About

Richard Thomas JD uses the perspective of his extensive and diverse career  as an accomplished professional improvisational actor and writer who has worked with the founders of the Second City Theater on the highest levels of that art, as a professional responsibility and ethics attorney licensed in the state of Illinois, and as a college professor* to teach, develop, strengthen, enhance and promote: humanity , empathy, professionalism, creativity, communication, public speaking, critical thinking, inter-personal connecting, case-making, career and personal discovery and advocacy, applied ethics, leadership, and other human and professional concerns and skills. 

 

Richard Thomas JD consults with others in order to address their specific needs and desires: his clients that he trains and advises, his readers, his performance audiences, and himself ---  it's a necessarily inclusive process.

 

Art, education, personal character and reason are transformative to the individual, his or her work, and the world at large. No two clients, or subjects of writing and/or performance of Richard Thomas JD are the same. And  all are the same. Individual meet world. And vice-versa.

"Let us dare to read, think, speak and write."

 

JOHN ADAMS

*Personal Note from Richard Thomas to Clients, Partners, Associates, Clients, Readers and Audiences

I have taught "Finding Your Teacher's Voice" workshops to teachers working in many colleges at UIC, and doctoral candidates pursuing careers in teaching at UIC. The writing sample included in the link below gives some insight into my pedagogical approach. I also invite you to look at these brief essays which describe my approach and background in teaching. I was an arts educator teaching improvisational acting for many years. I'm an alumnus of the main stage at Second City Chicago and was trained in the arts, and teaching the arts by that theater's founders: Paul Sills, David Shepherd, Jo Forsberg, Bernard Sahlins and Del Close. They instructed me in the art of improvisation and the teaching of that art. Note that I approach improvisation as an art and pedagogical approach, and I am not in the tradition which uses it merely to develop material in sketch comedy. I am also open to other courses that you see as a fit. I have taught in a variety of schools and departments.

 

Links describing teaching values and experience: https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2015/04/12/the-love-triangle-art-education-and-life/ https://tlc.uic.edu/2015/12/02/teacher-as-artist/ https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/the-virtue-of-exasperated-teaching/

I am certified in excellence in online teaching by Washington State University. I am certified in trial advocacy skills by the Natl Inst of Trial Advocacy. I was recognized as a master improviser by Paul Sills, founder of Second City Theater. I was a litigation counsel for the Atty Reg & Disciplinary Commission (Loyola Law Alumnus). I was recognized as a Master Teaching Scholar by the UIC Provost. I combine my teaching, critical thinking, advocacy & creativity experience and skills in my consulting, writing, artistic performance and pedagogy. I teach experientially, drawing on my diverse experience myself & facilitating experiences for my students from which they can learn. I create challenging assignments for my students --- requiring them to THINK and apply what they learn. I coach them toward intellectual and professional excellence. My writing is driven by my values combining the use of reason and attention to detail that I learned as a lawyer, and the creativity and authenticity that I experienced as an improviser. 

Credentials

  • 2020 - Present, Adjunct Faculty, Business Ethics, in the Graduate Program of the Loyola University Chicago Quinlan School of Business

  • 2013 – 2018, Clinical Assistant Professor in the Professional Development Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Business Administration

  • 2006 – Present, Lawyer. Practiced primarily as a litigator in the field of ethics and professional responsibility at the Illinois Registration and Disciplinary Commission

  • Alumnus of the resident company of Chicago’s Second City Theater

  • Article re: Lawyer/Artist

  • Ethics professor

  • B.A. in Communication Arts from Notre Dame; J.D. from Loyola Law School (Chicago)

  • Newsweek Article re: Founding Campus 40 Year Old N.D. Campus Event

  • Certified by the National Institute of Trial Advocacy in Communication Skills

  • UIC Master Teaching Scholar Thomas Chosen UIC Master Teaching Scholar 

  • Teacher as Artist Article for UIC Provost

  • Illinois State Bar Association Master Teacher in Communications Skills

  • BAR ADMISSIONS: Illinois State Bar, Member• Northern District of Illinois Bar, Member

