The Illinois Supreme Court announced it has redesigned its website, making it easier to locate the most sought-after information.
The new website, which will also include several new features to aid the public, educators and members of the legal profession, will continue to be accessed at www.state.il.us/court and will premier Nov. 1.
The Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, which assists the Supreme Court in administering the state's judicial branch, developed the new web site, including the design of the site's new appearance, its content and functionality.
"I believe that as the third branch of government, it is critical that we provide to the public information and resources to understand and access the judicial system, and the Court's website has been redesigned to help achieve this goal," said Chief Justice Robert R. Thomas.
"The items most frequently accessed, such as Supreme Court and Appellate Court opinions, Supreme Court rules and announcements, are now easier to find and several new segments have been added."
Cynthia Y. Cobbs, the Supreme Court's Director of the Administrative Office, said that the Court's web site has been and will likely continue to be the most efficient means to reach consumers of judicial information.
Cobb said the newly designed site provides a platform which is visually appealing, interactive, and more efficiently presents information and services that relate to the entire Illinois Judicial Branch.
Nearly all of the new site's features, including an audio-video message from the chief justice, can be accessed from the site's primary page.
Based upon user feedback and an increasing demand for current information by today's Internet-savvy judicial community, the primary objective of the redesign was to streamline access to information and to incorporate particular technologies that will support future Supreme Court initiatives, Cobb said.
On the new site, Supreme Court documents such as its opinions, docket and announcements along with the Appellate Court opinions will be accessed under a "Quick Links" section on the home page. One of the new segments, entitled "Citizens Self-Help," will offer guides to the court system as well as links to informaiton regarding citizens rights, responsibilities and legal resources such as Illinois child support information and an Illinois attorney locator.
Another new feature designed for educators includes links to such things as mock trial teacher training materials, Legislative Reference Bureau materials on the U.S. and Illinois constitutions as well as to resources that describe the function of the court system and history of the Illinois judicial system.
The new site will contain easy-to-access links to the web sites of all the Judicial Circuits of Illinois and their attendant information, and to the official government and judicial web sites of each of the 50 states.
For the legal community, the website will include links to the Committee on Minimum Legal Education, the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar and several others.
Users may also subscribe separately to 18 available list services to receive free e-mail notifications on information ranging from court opinions and announcements to procurement opportunities.
Like the current site, it also will include biographical information on Supreme Court and Appellate Court justices, informaiton regarding the Administrative Office of Illinois Courts, which assists the Court in administering the state's judicial branch, as well as press releases pertaining to news of the Court and the judicial branch.