201 W. Lake St. #112
Chicago, IL 60606

(312) 327-6777

Biographical Info

Educational Background
I earned a B.A. in Political Science and German Studies from Northwestern University, and a J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law . As part of my undergraduate studies, I studied in Rothenburg, Germany for a summer semester.

Professional History
I was appointed to serve as a Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County in December 2010. Prior to that I was a Cook County Public Defender from 1991 until my appointment to the bench. I started as a 711 Law Clerk in 1990 and left as the Deputy Chief of the Felony Trial Division. I am also an Adjunct Professor at Loyola University School of Law (1996 - present: Legal Writing and Analysis Courses), The John Marshall Law School (2005 - present: Trial Advocacy and Clinic), and this past Fall semester, DePaul Law School (Advanced Criminal Procedure: Pretrial). I did not teach for the Fall semester at Loyola or John Marshall because of campaigning.

Bar Affiliations
Chicago Bar Association, Black Women Lawyers Association, Women's Bar Association, Cook County Bar Association, and previously, Illinois State Bar Association.

Civic Affiliations
LaSalle Street Church, Constitutional Rights Foundation, previously Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Women.

Candidate Statement

What do you perceive as the greatest obstacles to justice, if any?
Lack of effective funding, lack of effective training and education of some judges, lawyers and other members of the criminal justice and civil court systems in not only the laws and procedures, but in dealing with diversity and other humanity issues, and volume.

Do judges have an obligation to improve public understanding of the role of courts?
Yes. A judge is a public servant. The Court's purpose is to promote justice and serve the public interest. The judiciary's role in our system of government is critical to our government's effective operation. All citizens of this state need to understand the role and purpose of courts, and particularly, their part --be it as a citizen exercising the right to view public trials, a plaintiff or defendant, a witness or a juror. Judges not only have an opportunity but a responsibility to ensure that every person who comes before the court understands the court proceedings, is treated with dignity and respect, and is accorded a fair hearing. Our laws recognize the judge's responsibility in laws such as those governing felony prison sentencing. Judges are required to not only announce the sentence, but to explain what the sentence means practically when an offender is given time credit or will serve less than the full sentence. Judges must fully explain and admonish criminal defendants of the consequences of pleading guilty and the right to an appeal. Even before beginning a court call, judges should, and several do, explain how court will proceed, what are the roles of the various people working in the courtroom, and the conduct expectations of the public. These are all important steps judges can take within the court system. But also, by engaging in educational activities in the general and legal communities judges can further fulfill the necessary role of improving public understanding.

Evaluations and Endorsements

Bar Evaluations
Chicago Bar Association - Qualified (2009, 2011) Asian American Bar Association - Qualified (2009, 2012) Black Women Lawyers' Association - Recommended (2009, 2012) Chicago Council of Lawyers - Qualified (2009, 2012) Decalogue Society of Lawyers - Recommended (2009, 2012) Hellenic Bar Association - Recommended (2009, 2012) Hispanic Lawyers Association - Qualified (2009, 2012) Illinois State Bar Association - Highly Qualified (2009, 2012) Lesbian and Gay Bar Association - Recommended (2009, 2012) Puerto Rican Bar Association - Qualified (2009, 2012) Women's Bar Association - Recommended (2009, 2012)

Other Endorsements
Chicago Federation of Labor Citizen Action/Illinois Cook County Democratic Party Hon. Jan Schakowsky Indo-American Democratic Organization IVI-IPO

Return to Candidate Search