  • Taught improvisational acting classes at Second City, the Victory Gardens Theater and independently

  • Member of Second City Chicago’s resident acting company; well-reviewed by many publications’ critics including Frank Rich of The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/1984/03/02/arts/revuew-second-city-comes-to-first-city.html  and John Simon of New York Magazine; received Obie and Joseph Jefferson Award nominations for ensemble acting; performed in Second City’s 50th Anniversary Alumni Show; co-wrote and performed in Second City Revues: Exit Pursued by a Bear, Glenna Loved It!, and Orwell that Ends Well; directed Second City’s National Touring Company developing young talent including Chris Farley, Stephen Colbert and Amy Sedaris

  • Film acting work for Mike Nichols http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e28Y80Er8HQ  and Woody Allen

  • Free-lance writer for Saturday Night Live and Sesame Street

  • Performance Artist and Comedian at Second City ETC Theater, New York’s Improv Comedy Club and West Bank Café; wrote and performed one man shows The Rick Show and Good Times praised by Second City Founder Paul Sills and West Bank Café’ Founder Lewis Black

  • Led improvisational acting workshops and performed for the Young Presidents Organization and an audience that included former President Jimmy Carter. Currently writes, performs and produces his one-person show at various venues.

CV

  • Adjunct Faculty, Business Ethics, in the Graduate Program of the Loyola University Chicago Quinlan School of Business 2020 - Present

  • Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Business School (UICBusiness) 2013-2018

  • Lawyer. Practiced primarily in the field of ethics and professional responsibility 2006-Present

  • Alumnus of the resident company of Chicago’s Second City Theater Professional presence & development & ethics professor.

  • B.A. in Communication Arts from Notre Dame; J.D. from Loyola Law School (Chicago)

  • BAR ADMISSIONS: Illinois State Bar, Member, 2006 • Northern District of Illinois Bar, Member, 2006

  • CERTIFICATE: Washington State University Global Campus, Excellence in Online Teaching, 2017

  • CERTIFICATE: National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Trial Practice Skills, 2011

  • EDUCATION Loyola University School of Law, Chicago, Illinois Juris Doctor; Taught “Street Law” at Wells High School in Chicago, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana Bachelor of Arts, 1977, American Studies &Communication Arts ; Dean’s List; Resident Assistant, Keenan Hall

  • Co-founder & emcee original Keenan Hall Revue

 

https://www.newsweek.com/he-nailed-jesus-crossing-pattern-pray-keenan-revue-426125

Academic & Teaching Experience

Adjunct Faculty, Business Ethics, in the Graduate Program of the Loyola University Chicago Quinlan School of Business 2020 - Present

 

Webinar Presentation: Introduction to Ethical Presence TM Awareness for Expert Witnesses, Forensic Expert Witness Association, Los Angeles, California, April 2019. https://forensic.org/events/introduction-to-ethical-presence-awareness-for-expert-witnesses/

 

​Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Business Administration, Chicago, Illinois, August 2013-2018. Courses:

 

  • Managerial Communications Professional Presence I, II, III  

  • Business Ethics

  • Corporate Sustainability and Social Responsibility

  • Assessment of College-wide Student Writing and Oral Presentation Skills

  • Creating and Presenting Improvisational Workshops re: networking, team-building and presentation skills at Liautaud Graduate School of Business Orientation & Transfer and Honors Students Boot Camps and Intensives

  • Coaching Intra- and Inter-Collegiate Case Presentation Teams

  • Presenting Improvisational Workshops and Publicly Speaking for incoming students for the College’s recruiting and admissions initiatives

  • Speaking to student organizations re: Professional Development topics  

  • Working on team curriculum development projects for Professional Development initiatives; Led intensive seminar re: public speaking, teaching and presenting for UIC Business staff

