Contact information

Center for Governmental Studies
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115





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The Illinois Local Government Lawyers Association is a membership organization and bar association for attorneys who represent local governments throughout Illinois.

In 1991-1992, a group consisting of about ten lawyers from all over the State of Illinois saw there was a real need to organize a bar association comprised of and for local government attorneys.  This group represented cities and villages almost exclusively and were not only members of the Illinois Municipal League's (IML) Home Rule Committee but also active members of the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA), the leading national and international organization devoted solely to local government law.

After several years of participating in monthly discussions fairly limited to home rule issues, Thomas W. Kelty presented the idea to a number of local government lawyers that a new organization should be created that would include any and all lawyers who represent units of local government, not only home rule units but all cities and villages, and counties, school and park districts and other special districts as well. The organization was incorporated as the Institute for Local Government Law (ILGL) in November, 1991.

At the first meeting of the Interim Board on February 4, 1993, the Interim President, Robert J. Mangler, appointed the following ten interim Directors to serve until member elections at the first annual membership meeting in February 1994:


At Large

By District


Henry J. Stephens William G. Raysa 1
Richard J. Troy Gerald M. Gorski 2
John J. Zimmermann William F. Morris 3
Don Johnson Frederick Stavins 4
Robert J. Mangler James A. Flummer 5

Thomas W. Kelty, the original founder of the Institute, was appointed Executive Director and General Counsel. 


Thanks to the hard work of those Directors, membership continued to grow.  By 2006 the Institute had 130 dues paying members. During the 2006 conference which was held at the McDonalds Lodge in Oak Brook, the Directors made the decision that the Institute had grown to the point that a new administrative structure was needed and sought an institutional affiliation that could assist with the administration of the ILGL.

Many of the Directors knew Professor James Banovetz very well.  He was affiliated with Northern Illinois University’s Center for Governmental Studies division and would often partner with Tom Kelty. Following the interviewing of Dawn Peters after talks with Professor Jim Banovetz and Northern Illinois University's Center for Governmental Studies, the Board of Directors chose to utilize and retain the services that would be provided by the Center.  The Board of Directors was confident that, with the expertise of Dawn and the capabilities of the Center to manage our organization, the ILGL association would reach and include a significantly larger number of Illinois local government lawyers as members of the Institute while maintaining the Institute’s national and international linkage.  The Board selected Dawn Peters as its Executive Director, a position she holds today, having exceeded our expectations in her job performance.

After several more years and with input from inside and outside the organization, it became clear that it would be beneficial to change the name “Institute of Local Government Law.”  The Board was determined to continue to utilize “ILGL” as it had become fairly well known.  Hence, the Board chose “Illinois Local Government Lawyers” for the new name of the association.

Any bar association is only as good as its active, participating members because it relies on its membership for input, direction and guidance.  If you’re a member of ILGL, get active.  ILGL needs you for its continued existence and success.


*Excerpts taken from ILGL's 25th Anniversary article titled, "The First Twenty-Five Years of the Illinois Local Government Lawyers Association" by Thomas W. Kelty and John J. Zimmermann, 2018.*

  • Illinois Local Government Lawyers Association
    Alli Hoebing, Executive Director, Center for Governmental Studies
    148 North 3rd Street
    Northern Illinois University
    DeKalb, IL 60115
  • Phone: 815-753-5333 | Email: | Fax: 815-753-7278