The Judge: A Documentary Look at Shari’a Law … and a Discussion on How It Intersects with U.S. Law

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December 7, 2018
1:15 – 4:30 p.m.

Palmer House
17 E Monroe
, Chicago, IL (map and directions)
2.0 hours MCLE credit, including 1.0* hour PMCLE credit in the following category: 1.0 hour Diversity and Inclusion MCLE credit

Complimentary Program

Thank you to our generous financial contributors for making this program possible:

  • The ISBA Mutual Insurance Company
  • Illinois Association Of Administrative Law Judges
  • Patricia Jackowiak
  • Sonni Williams
  • Kenya Jenkins-Wright
  • Ava George Stewart
  • Jewish Judges Association of Illinois
  • Black Women Lawyers' Association of Greater Chicago

Space is limited; pre-registration required

Presented by the ISBA Administrative Law Section, ISBA Standing Committee on Racial and Ethnic Minorities & the Law, Black Women Lawyers' Association of Greater Chicago, Jewish Judges Association of Illinois, Illinois Association of Administrative Law Judges, and the ISBA Mutual Insurance Company
Co-Sponsored by the ISBA Standing Committee on Disability Law, ISBA Standing Committee on Women & the Law, ISBA General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Section, ISBA Diversity Leadership Council, Cook County Bar Association, Haitian American Lawyers Association, Muslim Bar Association and South Asian Bar Association

In 2009, Judge Kholoud Al-Faqih made history by becoming the Middle East's first woman judge in the religious courts. The Judge is a documentary film (with Arabic subtitles) that offers a unique portrait of Judge Kholoud's brave journey as a lawyer, her tireless fight for justice for women, and her drop-in visits with clients, friends, and family. With unparalleled access to the courts, The Judge presents an unfolding vérité legal drama, with rare insight into both Islamic law and gendered justice. In the process, the film illuminates some of the universal conflicts in the domestic life of Palestine - custody of children, divorce, abuse - while offering an unvarnished look at life for women and Shari'a. Join us for this unique opportunity to not only watch the documentary film, but to hear from Erika Cohn, the film's director, as well as scholars and practitioners about the impact of Shari'a law in the American legal system, including:

  • The differences between U.S. Constitutional law and Shari'a law;
  • The practice areas where attorneys may see the use of Shari'a law;
  • How the validity of legal instruments incorporating elements of Shari'a law may be impacted; and
  • The steps taken by various states to ban the use of Shari'a law.

Program Coordinator and Moderator:
Yolaine M. Dauphin, Law Offices of Yolaine Dauphin, Chicago


1:15 – 1:20 p.m.  Welcome and Introductions
Yolaine M. Dauphin, Law Offices of Yolaine Dauphin, Chicago
Kenya A. Jenkins-Wright, Illinois Guardianship & Advocacy Commission, Chicago

1:20 – 2:35 p.m.  The Judge: Documentary Screening* (0.50 hours MCLE/PMCLE credit)

2:35 – 3:00 p.m.  The Judge: A Conversation with Director Erika Cohn (No MCLE credit)
Learn what inspired the film's director, Erika Cohn, to do the documentary, what she hopes viewers take away from the film, and a behind-the-scene look at making the film.

3:00 – 4:30 p.m.  Panel Discussion
Don't miss this panel discussion featuring Professor Asifa Quraishi-Landes of the University of Wisconsin, Azam Nizamuddin, Illinois practitioner and President of the Muslim Bar Association, Amina Saeed, Illinois practitioner, Michelle Silverthorn, Founder & CEO of Inclusion Nation, and Sufyan Sohel, Deputy Director and Counsel of CAIR-Chicago.

  • 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.  The Intersection of Shari'a Law and U.S. Law
    Our panelists will give an in-depth look at Shari'a law, the Islamic religious courts, the use of Shari'a law in U.S. legal instruments, and the status and implications of state bans on the use of Shari'a law.
  • 4:00 – 4:30 p.m. Diversity and Inclusion Issues in the Illinois Legal Profession*    The panel will discuss the similarities and differences of the challenges faced by Judge Kholoud Al-Faqih in the documentary to those facing Illinois attorneys and judges from diverse backgrounds.  What are the obstacles and biases to entry and advancement in the legal profession?   How are those being overcome?  What strategies have been successful?  How can the profession reduce barriers and increase full participation by underrepresented groups? 

Moderator: Chastidy A. Burns, Cook County Public Defender, Chicago
Prof. Asifa Quraishi-Landes, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Azam Nizamuddin, Attorney at Law, Lombard
Amina Saeed, Amina Saeed Attorney at Law, Naperville
Michelle Silverthorn, Inclusion Nation, Chicago
Sufyan Sohel, CAIR-Chicago, Chicago

Registration is closed and has reached maximum capacity. Walk-in registrations will not be accepted.