Illinois Supreme Court Appoints Yolanda Harris Sayre as Circuit Judge in 5th Subcircuit of Cook County
Chief Justice Mary Jane Theis and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced the appointment of Yolanda Harris Sayre as a Circuit Judge in the 5th Subcircuit of Cook County.
Ms. Sayre was appointed to fill the 5th Subcircuit vacancy created by the retirement of the Honorable Cassandra Lewis. The appointment is effective February 2, 2024, and will conclude December 2, 2024, following the November 2024 general election. Ms. Sayre is running unopposed by a party candidate in the primary and general elections.
Ms. Sayre most recently served as Legal Counsel for the Illinois State Police from 2021 to 2023, where she practiced litigation, administrative law, employment, criminal, and civil rights law. Prior to this she spent over 20 years as an attorney for the Chicago Police Department (CPD). Having started at the CPD in Community Policing and Diversity Management, she eventually served in the Office of Constitutional Policing and Reform where she was tasked with improving the criminal justice system and police/community relations.
Ms. Sayre has also served as an Administrative Law Judge where she presided over complex administrative hearings and was an appointed Election Central Attorney on numerous election days in Chicago. She has experience in private practice and has served Of Counsel for Stein Law Offices.
Ms. Sayre earned her bachelor’s degree from State University of New York at Buffalo and earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law.
Her professional affiliations include the Black Women’s Bar Association, the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, the Decalogue Society of Lawyers, and the Puerto Rican Bar Association. She is a co-chair of the Chicago Bar Association’s Administrative Law Committee, a co-chair of the Cook County Bar Association’s (CBA) Criminal Law Committee, and serves on the Administrative Law Section Council of the Illinois State Bar Association.