The Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) has been the premier legal association in the state since being founded in 1877. As a voluntary organization, the ISBA’s primary focus is to help Illinois attorneys practice more effectively and efficiently.
“We engage in many important activities on behalf of the profession,” says ISBA Associate Executive Director David N. Anderson. “Among them, proposing and shaping legislation, educating the public, and supporting the courts and the rule of law.”
It all began when 88 lawyers from 37 counties congregated in the Sangamon County Courthouse in Springfield on January 4, 1877, and agreed to form the Illinois State Bar Association.
When it was created the founders adopted as Article II of its constitution the following goals: “To cultivate the science of jurisprudence, to promote reform in the law, to facilitate the administration of justice, to elevate the standard of integrity, honor and courtesy in the legal profession, to encourage a thorough and liberal education, and to cherish a spirit of brotherhood among the members thereof.”
In 1897, the ISBA was influential in consolidating the three grand divisions of Illinois’ Supreme Court into a single court, and later in locating the court in Springfield, where the current building was completed in 1908.