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Illinois Judicial Speakers Bureau


Welcome from the Chief Justice

Dear Citizen,

Thank you for your interest in the Illinois Judicial Speakers Bureau. As a community leader, family member or fellow citizen, you may have questions about how the judicial system works in Illinois.

The Illinois Judicial Speakers Bureau was designed to educate citizens about the critical roles played by judges and the courts in everyday life. Through the Bureau, judges and other court personnel are available to speak to your group or organization on a variety of topics.

Cook County is the seat of the largest unified court system in the world. The Cook County Circuit Court encompasses many specialized courts, such as the probate courts, family or juvenile courts, traffic courts, criminal courts, drug courts and many others. Although contrary to public perception, conducting trials is an important function of the judiciary, it is not the sole function. The judicial system affects society in many very meaningful ways.

Please take a few moments and look over this brochure; it addresses many questions you may have about what the Speakers Bureau has to offer. If you have additional questions, or would like to request a speaker, contact the Supreme Courtís communications office at (312) 793-0870.

I am committed to educating citizens about our judiciary, and its role in your community. The Speakers Bureau is a wonderful resource, and I encourage you to take advantage of it. Our court system belongs to you, the citizens of Illinois. We look forward to hearing from you.


Rita B. Garman
Chief Justice
Supreme Court of Illinois

General Information

The Illinois Judicial Speakers Bureau was established by the Illinois Supreme Court and the Illinois Judges Association to increase awareness of our judicial system and its role in the community.  By enabling community groups to hear directly from judges and other court officials, it is hoped that citizens can better appreciate the judicial system and its function in a democracy.

The Speakers Bureau, which is composed of justices, judges and courtroom personnel statewide, will help arrange for a speaker.  You should know that our speakers are bound by the Code of Judicial Conduct and are unable to address certain matters, such as pending litigation.

All presentations are voluntary by the judges with no cost to the community.

The Illinois Judicial Speakers Bureau looks forward to working with your organization.


How It Works

A representative of the requesting group may fill out the form and fax or mail it to the communications office of the Illinois Supreme Court, in care of Dawn Frison Cook.  You will then be given the name and number of the speaker who will help you in completing the arrangements.  

The Speakers Bureau also honors requests for its "Judges in the Classroom" program designed to provide school children with the opportunity to hear firsthand from a judge how the judicial system works.  Judges can make the presentation in the classroom, or visits to the courthouse can be arranged.  


Suggested Topics

Alternative Dispute Resolution
Bail Review
Domestic Violence
Judges as Problem Solvers
Jury Duty
Juvenile Court
Plea Bargaining
Role of Judge in the Judicial Process
Role of Judge in the Community
Small Claims Court
Traffic Court

This is by no means an exhaustive list of topics.  Judges can speak on any topic relating to the administration of justice.  Judges, however, are bound by the Code of Judicial Conduct and are unable to speak on certain matters, such as pending litigation.  Please contact the Supreme Court's communications office at (312) 793-0870 if needed, for clarification.