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Justice Bertina E. Lampkin

Appellate Justice
Bertina E. Lampkin
First District

Bertina E. Lampkin was born in Chicago, IL. She attended Hendricks Elementary School and graduated as valedictorian of DuSable High School. She received her B.A. degree from Roosevelt University and her J.D. degree from DePaul University College of Law. She was an Assistant State’s Attorney (1974-1985) and an Assistant Corporation Counsel (1985-1987) before her appointment as an associate judge. She served as an Associate Judge from 1987 to 1992, serving as Assistant Supervisor of the Traffic Division, and as a Circuit Court Judge from 1992 to 2009, serving as supervisor of the Domestic Violence Courts, acting supervisor of Night Narcotics Court, and as a supervisor in the Criminal Division. She was appointed to the Appellate Court in 2009. She currently serves in the Fourth Division of the Illinois Appellate Court as the Presiding Justice.

In November 2016, she was elected to the Illinois Appellate Court. She has served as a Presiding Justice and as Chair of the Executive Committee for the Appellate Court. She has served as a member of five different Illinois Supreme Court committees and has served as Chair of three of them, the Criminal Law and Probation Administration Committee, the Illinois Pattern Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases Committee, and she currently chairs the Illinois Appellate Court Administrative Committee. She has also been a contributing topic editor to the Illinois Judicial Benchbook on Criminal Law and Procedure.

Additionally, she currently serves on the Appellate Lawyers Association Rules Committee and as Chair of the Appellate Court Administrative Committee, where she oversees the Illinois Supreme Court’s Volunteer Pro Bono Program for Criminal Appeals.

She has taught judges in various aspects of the law for 24 years, including death penalty litigation, proper handling of guilty pleas, jury selection and appellate practice. In the past, she served as Secretary and Vice-President of the Cook County Bar Association and Vice-Chair of the Judicial Evaluation Hearing Committee for the Chicago Bar Association.

She is a member of the Illinois Judges’ Association, The Illinois Judicial Council, The Illinois State Bar Association, The Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, and the American, Chicago, Cook County and Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, Inc.

She has won numerous awards including the Cook County Bar Association’s Judicial Award, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office C.F. Stradford Award, the National Black Prosecutors Award, the DePaul University College of Law Distinguished Service to the Profession Award, and the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois’ Mary Heftel Hooten Award for Service to the Profession.

She is an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She is a member of the Dean’s Council for DePaul University College of Law. She was very active in her church locally and nationally and has served as a foster parent, as the President of the Steward Board, a choir member, Director of the Matte E. Coleman Circle of the Missionary Society (working with youths 12-17) and as coordinator of the Adopt a Grandparent Program. Her motto is “Only what you do for Christ will last!”

Prior to her election to the Appellate Court, she was rated highly qualified by the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Chicago Council of Lawyers, the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois and the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago for her position. In 2016 all but one of the bar associations that rated her for the Illinois Appellate Court gave her their highest rating.

She is very proud of the work she has done with young African Americans. She has obtained summer employment for over 25 years for high school and college students in law firms, including Duane Morris LLP, Cooney & Conway, Cogan & Power, P.C., Power Rogers LLP, Clifford Law Offices PC, Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, and several others. She has also hired four female African American law clerks and helped others obtain legal employment. She continues to work for diversity, equity, and inclusion of African Americans in the legal profession and is a mentor to many.