Land of Lincoln Announces Michael Ferry as New Executive Director

Posted by on Jun 22, 2017 in News | Comments Off on Land of Lincoln Announces Michael Ferry as New Executive Director

Ferry Michael ALand of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc. is pleased to announce that Michael Ferry has been selected to be its new Executive Director as of July 17, 2017.   Lois Wood will be retiring after 13 years as Executive Director and a total of 43 years of service at Land of Lincoln in pursuit of equal justice for low-income and senior residents of central and southern Illinois.

“The Board feels very fortunate to have attracted and hired such an outstanding candidate who is so deeply committed to our mission” said John Thies, President of Land of Lincoln’s Board of Directors, and former President of the Illinois State Bar Association.  “Land of Lincoln is a strong and stable program, as a result of Lois’ strong leadership in partnership with the private bar.  We now enter a period of financial uncertainty as the President has called for the elimination of the Legal Services Corporation which provides about 1/3 of Land of Lincoln ‘s funding.  We believe that Mike will be an excellent leader in the days and years ahead as we strive to preserve and increase our high quality legal help to people on the most critical issues in their lives.”

After growing up in Illinois, Mr. Ferry earned his B.A. at Washington University, his M.A. at the University of Illinois, and his law degree at New York University.  During law school, Mr. Ferry interned at Land of Lincoln for a summer, focusing on consumer cases.  After graduation, he accepted a position at Legal Services of Eastern Missouri where he was an attorney in their consumer unit and later Managing Attorney of their benefits unit.

While at Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, he helped create Gateway Legal Services, a not-for-profit, self-supporting legal aid program, and since 1998, he has served as its Executive Director.  Gateway provides a variety of reduced fee and pro bono service in the areas of consumer, bankruptcy and Social Security law throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area.

Mr. Ferry was presented the Vern Countryman Award in 1994, awarded nationally by the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) in recognition of outstanding efforts to strengthen and affirm the rights of low-income Americans through the practice of consumer law.  He was later asked to join the Board of NCLC and has been its President since 2005.

He is a Fellow of the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers, is chair of the American Bar Association, Business Law Section, Consumer Law Subcommittee, and is a Commissioner of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.  He has been an Adjunct Professor at both Washington University and St. Louis University Law Schools.


About Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation

Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation provides free civil legal services to low-income persons, senior citizens, veterans and the active military in 65 counties in central and southern Illinois, with the belief that all people of central and southern Illinois should have access to justice, income security, adequate housing, quality education, healthcare, safety from violence and exploitation, and the opportunity to improve their own lives.