Meet Karla


















Personal Notes

Born and raised in Freeport, Illinois, Karla has lived in Stephenson County most of her life aside from her years in college and law school.  Much of her family live in the region, including her parents, her mother who grew up on a farm near Lena, IL, and her father having grown up in Jo Daviess County. Karla’s sister is also an attorney, who resides on the east coast.  Karla has strong ties to Stephenson County and the neighboring towns within the 15th Judicial Circuit and has dedicated her legal career to serving the people of the region.   


Educational Achievements 

A 1988 graduate of Freeport High School, she obtained an Associates of Science Degree at Highland Community College, and her Bachelor of Science in Management at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, Illinois. Upon graduation from NIU, she returned to Freeport to work at the law firm formerly known as Plager, Hasting, & Krug, Ltd. where she had gained earlier experience working while still in high school, and then during tax seasons while attending Highland.  This valuable legal experience in the field as a litigation paralegal and research assistant, confirmed for her the desire to become an attorney. She and her sister met their shared goal of attending law school and graduating together at Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, Florida.


While a law student, she served on the law review and as a legal research assistant for Thomas Hornsby, a retired Dixon, IL (Lee County) Circuit Court Judge who became a professor at the Florida Coastal School of Law.  While in Florida, she worked for the Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, which provides free legal assistance on civil matters to those who could not otherwise afford legal representation.  She assisted mainly in domestic violence cases and orders of protection.  Karla was involved with an Elder Law Clinic under the supervision of a licensed attorney where she assisted senior citizens on limited incomes.


At her graduation from law school, she was presented with the Barbara McCalla Award which honors a graduating law student who demonstrates compassion and commitment to both the community and the law school, and who has a strong interest in the support of justice for the less fortunate.  Karla then returned to Freeport, IL sat for the bar exam, and obtained her Illinois bar license on November 7, 2002. 


Career Experience 

Karla M. Niemann was hired by Michael P. Bald, then State’s Attorney, starting her legal career with the Stephenson County State’s Attorney’s office. While in the State’s Attorney’s office, her work included handling misdemeanors, traffic matters, bond hearings for new arrests, and assisting in the juvenile courtroom and the felony courtroom.


Four years later, in 2007, Karla was offered a position in private practice with Mahoney & Hauser, Ltd.  working with that team for ten years until the firm dissolved their partnership in 2016. While in private practice Ms. Niemann handled a variety of civil and criminal cases including, but not limited to, divorces, family law (such as child custody, visitation, and child support), adoptions, guardianships, real estate matters (buying or selling a home, and foreclosures), and evictions, personal legal challenges such as small claims, personal injury, estate planning, orders of protection, and felonies, also sealing and expunging of records, obtaining FOID (Firearm Owner’s Identification Cards) privileges for those that had been denied by the Illinois State Police, as well as traffic matters, and reinstatement hearings with the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office for those who had lost their driver’s license privileges.


With the dissolution of the Mahoney & Hauser, Ltd. partnership, Ms. Niemann launched her own firm, Law Office of Karla M. Niemann, in 2017.  By 2020, experiencing considerable professional success within the community, Karla chose to purchase and renovate a building to accommodate her growing practice. She opened at the new location September 2021 and shortened the business name to Niemann Law. While her current practice focuses on family and criminal law, she still handles a good variety of cases. 


During her time in private practice, beginning in 2019, Ms. Niemann was under contract with the Stephenson County Board to work with the Stephenson County Public Defender’s Office on juvenile abuse and neglect cases representing the parents, or as guardian ad litem for the children.  Though countywide budget cuts caused that contract to end she continued working with that office on special appointments until December 2020 as a public defender until again, due to budget constraints, those appointments came to an end.


She currently serves as President of the Stephenson County Bar Association, where she has been a member since 2003. Ms. Niemann is an active member in the Illinois State Bar Association, a member of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington D.C. 


Commitment to Community

Within the Freeport and Stephenson County community, Karla M. Niemann gives of her time and talent in a variety of ways.  Karla completed the Highland Leadership Institute in 2009 and has assisted at the Stephenson County Fair Home Economics building for more than 30 years.  She has been an actively involved member of the Freeport Noon Kiwanis Club since 2007 including serving on the Board of Directors for six years.  Karla also served as a board member for Tyler’s Justice Center For Children in Stockton, Illinois, for seven years, and a member of the board for the Stephenson County Historical Society for three years. In addition, Ms. Niemann served on the Human Rights Commission at Malcom Eaton Enterprises.



Your vote for Karla M. Niemann is a vote to ensure that all of us - that each of us - is protected under the law.  Marking your ballot for Karla M. Niemann is a vote for experience, ethics, and commitment, a vote that will allow equal justice for all the people.



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Karla M. Niemann offers wide and varied legal knowledge and experience, strong ethics and accountability, and deep commitment to the people of the 15th Judicial Circuit Court. The 15th  Circuit is comprised of Stephenson, Jo Daviess, Carroll, Ogle and Lee Counties. 


Karla has more than 20 years of legal experience and will adhere to the high standards of integrity and ethical conduct required of the position. She holds, and will exercise, the appropriate temperament of courtesy, consideration, firmness, fairness, patience and dignity to all parties involved.  Her legal experience, and her exemplary dedication to both her clients and to the profession, coupled with her high level of community involvement makes Karla M. Niemann the best choice for Circuit Court Judge.

15th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Race

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