John E. Thies, a shareholder at Webber & Thies P.C. in Urbana, will be installed as the 2012-2013 president of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) today at the group's annual meeting in Wisconsin.
His installation will mark the first time a father and son have led the ISBA, the statewide association said in a news release. Thies' father, Richard L. Thies, served as president from 1986 to 1987.
Thies will succeed Chicago attorney John G. Locallo of Amari & Locallo in the one-year post.
The ISBA said Thies plans to use his term as president to focus on four major projects, including two committees, a task force and a public service project.
One of the committees will coordinate the ISBA's efforts to identify and publicize threats to fair and impartial courts and the other will work to improve the public's confidence in the judicial system while reviewing standards for judicial recusal, disqualification and substitution, the ISBA said.
A Law School Debt Task Force will examine the debt that new lawyers face and the bar group said Thies' public service project, Lawyers Feeding Illinois, will work with law firms early next year to collect food and raise funds for food banks throughout the state.
Thies' involvement with the ISBA began as a law student at the University of Illinois College of Law. After graduating from there in 1988, Thies continued his participation in the bar group through several committees. He was later elected to the IBSA Assembly, Board of Governors and in 2009, became third vice-president.
The ISBA said Thies remains involved with several other bar groups. He currently serves as vice president of the Bar Association of the Central and Southern Federal Districts of Illinois and will become president of the National Caucus of State Bar Associations in August at the American Bar Association's annual meeting in Chicago.
He also is a member of the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation board and the Character and Fitness Committee of the Supreme Court of Illinois. Thies has also volunteered his time over the years to several local philanthropic boards and committees, including the Cunningham Children's Home Foundation, Champaign-Urbana Community Schools Foundation and the Volunteer Center of Champaign County, the ISBA said.
Thies focuses his law practice on representing businesses, generation litigation and health insurance and employment law. He works alongside his father, Richard, and brother, David. Thies lives in Urbana with his wife, Terry, and their two daughters.