An Indian-American is among the 34 candidates who will seek appointments to the 17 ‘Associate Judge’ vacancies in Cook County, Illinois. The candidates were selected by the Nominating Committee of the Circuit Court of Cook County, the agency said in an April 18 press release.
Cook County State’s Attorney Sanju Oommen Green, is in the list of 34 nominees. Her areas of practice include criminal, civil and family law. She was also nominated in 2016 for the same position.
A graduate of Loyola University, with a JD from the Loyola University School of Law, Oommen Green has been licensed for18 years. She has served as the first vice president of the Asian American Bar Association in 2013, and later as president of the AABA. Oommen Green is a also a founding member of the Chicago Chapter of the National Asian Pacific Islander Prosecutors Bar Association and also served as secretary on its national board, according to her bio on the AABA site.
As a State’s Attorney, she was the First Chair in the Felony Trial Division, where she handled a wide range of felony cases. “Sanju has extensive trial experience, having tried hundreds of felony trials. She has written numerous appellate briefs and argued before the Illinois Appellate Court,” the AABA said.
Oommen Green is active in local and state bar associations, including the Indian American Bar Association of Chicago, the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois and the Chicago Bar Association. She is a founding member of the Chicago Chapter of the National Asian Pacific Islander Prosecutors Bar Association and also served as secretary on its national board.
“Sanju is passionate about mentoring” the AABA says, and has served as a mentor through various organizations, including Cabrini Connections, a non-profit that helps economically disadvantaged students succeed in high school. She has also served as a Board Member of the Indo-American Democratic Organization’s Leadership 21 Board and was also a member of the Board of Directors of Mount Assisi Academy.
The 34 nominees were selected from 272 applications submitted by licensed attorneys, of which the committee interviewed 248 applicants.
According to regulations, the Nominating Committee has to select twice the number of candidates to fill available vacancies and submit the list to the Chief Judge. Circuit judges are sent secret ballots for each nominee, and they must vote for one candidate for each vacancy to be filled. The judges must return the ballots to the Director within 14 days of the date the ballots were distributed.
Oommen Green and every other nominee was evaluated by The Chicago Bar Association and the Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening. The Alliance is made up of 11 minority and ethnic bar organizations including the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area, the Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, the Chicago Council of Lawyers, the Cook County Bar Association, the Decalogue Society of Lawyers, the Hellenic Bar Association of Illinois, the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago, the Puerto Rican Bar Association, and the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois.
Each bar association issued its own ratings for individual Associate Judge applicants. Oommen received “Highly Recommended” ratings from at least two bar associations, as well as one ‘Well Qualified’ rating, as well as five ‘Recommended’ and four ‘Qualified’ ratings from others.