Distinguished Counsel, Uncompromising Ethics

Fellows of the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) are recognized by judges, other attorneys and clients as the gold standard for family law. In addition to their individual practice, Fellows conduct legal education programs, lead community outreach, and support philanthropic initiatives. They also lead the charge in shaping family law legislation and enacting legal reform.

Of the several thousand family law attorneys in the State of Illinois, 95 are practicing Academy Fellows. To earn the distinction of Fellow, these remarkable lawyers–most with decades of experience in family law–have sustained the highest principles in their practice and passed a rigorous review process.

Renowned for providing outstanding service to their clients, Illinois Fellows raise the bar for the practice of family law. Not only do they advance the profession with their exceptional advocacy and uncompromising ethics, they also benefit their clients through expert guidance and protection.

AAML Fellows address myriad issues to achieve the best outcome for their clients, including

  • Divorce
    • Alimony
  • Children
    • Custody (parental responsibility)
    • Visitation
    • Support
  • Agreements
    • Prenuptial
    • Postnuptial
  • Valuation and division
    • Business
    • Property
  • Alternative Dispute Resolutions
    • Mediation
    • Arbitration
    • Collaboration

Get to know. . .

Saundra RiceWhy did you apply to become a Fellow of the AAML?

My mentor, Sandra Murphy, was the national president when I was a young associate, and the AAML was the most respected organization in our field.

What do you find rewarding about being a Fellow of the AAML?

The connections to other lawyers nationally and internationally.

What area of family law do you find most interesting?

Solving complicated financial matters in a mediated setting. We can be extremely creative.

How long have you been practicing family law?

My entire career, almost 27 years.

Outside the office, what do you do for fun?

I love to ski and travel.

What are you most looking forward to in the following year, personally and or professionally?

More skiing and traveling!

What is the best piece of career advice you have ever received?

Get it done. There are many people who talk about getting things done, but if you just put your head down and do good work, the rest will follow.

Saundra L. Rice, principal at Griffin McCarthy & Rice LLP with offices in Chicago, Burr Ridge and Lincolnshire, can be reached at srice@gmrfamilylaw.com and 312-782-4244.

William Boyd Scholarship for African American Law Students

The Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers sponsors the AAML Illinois Chapter William Stewart Boyd Scholarship for African American Law Students. This scholarship is a one-time award of $5,000 to a first-year law student attending Illinois Law Schools. It is named for the Hon. William Stewart Boyd, who has spent more than two decades as an Associate Judge for the Cook County Circuit Court, and who has agreed to mentor the scholarship winners.

Kyle Johnson

Kyle Johnson of Oswego, IL is this year’s winner of the Illinois Chapter’s second annual William Stewart Boyd Scholarship for African-American Law Students.

Kyle graduated from Northern Illinois University with a B.S. in Political Science and emphasis in public law. Enrolled as a 1-L at the NIU College of Law, Kyle recognizes the sensitive nature of family law proceedings and states that he hopes to “smooth the road” from the start of such cases to their conclusion.