal, and that was to learn as much as possible about the ins and outs of the actual practice of law from an experienced attorney here in Peoria, Illinois. Needless to say, by being paired with Tracy Pitzen my expectations were exceeded. When we met, Mr. Pitzen brought the perspective of a solo practitioner who has practiced in Peoria and the surrounding area for decades, and who has seen the ups and downs that come with our profession. By meeting with Mr. Pitzen I learned what it truly takes to succeed in the legal profession. But, most importantly, I learned how invaluable it is to be paired up with an individual you did not know prior to participating in the program. This act gives young attorneys an opportunity to leave their comfort zone and to form a professional relationship in a mentor/mentee capacity with someone new, and I am a profound believer in the fact that one can never have too many mentors. As such, I would recommend the mentoring program to both young and experienced attorneys.
Arsenio L. Mims
Senior District Judge Michael Mihm
U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois