MEET JUDGE OWENS J. SHELBY
FROM THE COMMUNITY, FOR THE COMMUNITY, AND FOREVER PART OF THE COMMUNITY
On May 19, 2023, the Supreme Court of Illinois appointed me as a Circuit Judge of Cook County in the 7th judicial subcircuit. Having grown up in the Austin Community and subsequently moving to the western suburbs as an adult, my aspirations for public service are rooted in this community. My educational background includes graduating from Providence St. Mel High School, Morehouse College, and Chicago-Kent College of Law. I have also consistently volunteered in this area by mentoring youth, speaking at career days and community outreach programs, coaching youth basketball, and serving on boards for St. Angela School, Better Boy’s Foundation, NAACP Westside Chapter, College Mentoring Experience, St. Joseph Services, and the National Black Prosecutor’s Association.
As for my professional experience, I began my legal career by serving as Assistant Counsel to the Illinois House of Representative Office of the Speaker in Springfield, IL. Shortly thereafter, I chose to continue my career in service by working as a state’s attorney for Cook County. I held this position for 15 years, where I made it my duty to ensure that every person I encountered was treated with fairness, respect, and dignity. On a daily basis, I fought for the rights of crime victims while ensuring that defendants were also treated impartially. I spent my last year as a prosecutor working in the Community Justice Center – West collaborating with community stakeholders, law enforcement, and residents to create programming and seminars aimed at crime prevention. As a judge, I utilize these same skills to serve with integrity, diligence, and an unwavering commitment to fairness.