Hon. Debra Walker
Debra Walker was elected judge for the Circuit Court of Cook County in November 2008. After three months in Traffic Court, she was assigned to the Domestic Relations Division where she is currently a Team Lead. Judge Walker hears disputes pertaining to custody, visitation, property division, maintenance, child support, and domestic violence. Formerly, she was assigned to Parentage Court where she presided over an emotionally-charged, high-volume call with numerous pro se litigants, necessitating courtroom management based on the tenets of professionalism and civility.
Prior to joining the bench, Judge Walker was a partner with Clausen Miller, P.C. where she specialized in defending professionals sued for malpractice.
Judge Walker graduated from the University of Illinois College of Business in 1982 with an accounting degree. She passed the CPA examination and served as a staff accountant with McGladrey prior to attending law school. She graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1987. She serves her alma mater as a senior alumnus on the University of Illinois College of Law Diversity Committee and as a member of the University of Illinois Moms Association Board of Directors. Previously, she served on the Board of Visitors and was the charter chairman of its Recent Alumni Advisory Board. Judge Walker has received the University of Illinois College of Law Distinguished Alumni Award, the Alumni Loyalty Award, and the Outstanding Recent Alumni Award for Alumni Service.
In 2012, Judge Walker was appointed to the Access to Justice Commission by the Illinois Supreme Court. She was elected to the Illinois Judges Foundation Board of Directors and has served on the Board of the National Conference of Bar Foundations since 2013. She is a past president of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, the Illinois Bar Foundation, and the North Michigan Avenue Business & Professional Women’s Network, and is an active member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the Illinois Judges Association, and the Economic Club of Chicago.
In 2001, Judge Walker was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to serve on the Special Supreme Court Committee on Civility, which recommended the establishment of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism in 2005.
Judge Walker has served on the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism since its inception in 2005. She was Commission Chair from 2012-2018.