William G. and Rose M. Mays Martin Luther King Jr. Lectureship: The Honorable Timothy C. Evans
Event Date: Monday, January 21, 2013
Timothy C. Evans serves as the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, the largest of the 22 judicial circuits in Illinois and one of the largest unified court systems in the world.
He was first elected Chief Judge in September 2001 by unanimous vote of the circuit judges. He was re-elected in 2004, 2007, and 2010. Only the fourth person to serve as Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, he also is the first African American to serve in the position.
During his ten years as Chief Judge, Evans has brought sweeping reforms to the court that are both innovative and compassionate. Among his efforts are critical changes to the bail setting process; the creation of court-wide divisions dedicated to hearing only domestic violence matters and elder law matters; and the expansion of problem solving courts dedicated to mental health treatment, veterans support, drug treatment, and support to women charged with prostitution.
Under his leadership, there has been an unparalleled growth in free legal services for low-income, self-represented litigants, including a free mediation program to help homeowners facing foreclosure.
Throughout his career, Chief Judge Evans has been an outspoken voice for equal opportunities for women and minorities.
He is a 1965 graduate of the University of Illinois. He received his J.D. from The John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois, in 1969. In 2009, he became the first judge from Illinois to receive the William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence from the National Center for State Courts. The award is one of the most prestigious judicial honors in the country and has been presented annually since 1996 by the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.