For the Public

Urbana Attorney to Become 136th President of Illinois State Bar Association

Chris Ruys Communications
Chris Ruys
312-337-7746 or
For Immediate Release: 
June 12, 2012

CHICAGO, IL – John E. Thies, a shareholder at Webber & Thies, P.C., in Urbana, will be installed Friday, June 15, as the 136th president of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) at the organization’s annual meeting at The Abbey Resort in Fontana, Wisconsin. His installation marks the first time both a father and son have led the Association. Thies’s father, lawyer Richard L. Thies, was ISBA president from 1986-87.

The 33,000-member ISBA, with offices both in Springfield and Chicago, provides professional services to Illinois lawyers, and education and services to the public.

During his term as president, Thies will place special emphasis on four major projects that derive from his own experiences in life and the law. A Law School Debt task force will examine the heavy educational debt burden faced by new lawyers as they begin their careers and how that impacts the delivery of legal services. A Committee on Fair and Impartial Courts will coordinate the ISBA’s efforts to identify and publicize threats to fair and impartial courts due to lack of funding.

A committee formed to review standards for judicial recusal, disqualification and substitution will work on enhancing the public’s confidence in our judicial system. And, a public service project called Lawyers Feeding Illinois will encourage law firms to collect food and raise funds for food banks across the state in early 2013.

Thies became involved in the ISBA Law Student Division while at the University of Illinois College of Law. After graduating from law school, he continued bar work by joining the Membership and Bar Activities Committee, eventually becoming chair. Other ISBA appointments followed to the Section on Civil Practice and Procedure, and a number of other committees.

He was elected to serve on the ISBA’s 27-member Board of Governors after several years as an elected member of the ISBA Assembly. In 2009 he was elected ISBA Third Vice President and has held officer posts ever since.

In August Thies will become president of the National Caucus of State Bar Associations during the American Bar Association’s Annual Meeting in Chicago. He is vice president of the Bar Association of the Central and Southern Federal Districts of Illinois, has co-chaired a capital campaign fund for Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation and serves on its board, and is a member of the Character and Fitness Committee of the Supreme Court of Illinois.

At the local level, Thies has served on numerous philanthropic boards and committees, frequently in leadership positions. They have included Cunningham Children’s Home Foundation, Champaign-Urbana Community Schools Foundation and the Volunteer Center of Champaign County.

Thies received a B.A. with distinction from Indiana University in 1984, and his J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1988. He practices in the area of business representation and general litigation, and resides in Urbana with his wife Terry and their two daughters.

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