Rural Practice Initiative

The mission of the ISBA Standing Committee on the Rural Practice Initiative is to increase access to attorneys in rural areas of Illinois. In furtherance of this mission, it will identify and implement a viable program to support the establishment of young lawyers in the practice of law in rural parts of the state in need of lawyers. This program may include a clearinghouse to connect young lawyers willing to join or establish a law practice in rural areas with experienced practitioners looking to transition their practice. The Standing Committee will also identify potential sources of funding to support the young lawyers as they join or establish a practice, including potentially support for student debt payments, moving expenses, and the expenses associated with starting a practice. 

View the Rural Practice Fellowship Program

Committee Roster

  • Daniel R. Thies, Webber & Thies PC, Urbana, Chair
  • Sarah J. Taylor, Barrett Twomey Broom Hughes & Hoke LLP, Carbondale, Vice-Chair
  • Tom T. Archer, Chicago Title Insurance Company, Chicago, Member
  • John R. Bailen, Bruce Farrel Dorn & Assoc, Chicago, Member
  • Michael G. Bergmann, Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI), Chicago, Member
  • Perry J. Browder, Simmons Hanly Conroy, Alton, Member
  • Jeff R. Brown, Bloomington, Member
  • Amelia Sue Buragas, Bloomington, Member
  • Trent L. Bush, Ward Murray Pace & Johnson PC, Sterling, Member
  • Cindy G. Buys, Southern IL University School of Law, Carbondale, Member
  • John F. Erbes, Murphysboro, Member
  • Brian D. Flynn, Flynn Guymon & Garavalia, Belleville, Member
  • Clarissa P. Gaff, Land of Lincoln Legal Legal Aid Inc, East St. Louis, Member
  • Ebony R. Huddleston, Godfrey, Member
  • William A. Peithmann, The Peithmann Law Office, Mahomet, Member
  • Laurel A. Rigertas, Saint Charles, Member
  • Dean Jennifer L. Rosato Perea, DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, Member
  • Hon. Ron D. Spears, Spears Dispute Resolution, Taylorville, Member
  • Shira D. Truitt, The Truitt Law Firm LLC, O Fallon, Member
  • Angelica W. Wawrzynek, Armstrong Grove & Wawrzynek LLC, Mattoon, Member
  • Lois J. Wood, Ret., Edwardsville, Member
  • Heather A. McPherson, McPherson Law Offices, Freeport, Board Liaison
  • Rory T. Weiler, Weiler & Lengle PC, St. Charles, Board Liaison
  • Krista L. Appenzeller, Illinois State Bar Association, Springfield, Staff Liaison
  • Stacey Marie Jonas, Illinois Bar Foundation - Illinois Justice Corps, Chicago, Staff Liaison