Illinois Supreme Court Appoints First Black Woman Judge in State’s History

by Xara Aziz

A watershed moment in American history has been created after the Illinois Supreme Court has officially appointed its first Black woman as a judge in the 18th judicial circuit in DuPage County.

Chantelle Porter is a former A. Traub and Associates family attorney, who was appointed to fill a vacancy in the court. Shortly after the announcement was made, she told CBS News she was “honored to be a part of this historic moment.”

Porter also serves as a partner at the Lombard Family Law Firm, where she spent her illustrious career focusing on families and children in mediation and litigation.

Her colleague, Jessica Rymut, who is a senior associate at the same firm affirmed that Porter will be an “amazing judge.”

“Chantelle has dedicated her career to advocating for fairness and equity, and her appointment is a landmark moment for DuPage County,” she told The Daily Herald. “While we, and her clients, will miss her greatly, we could not be more proud of Chantelle. We have no doubts that she will be an amazing judge.”

Porter began her career as a Guardian ad litem with the Cook County Public Guardian’s Office, where she represented several hundred children in the foster care system. She went on to become a supervisor at the DuPage County Public Defender Juvenile Division, advocating for minors in criminal delinquency proceedings and parents in abuse and neglect cases.

Porter serves on boards of the DuPage County Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and is a former president of the DuPage Association of Women Lawyers. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University and graduated from DePaul University College of Law and was admitted to practice in 2006 and is a member of both the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the DuPage County branch of the NAACP.

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