Hon. Debjani Desai
Judge // Circuit Court of Cook County
Please provide a description of your practice.
I am currently assigned as a Judge in the Traffic Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County in the Daley Center. Cases in this division include all non-felony cases alleging violations of traffic laws.
Why are you a member of the WBAI?
I joined WBAI to empower myself and empower other women in the legal profession. In a sea of thousands of lawyers in Illinois, it is easy to feel drowned out. WBAI gives members a real opportunity to stand out and shape the legal community and community-at-large by providing opportunities to lead, learn, network, and develop.
What do you think is the best way to empower women in law?
While mentorship is important, I believe in the value of sponsorship and investing in others. Sponsorship includes promoting and advancing another’s interests, such as pulling others up along the way as you continue to rise. I am thankful to have received that type of support from the WBAI over the course of my career.
What are you most looking forward to in the following year, personally/professionally?
Right now, I am learning a new job, juggling a 22-month-old and 2-month-old, serving as an officer of two bar associations, and running a county-wide campaign. I’m looking forward to every moment that I can get some rest and relaxation.
Tell us something interesting about you.
On July 14, 2023, I was sworn-in to an at-large judicial seat by the Honorable Chief Justice Mary Jane Theis. As a woman of color, daughter of immigrants from Kolkata, West Bengal, and first lawyer in my family, this was the proudest day of my career.