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Illinois Courts Make Major Policies Stick with Vyond

legal policies communicated

Vyond helps court staff across 102 counties understand high-stakes policies

About Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts

The Access to Justice and Court Services divisions of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts collaborate to ensure Illinois' 102-county court system has the information and resources it needs to run their courts and assist court users.




The Administrative Offices of the Illinois Courts support state judges, lawyers, circuit clerks, and other staffers in serving court users across 102 counties and 25 judicial circuits.

One of the Courts’ most important training topics is the Safe Harbor Policy, which outlines what employees can and cannot legally say to court users. While the focus is on helping employees deliver good customer service to court users, there’s also risk. Employees who stray from the policy may cross the line into giving advice and could be prosecuted for “unauthorized practice of law.” For example: employees can point users to resources, but they can’t recommend a certain lawyer.

Previously, the Courts offered in-person training on Safe Harbor, with role plays, quizzes and knowledge checks, plus text-based materials. But hosting live sessions across the state was proving unsustainable — plus, staff are bound to courtroom schedules, so it’s difficult to coordinate in-person training attendance — and text-based content alone wasn’t enough. The Administrative Office team needed an effective, engaging digital approach.

“This wasn’t a ‘nice to have’ — it’s mission-critical that our circuit clerks and court staff understand and follow Safe Harbor Policy,” says Jill Roberts, Deputy Director, Access to Justice Division of the Illinois Courts. “We wanted to remake the training into an engaging digital experience, and we’ve got to invest our limited resources wisely. Vyond videos struck me as a great fit to accomplish both.”

Vyond customer challenge


Training Specialist Angie Kanak hadn’t previously used Vyond, but she got up to speed quickly for this project. She gathered and assessed all the relevant Safe Harbor Policy training content, then created a video series that incorporated light-hearted examples of acceptable and unacceptable interactions to explain important parts of the policy.

She organized the new video series into a scope and sequence in Rise 360, with a quiz between each video to check for learner understanding.

“I’m trying to make the course very engaging and convenient,” Angie says. “If learning is inconvenient, most people will not do it. Especially in a demanding workplace, sending learners an email with five different attachments and telling them, ‘you’ll be held responsible for knowing this material’ isn’t effective or engaging.”

How Vyond helped

Angie says the real test for the newly launched Safe Harbor Policy video series will come in 2025, when the next election cycle brings in a new cohort of circuit clerks for training. But early anecdotal feedback has been extremely positive.

“The new Safe Harbor Policy is an awesome addition to our current training,” says Hon. Katherine Keefe, Clerk of the Circuit Court in McHenry County, Illinois. “It gets away from dry material with no interaction and makes the content more fun, holding the interest of our diverse staff and reinforcing their understanding of this topic that they deal with every day.”

Building on the project’s success, Angie is currently creating a statewide onboarding training series about the basics of the Illinois Court system with Vyond. The goal is to give all new court employees the same strong foundation to build upon and help overcome disparities in training resources across counties.

Angie has plans to create externally-facing content, too. She’d like to help educate court users about the court system and navigating common processes, like changing a legal name or handling probate issues, and has been experimenting with Vyond Go to help her create short explainer videos.

“I want to build out a resource library to help all Illinoisans better understand our court system,” Angie says. “Vyond can help me do that.”

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We’ve used Vyond animated videos to explain some serious legal topics, and they get positive reception from judges, state's attorneys, and circuit clerks.

Client headshot

Angie Kanak
Training Specialist, Court Services Division
Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts

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