GRADUATE ADVISING --- DISSERTATIONS Dissertation Committee Member, Sean Clayton, PRINCIPAL EVALUATION: A QUANITATIVE STUDY ON THE ALIGNMENT OF THE ISLLC STANDARDS, Educational Leadership, Chicago State University, 2016-2017

 

Presentation: SPEED CASE: An Introduction to Creating Case Analyses like a Lawyer and Presenting them like an Actor, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business May 8-10, 2016. Indianapolis, Indiana

 

Master Teaching Scholar (MTS), University of Illinois at Chicago, The Learning Center of the Office of Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs September 2015 – August 2016

https://business.uic.edu/news-stories/richard-thomas-selected-master-teaching-scholar/

 

 

Spring 2016 Formal Advancement of Teaching Events --- FINDING AND EXPLORING YOUR TEACHER VOICE Teaching Skills Workshop for UIC Faculty Campus-wide Teacher as Artist

 

Guest Lecturer, Loyola University School of Law, Department of Experiential Learning, Chicago, Illinois, October 21, 2014 "Professional Presentation Skills: In and Out of the Courtroom, Classroom or Boardroom"

 

Adjunct Faculty, Department of Justice, Law and Public Safety Studies, Lewis University, Romeoville and Oak Brook, Illinois, January 2012-August 2013.

  • Legal Research and Writing

  • Interviewing and Investigating

  • Rights, Civil-Liability and Administrative Actions

  • Ethics and Professional Responsibility

  • Torts and Personal Injury Law

 

Judge, American Bar Association Law Student Division Appellate Advocacy Competition-- Quarterfinals, Chicago, Illinois, April 5, 2013

 

Guest Lecturer, Loyola University School of Law Career Services Office, Basic Communication Skills for Attorneys, Chicago, Illinois, March 12, 2013

 

Visiting Faculty, Southern Illinois University School of Law, Carbondale, Illinois, March 1, 2013 Professionalism Program, Communication skills needed by attorneys.

 

Master Teacher CLE, 2012 -2013: Southern Illinois University School of Law, Carbondale, Illinois; Arkansas State Bar Association; Forensic Expert Witness Association, Chicago Chapter, Communication Skills for the Expert Witness, Chicago, Illinois; National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Midwest Affiliates (“NAPABA”); Goldberg Weissman Cairo, Chicago, Illinois, Improvisation for Lawyers, Basic Communication Skills for Trial Practitioners

 

Adjunct Faculty, Trial Practice Intensives, Loyola University School of Law, Chicago, Illinois, 2013

  • Trial communication skills instructor

 

Master Series and Faculty Development Teacher, Illinois State Bar Association), Improvisation for Lawyers CLEs, Chicago, Illinois, 2012: Basic Communication Skills for Attorneys; Ethics & Professionalism; Basic Communication Skills for Trial Practitioners; Teaching, Public Speaking & Presenting Skills

 

Legal Practice & Other
Professional Experience

 

Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission, Chicago, Illinois Litigation Counsel, 2008-2011

  • Argued, litigated and presented disciplinary hearing matters before panels of the ARDC’s Hearing Board

  • Presented proposed disciplinary complaints to panels of the ARDC Inquiry Board

  • Advised ARDC Administrator on sanction recommendations in disciplinary matters

  • Wrote motions considered and allowed by Illinois Supreme Court

  • Managed and conducted investigations of disciplinary complaints

  • Counseled attorneys re: compliance with the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct on the ARDC Ethics Inquiry Hotline

  • Wrote informational articles for the ARDC website

  • Prepared CLE accredited seminar “Tips on Public Speaking”

  • Publicly spoke about ARDC policies and procedures at a seminar conducted by the U.S. Marshalls Service at the Dirksen Federal Building

 

Meckler, Bulger & Tilson, LLC, Chicago, Illinois Associate, 2006-2008, Clerk, 2005-2006

