Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman

Court:  Circuit Court of Cook County
Elected, 1996; Retained, 2002*
Bar Admission:  Illinois – 1984

When Judge Coleman was elected to the Circuit Court of Cook
County, her initial assignment was the Child Protection Division
of Juvenile Court where she presided over abuse and neglect cases.  
After serving one year, Coleman was assigned to the Law Division,
jury trial section handling complex cases involving medical
malpractice, products liability and construction accidents.  
She has served in that division for more than 9 of her nearly
12 years of judicial service.

Just prior to her election as judge, Coleman served as a Deputy State’s Attorney for the Cook County State’
s Attorney’s Office.  From 1993-1996 she was Bureau Chief of the Public Interest Bureau.  She served as an
Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois from 1989 to 1993.  Coleman began her legal
career in 1984 with the State’s Attorney’s Office, first as a criminal prosecutor and later as a civil litigator
until 1989.

Since 1998 Coleman has been a regular member of the faculty at the State and Cook County New Judges’
Training Seminars on the subjects of Judicial Conduct and Judicial Ethics and Diversity issues.   Coleman
has also served as an instructor/ lecturer on trial advocacy and motion practice for the Chicago Bar
Association and the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.  Coleman has been associated with the Chicago
Coalition on Law-Related Education as a judge over high school mock trial competitions for more than ten
years.  In 2003, Judge Coleman was appointed as a member of the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on
Jury Instructions.

Judge Coleman received her law degree from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri.  
She was awarded a three year fellowship and served on the Journal of Urban and Contemporary Law.

Judge Coleman is a member of the Illinois Judges Association, the Illinois Judicial Council, the Black
Women Lawyers’ Association, the Chicago Bar Association, The Cook County Bar Association and the
Women’s Bar Association.  She has been found Highly Qualified or Qualified by every local bar association
that has reviewed her judicial qualifications.  

In addition to her many activities in the legal community, Judge Coleman is active in Catholic Charities
Adoptive Parents’ Guild; CPS Principal for a Day Program; Leadership Greater Chicago and Trinity United
Church of Christ.


*In the February 5th election, Judge Coleman won the Democratic Primary for the Illinois Appellate Court.