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The Challenge
The newsletter of the ISBA’s Standing Committee on Racial and Ethnic Minorities and the Law

November 2002, vol. 13, no. 2

Profiles: Justice Sue E. Myerscough

Justice Myerscough has been tightly connected to the State and people of Illinois for many years. She spent her youth in our capital and traveled to Carbondale, where she earned her B.A. with Honors in English and French from Southern Illinois University. Before proceeding to law school at Southern Illinois, she studied Comparative Literature and English at The University of Chicago and Southern Illinois at a graduate level. After law school, she clerked for the Honorable Judge Harold Baker, with the U.S. District Court.

Moving home to Springfield after her clerkship, she turned to private practice with Giffin & Winning and then Hinshaw & Culbertson. She began her judicial career in 1987 with an appointment to an Associate Judge position, being elected to a Circuit Judge post in 1990. Beginning in 1994, she served as the presiding Judge in Sangamon County and then Chief Judge of the Seventh Judicial Circuit from 1996 to 1998. Thereafter, she was elected to the Fourth District Appellate Court and is currently running for the Illinois Supreme Court.

Justice Myerscough has never given up her close ties to education, and serves as an adjunct professor at Southern Illinois University in the area of Medical Humanities and also regularly teaches law in the state school system. She also gives frequent lectures in the areas of trial advocacy and evidentiary topics. One of her most well-known contributions to education within the court system was her implementation of Law Related Education within the Juvenile Probation and Court Services Department. She secured a grant to implement programming within the Department that gave juvenile offenders a 12-week course and a diploma upon completion, which resulted in a 92 percent graduation rate for the Seventh Judicial Circuit! The program was the first of its kind for any Circuit.

Her commitment to the youth of Illinois does not stop there. She also helped to secure a $1.74 million grant for construction of a new Juvenile Detention Center and fought to ensure that this building would include a staff-secure component. Justice Myerscough was intimately involved in developing the screening criteria for admissions to the new center and worked on various issues related to the problem of overcrowding within the system, which included utilizing electronic monitoring for home-bound juveniles.

Justice Myerscough is no stranger to honors and awards, having received the "Hillary Rodham Clinton Leadership Award" from the Illinois Democratic Women this year. 2002 also brought her the honor of the Athena Award from the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce. The prior year, she was the recipient of the YWCA's "Women in Excellence Award," recognizing her numerous contributions to society, both personally and professionally.

Justice Myerscough is married to L. Robert Mueller, an attorney at the Springfield firm of Livingstone, Mueller, O'Brien & Davlin and has two daughters. We are pleased that she has accepted our invitation to speak at the Mid-Year luncheon and know that she will serve as inspiration to all our attendees to get involved in our profession and communities as she has done.