Judicial Speakers Bureau

About the Lake County Circuit Court

The State of Illinois is divided into 24 judicial circuits. Lake County makes up the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit. There are 15 Circuit Judges and 24 Associate Judges in the Circuit Court of Lake County. Over 250,000 new cases are filed annually. Statewide, Lake County is one of the most progressive counties in the administration of justice and is a leader in speedy disposition of cases filed in the courts.

About the Judicial Speakers Bureau

Because our justice system can sometimes appear to be complex, the Lake County Circuit Court offers presentations designed to explain, in everyday language, just how your judicial system works.

The Judicial Speakers Bureau of Lake County provides judges to speak to a variety of groups throughout the county. Students, seniors, public service organizations, business groups, advocates, and legal groups are a few examples. Judges regularly assist teachers in the classroom by judging mock trials, addressing career programs, assisting with oratorical contests, advising students, and presenting real-life trial examples as learning tools. Presentations on a number of topics are available to schools and civic and business groups in Lake County.

Presented by the Circuit Judges of Lake County. For more information about the Speakers Bureau, please read the Speakers Bureau Brochure (PDF).

Arranging Events

To arrange for a speaker, please contact Arminda Badgerow at 847-377-3903 or use the online registration form. We request 30 days advance notice in order to arrange for a speaker.

Suggested Topics

Topics are available to fit the interests of any organization. Examples include:
  • Judge's Role and Responsibilities
  • Domestic Violence: The Judicial Response
  • Gangs and Juvenile Crime
  • Sentencing Criminal Offenders
  • Drugs and Alcohol: A Judicial Perspective
  • Jury Service and You
  • Traffic Court / DUI Court
  • Divorce: Laws and Lessons
  • Overview of the Civil Court System
  • How the Criminal Justice System Works
  • Seniors and the Law
  • Teens, Parents and the Law
  • Special Programs for Schools
If there is a specific law related subject your group would like to explore that is not listed here, feel free to request it. We will make every effort to meet your group's request.

Presentations can be adapted to run anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the needs of a particular group.

Law Day Activities

Each year on Law Day (May 1), the Judges invite students from every school in Lake County to participate in one of our many Law Day activities. This event provides opportunities for students of all ages to gain insight into their court system.

The Law Day programs may include: a coloring contest for students in grades kindergarten through 3rd, a poster contest illustrating the Law Day theme for students in grades 4 through 6, an essay contest for 7th and 8th grade students, and a photo contest for college and high school students.

In addition, all Lake County high schools are given the opportunity to bring students to the courthouse during the week of Law Day to witness actual civil and criminal cases in progress; participate as witnesses or jurors in a mock trial; attend a sentencing of an individual who has been convicted, for example, of a reckless homicide or DUI; visit the Criminal Investigations Division of the Sheriff's Department; listen to a presentation given by the Crime Lab; and take a tour of the jail facilities in Lake County.

Other Activities

Law Merit Badge Seminar (January)

Following the requirements of the Law Merit Badge booklet, the judge and staff address the differences between civil and criminal laws; the origin of law; the development of the jury system; the Justinian Code and the Magna Carta; and famous trials in history. Judges preside over a mock trial with the Scouts serving as members of the jury. Guided tours of the Jail, Morgue and Courthouse are also offered as part of the program..

High School Mock Trial Invitational

Teams from Cook, DuPage, Kane, and Lake Counties are invited to participate, representing area high schools. The High School Mock Trial Invitational is governed by the rules and procedures of the Illinois State Bar Association mock trial competition. The tournament is sponsored by the Lake County Law Related Education Initiative (LRE) in partnership with the Circuit Court of Lake County and the support of the Lake County Bar Association and the Juvenile Officers Association.

Liberty Bell Award (April)

The Liberty Bell Award originated in the 1960s in Michigan to honor extraordinary service to the justice system and dedication to the furtherance of the administration of justice. The awards have been bestowed by the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit since 1996. Honorees are nominated and selected by the Circuit Judges.

Juror Appreciation Week (October)

During this week we recognize and honor citizens who have been summoned to the courthouse ready and willing to serve on juries as well as those who have performed their civic duty in the past.

Judges Reading Program (As invited)

If your school or library program need readers, please consider contacting us. Several judges have been guest readers.

Judicial Public Awareness Programs occur as requested.