 

  • Acted as liaison to various stakeholders to facilitate development of amicus briefs for client association

  • Wrote and researched memos on various topics for example: the culture of the state of Connecticut (to advise on jury selection)

  • Drafted pleadings

  • Re-wrote portions of a practice guide relating to attorney/client and work product privileges

  • Participated in group which considered innovative ways of using demonstrative evidence in complex litigation

 

Illinois Attorney General’s Office Gang Crime Prevention Center, Chicago, Illinois Director of Marketing; Legislation and Special Assignments, 2001-2003

  • Wrote advisory memos for various stakeholders, for example: whether or not smaller municipalities should adopt legislation similar to Chicago’s (2002) Gang Crime Loitering Ordinance

  • Wrote Hearing Voices an examination of international approaches to encouraging nonviolence

  • Produced Cable Access television talk show about the Center’s activities in Rockford, Illinois

  • Marketed and performed outreach for statewide conference on gang crime prevention to various stakeholders including law enforcement personnel, judges, attorneys, community leaders, clergy, educators and citizens

 

Vocational Economics Inc., New York City, New York and Louisville, Kentucky Attorney Liaison, 1999-2000

  • Devised marketing strategy for and marketed expert witness services of vocational rehab professionals and economists to personal injury and employment discrimination attorneys relating to lost earning capacity issues

  • Greatly expanded firm’s New York and Chicago operations; introduced firm to thousands of attorneys

 

Academic & Legal Publications
& Writing Assignments

 

 

Voice Lessons: Reflections on the Art of Being Professional and Authentic, Copyright 2016 Richard Thomas https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2017/04/18/voice-lessons-reflections-on-the-art-of-being-professional-and-authentic/

 

Copyrighted Abstract for Assoc. to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business Conference in Indianapolis, IN May 10, 2016 https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2016/03/14/copyrighted-abstract-for-assoc-toadvance-collegiate-schools-of-business-conference-in-indianapolis-in-may-10-2016/

 

The Illinois State Bar Association will be publishing my article Presentation Planning---What We Can Learn from the Theater in Fall 2016. https://richardsteventhomas.wordpress.com/2016/01/06/cpe-article-presentation-planning-whatwe-can-learn-from-the-theater-2/

 

Course book: ISBA’s Law Ed Faculty Development Series: The Art of Effective Communication INTRODUCTION TO IMPROVISATION FOR LAWYERS: Basic Communication Skills for Public Speaking Teaching and Presenting, Illinois State Bar Association, September 20, 2012 (copy available on request) https://www.box.com/s/ur4yu04d0g4nfjsxhhi6

 

Course book: INTRODUCTION TO IMPROVISATION FOR LAWYERS: Session One: Basic Communication Skills for Attorneys, Illinois State Bar Association, September 21, 2012 (copy available on request) https://www.box.com/s/sk7891mh0njbvqf2lstc (see session one)

 

Course book: INTRODUCTION TO IMPROVISATION FOR LAWYERS: Session Two: Basic Communication Skills Needed to Effectively Comply with the Illinois Rules of Professional 12 Conduct, Illinois State Bar Association, September 21, 2012 https://www.box.com/s/sk7891mh0njbvqf2lstc (see session two)

 

  • Focuses specifically on Rule 1.4 of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct

 

Course book: INTRODUCTION TO IMPROVISATION FOR LAWYERS: Session Three: Basic Communication Skills for Trial Practitioners, Illinois State Bar Association, September 21, 2012 https://www.box.com/s/sk7891mh0njbvqf2lstc (see session three)

 

Newspaper column: Today’s legal job market requires imagination, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, August 8, 2011 https://www.box.com/s/1c1u6k2c74czjl908agj

 

  • Discussion of creative career development strategies in a changing market

 

National Organization of Bar Counsel, Reporter for Midwest Region, 2009

Wrote disciplinary case summaries for nine states that are published on the NOBC website

