President Illinois Judicial Council
Judge – Cook County Circuit Court
Judge Shelley was elected from Cook County’s 5th judicial subcircuit in 2006 after practicing law for nearly twenty-five years. She was born and raised in the Bronzeville area of Chicago and became involved in civic and social organizations at a young age. Judge Shelley participated in the first Free Breakfast for Children Program and Free Busing to Prisons Program. She was legal Counsel for the 2nd Ward Democratic Organization under the then alderman Rev. Congressman Bobby L. Rush.
Judge Shelley is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago with a degree in political science and a minor in economics, and is a graduate of the University of Iowa College of Law. She began her legal career at Florida Rural Legal Services working with migrant workers. Immediately prior to becoming judge she was the head assistant attorney of the litigation division of the law department of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District; litigating and managing personal injury and multi-million dollar construction contract
disputes and enforcement of environmental protection laws. She is presently the Chair of the Illinois Judicial Council, and a member of numerous other bar associations.
Judge Shelley was assigned to hear criminal domestic violence cases for two years, and has become a frequent speaker on the topic. She was also assigned to oversee residential and commercial evictions for one year. She is presently assigned to the municipal civil jury trial section.
Judge Shelley has an adult son and is a member of Trinity United Church of Christ. Her life is guided by the bible verse Micah 6:8 “He has showed you what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”