For the Public

Judicial Evaluations - How it works

ISBA Ratings

The ISBA Judicial Evaluations Committee rates candidates based on a comprehensive review of each candidate’s background and qualifications. The process includes a detailed questionnaire submitted by candidates providing professional and personal information. Committee investigators use the questionnaire to check the background and references of each candidate. Committee members then interview each candidate before recommending a rating to the full committee.

The action of the Judicial Evaluations Committee represents the official opinion of the Illinois State Bar Association.

Judicial Advisory Polls

The advisory poll is conducted by mail in all counties other than Cook County and is sent to all ISBA members in the circuit or district from which a candidate seeks retention. In addition, licensed attorneys who are not members of ISBA may request a ballot. Poll results reflect the opinion of the attorneys who choose to respond and not the opinion of the Illinois State Bar Association.

Attorneys are asked to respond only if they have sufficient knowledge about a candidate’s qualifications for judicial office to give a fair, informed opinion. Seven questions on the ballot measure such qualities as legal ability, integrity, impartiality, and judicial temperament.

Candidates are rated “recommended” or “not recommended” based on whether respondents agree the candidate “meets acceptable requirements for the office.” Candidates having 65 percent or more “yes” responses to that question are rated “recommended”; candidates receiving less than 65 percent are rated “not recommended”.