Judge Howard has over thirty years of legal experience. She was an attorney for the Cook County Public Defender’s Office for nineteen years where she represented poor people accused of crime. She was formerly an assistant professor of business law at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and also a staff attorney for the Washington State Senate Judiciary Committee.
Judge Howard was elected to the circuit Court of Cook County in 2006. She is currently assigned to the Criminal Division at 26th & California. She hears cases ranging in severity from simple drug possession to murder. Prior to being assigned to Criminal Court, Judge Howard served in the First Municipal Division where she presided over traffic, small claims and eviction cases.
In addition to her judicial duties, Judge Howard sits on the executive board of the Illinois Judicial Council. She is currently the council’s chair-elect and has served as the chairperson of its scholarship committee for the last three years. She is also a member of the Illinois Judges, Cook County Bar and Black Women Lawyers Associations.
Judge Howard is also involved in her community. She attends St. Stephen African Methodist Episcopal Church where she is active in the Laypersons’ League. She also sits on the executive board of the Maywood Tennis Association, a nonprofit organization that provides free tennis lessons to underprivileged youth.
Judge Howard has a B.A. from the University of Illinois – Urbana, a M.B.A. from Keller Graduate School and a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin - Madison