Wrote Case of the Month analyses for NOBC website including: 

 

  • September 2008: Improper Litigation Management and Improper Oversight of an Inexperienced Subordinate Attorney Warrant Discipline 

  • October 2008: Flat fees should initially be deposited into a trust account but must be transferred to an operating account as soon as fees are earned with reasonable promptness 

  • November 2008: Disbarment is an appropriate sanction when a lawyer fails to conform his behavior to his large law firm’s culture of ethical practice, notwithstanding attention deficit disorder, sleep apnea and severe personality problems 

  • December 2008: Advertising describing attorneys as “Super Lawyers,” “Best Lawyers in America,” or similar comparative titles may be protected commercial speech

  • January 2009: The constitution and immigration laws do not entitle an alien in removal proceedings to relief for a lawyer’s mistakes, but the Department of Justice may as “a matter of administrative grace” reopen removal proceedings where an alien shows he was prejudiced by the actions of private counsel

  • February 2009: The goal of the lawyer disciplinary process is to protect the public and it is not the duty of a licensing Court to engage in psychological analysis as to why a lawyer has engaged in acts of neglect, but rather to remove that lawyer from practice where warranted 

  • March 2009: A public defender’s office may not necessarily be considered a “law firm” in determining whether client confidences should be imputed to all public defenders serving in that office

  • April 2009: A federal prosecutor’s personal animosity leading to a collateral investigation of an opposing defense team warrants sanction 

  • May 2009: A lawyer may be subject to reciprocal discipline in a jurisdiction where that lawyer is not licensed

  • June 2009: The Board of Immigration Appeals and Immigration Judges must once again follow Lozada guidelines when reviewing motions to reopen removal proceedings based on claims of ineffective assistance of counsel

  • July 2009: A Judicial Regulator’s Inappropriate Tactics in Dealing with a Judge who may have engaged in Judicial Misconduct may not Necessarily Rise to the Level of a Due Process Violation ARDC website reporter, 2009 including the following articles (no longer on website):

  • Important News Re: FDIC Coverage of IOLTA and Low Interest Client Trust NOW Accounts in 2009

  • Recent Developments: Dowling

Theater Arts Experience

 

Second City Theater, Performing Arts, and Non-Professional Teaching, Directing and Writing Experience, 1981-present, New York City, New York and Chicago, Illinois

 

Taught improvisational acting classes at Second City, the Victory Gardens Theater and independently

 

  • Member of Second City Chicago’s resident acting company; well-reviewed by many publications’ critics including Frank Rich of The New York Times

  • http://www.nytimes.com/1984/03/02/arts/revuew-second-city-comes-to-first-city.html and John Simon of New York Magazine; received Obie and Joseph Jefferson Award nominations for ensemble acting; performed in Second City’s 50th Anniversary Alumni Show; co-wrote and performed in Second City Revues: Exit Pursued by a Bear, Glenna Loved It!, and Orwell that Ends Well; directed Second City’s National Touring Company developing young talent including Chris Farley, Stephen Colbert https://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/stephen-colbert-second-city-late-show/Content?oid=18958403 and Amy Sedaris

  • Film acting work for Mike Nichols http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e28Y80Er8HQ and Woody Allen

  • Free-lance writer for Saturday Night Live and Sesame Street

  • Performance Artist and Comedian at Second City ETC Theater, New York’s Improv Comedy Club and West Bank Café; wrote and performed one man shows The Rick Show and Good Times praised by Second City Founder Paul Sills and West Bank Café’ Founder Lewis Black

  • Led improvisational acting workshops and performed for the Young Presidents Organization and an audience that included former President Jimmy Carter.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Contact

1000 E. 53rd St. #405, Chicago IL 60615   |   312.285.5415   |   richardthomas@richardthomasjd.com

© Copyright 2019 Richard Thomas

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