Judge Debra B. Walker
// Circuit Court of Cook County
Description of your practice:
Domestic Relations Team Lead for Team E. Previously, I was a defense trial attorney with Clausen Miller, P.C.
Why are you a member of the WBAI?
I joined the WBAI about 30 years ago as a young lawyer who saw the WBAI as a great vehicle for mentoring, networking and business development. Almost immediately, I was asked to chair committees like the Joint Professional Dinner and Programs Committee.
I was elected to the board in 1993 and as President in 1998. My leadership of the WBAI opened many additional doors for me. In particular, WBAI Past President Mary Ann McMorrow witnessed my skills and appointed me to what is now the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. I met U.S. Senator Dick Durbin when I was WBAI President and he appointed me to his commission that vetted federal court judges.
With confidence, I can say that most of my appointments to various boards and commissions were a result of my demonstrated leadership for the WBAI. Of course, I remain a devoted lifetime member as a thank you for all that the organization has done for me. I also very much enjoy mentoring those who have followed me into WBAI leadership roles.
What do you think is the best way to empower women in law?
The most effective way to empower women in law is to provide them with business development training so they can develop their book of business; leadership training so they can become the “boss” one day; and excellent mentoring programs like the one offered via the WBAI in partnership with the Commission on Professionalism, where I am a commissioner.
What are you most looking forward to in the following year, personally/professionally?
Personally, I look forward to watching my daughter, a college freshman, adapt to life at my alma mater! Professionally, I look forward to being retained as a circuit court judge on November 3, as well as working with the WBAI and Domestic Relations lawyers on eliminating bullying and sexual harassment in our profession and in the courts.
Tell us something interesting about you.
I grew up as a feisty farm kid! I now own the farm with my brother and sister. I also love to sing and travel. Let’s pray that this pandemic ends soon, so we can get back to exploring far-away places.