Attorneys & Staff


Board of Directors

  • Rev. Willis G. Polk, President
  • Marion Gibson, Secretary/Treasurer
  • Mary Horvay Hicks, J.D.
  • Rebecca Swisher Sagan

Attorney Bios

Rebecca Ballard DiLoreto

Executive Director

Rebecca graduated Magna Cum Laude, Amherst College, Amherst Massachusetts and earned her J.D. from the University of Kentucky College of Law. Rebecca has represented clients across Kentucky at the trial, appeal and post conviction level, during her over thirty year career. She launched the Kentucky public defender juvenile post disposition program to  represent children committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice and then served as the director of appeals and post conviction for the Kentucky public defender system for ten years. She supervised the transition of the Lexington Public Defender Office as it became part of the Kentucky Public Defender system. Since 2008, Rebecca has supervised litigation, policy and grant writing work for 501(c)(3) organizations.  She currently serves as Chair of the KBA Children’s Rights, Child Protection and Domestic Violence Study Committee, having held that post for over ten years. She is a member of the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and acts as their legislative agent with the Kentucky legislature. Rebecca has done extensive training and wrote the public defender’s first juvenile law manual.

Jan Clark

Chief Attorney for the Bluegrass and Eastern Kentucky

bio.jec.150Jan Clark has been an attorney since 1985, always serving in the public service and non­profit arena. She served as the Kentucky Bar Association’s (KBA) education director for 18 years.The KBA is an independent agency of the Kentucky Supreme Court and is the single governing body for the practice of law in Kentucky. Responsibilities were extensive and broad in the education, diversity and organizational management arena. Since retirement from the KBA, Jan helped establish a medical­legal partnership for children at the Kentucky Children’s Hospital, partnering with the Access to Justice Foundation and the University of Kentucky Health Care System. Legal work includes direct representation of children in education law, public benefits law, medical insurance, disability law, housing law and related areas. In addition, work involves systemic advocacy for low­income children with health concerns by partnering with numerous community agencies as well as governmental entities at all levels. Jan is also responsible for training medical professionals and law students in these areas as well as working in the area of funding sustainability. Jan also works in the areas of educational and juvenile representation, child welfare, systemic advocacy for children and disproportionate minority contact in the juvenile justice system through the Institute for Compassion in Justice. Jan earned a B.S. in government and administrative services at Western Kentucky University, a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Kentucky Martin School of Public Policy and a J.D. from the University of Kentucky College of Law.

Rita Ward

Chief Attorney for Greater Jefferson County

bio.rjw.150Rita, a licensed attorney in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, graduated from the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville in May 1984 and was admitted to the bar in October of that same year. She initially practiced law with the Jefferson County Public Defenders’ Office where she represented indigent clients in Juvenile, Mental Inquest, and adult criminal courts. She represented individuals with disabilities while an attorney with the Protection and Advocacy Division of the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy and later with the Louisville Legal Aid Society where she represented juveniles with education and mental health issues. She also had a general civil practice while at Legal Aid where she retired in January 2015. Rita has a BS and MS in Social Science Education and taught high school social studies for almost nine years before becoming an attorney.

MyLinda Kay Sims

Chief Operations Officer

bio.mks.150MyLinda is a licensed attorney in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, who graduated Magna Cum Laude from Salmon P. Chase College of Law in May 2011 with a Tax Controversy and Tax Litigation Area of Concentration, and was admitted to the bar in October of the same year. MyLinda also holds a Masters of Arts in Organizational Management with a concentration in Human Resources, with over ten years of organizational experience in strategic planning, work­flow process design, and operational oversight. Prior to law school, she worked as an Executive Officer in Administrative and Fiscal Affairs (accounting, technology, human resources, and contracting) at the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.