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Judicial Education in Illinois

Judicial Education

Under the auspices of the Supreme Court of Illinois, the Judicial Education Division of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts develops and delivers judicial and non-judicial branch continuing education programs in coordination with the Supreme Court of Illinois Judicial College, Supreme Court Committees, Supreme Court Commissions, and other entities tasked with the provision of continuing education for Illinois judges and justice partners.  Continuing education program offerings are broad and consider emerging legal, sociological, cultural, and technical issues that impact decision making, aid the effective administration of justice, and promote public integrity, trust, and confidence in the courts. 

Faculty Development

Participation in faculty development is strongly recommended.  Faculty development workshops provide an opportunity for prospective faculty to learn and practice adult learning theories and overview educational activities meant to enhance participant engagement, identify and structure learning objectives and develop instructional strategies that lead to effective and successful presentations.

Minimum Continuing Judicial Education Hours

The Supreme Court of Illinois requires each active Illinois judge to attain 30 hours of continuing judicial education every two years through attendance at the biennial Education Conference.

Mandatory Events

Education Conference

Education Conference is held every two years in even years. The Conference is divided into two identical sessions – winter and spring. Circuit and Associate judge attendance is evenly divided between the winter and spring sessions. Appellate Court judges attend the spring session in conjunction with the Appellate Court Conference, a one-day event scheduled the first day of Education Conference.

Flexible Conference scheduling affords judges the opportunity to select from a wide range of topics over five days. The Conference Plenary is held on Wednesday morning of each Conference session – all the judiciary are required to attend. Conference sessions are selective and organized by topical tracks – Civil, Criminal, Ethics (Ethics, Judicial Conduct and Professionalism) and Family and may include experiential learning opportunities such as pre-Conference observations or Conference field trips.

New Judge Seminar

Newly elected and appointed judges are required by the Supreme Court of Illinois to attend the first New Judge Seminar offered after transition to the bench. New Judge Seminar is a five-day program with a curriculum that provides new judges the opportunity to overview and critically consider substantive and procedural matters, courtroom management, procedural fairness, access to justice, ethics, judicial conduct and professionalism, and decision making in a collaborative learning environment.