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1. Name (State full name and any former names used) ​Bradley R.

Trowbridge

2. Age ​56

3. Education (List schools, years attended, and degrees received)


University of Illinois College of Law J.D. Urbana, IL 06/00
University of Illinois M.A. Springfield, IL 06/86
Human Development Counseling
MacMurray College B.S. Jacksonville, IL 06/83
Psychology

4. Current occupation and employer ​Attorney. I have my own law practice

5. Current hometown, and neighborhood if Chicago. If subcircuit candidate: How long have you lived there?
Lakeview

6. Work history (List with years)

LEGAL EXPERIENCE

THE LAW OFFICES OF BRADLEY R. TROWBRIDGE Chicago, IL 10/03-present


THE JOHN MARSHALL LAW SCHOOL Chicago, IL 8/17-present
Adjunct Professor, Family Law & Domestic Violence Clinic
PRO BONO ADVOCATES Chicago, IL 1/03-10/03
Staff Attorney
LEGAL ASSISTANCE FOUNDATION Chicago, IL 11/01-11/02
Staff Attorney
CITY OF CHICAGO, LAW DEPARTMENT Chicago, IL 5/99-11/01
Law Clerk

COUNSELING/SOCIAL SERVICE EXPERIENCE

Northwestern University Evanston, IL 3/91-08/95


​Counseling and Psychological Services
Assistant Director

​Horizons Community Services Chicago, IL 3/88-03/91


Program Director

Counseling Center of Lakeview Older Adults Program Chicago, IL 3/86-03/88


Caseworker
Illinois Department of Public Health Parents Too Soon Program ​Springfield, IL 5/84-3/86
​Counselor
7. In what areas of law do you have experience? ​Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, Criminal,
Chancery, Probate, and Appeals

8. List your bar association memberships. Chicago Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association

9. List all professional, business, fraternal, scholarly, civic, charitable, or other organizations to which you
belong. ​None currently.

10. Describe your civic involvement.


I have volunteered in the domestic violence area of law for many years. I have helped
hundreds of victims of domestic violence in orders of protection, divorce, custody disputes,
child support, housing, immigration, criminal defense, and bankruptcy matters. I served
on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network for
four years, and as the President for one year. I also trained Chicago Police Department
officers and law students about domestic violence issues. I also currently volunteer for First
Defense Legal Aid, an agency that provides initial representation to people in Chicago
Police Department custody.

11. Describe your current and former political involvement. ​I have volunteered for several Democratic
candidate’s campaigns in the past​.

12. Have you run for judge before? When and for which seat? ​Yes. 2012. 8​th​ subcircuit.

13. List your published writings, with dates and with links if available.
Trowbridge, B., and Staas, A. (2011). Civil unions and alternate family relations.​ ​In C.
Bond (Ed.), ​ISBA family law handbook ​(pp. 25:1-25:15). Springfield, IL: Illinois State Bar
Association.

14. Why do you want to be a Cook County judge?


A fair and independent justice system is fundamental. As such, I see the role of judge as
one of the most important positions in our society. I have such respect for the position that
I would not be a candidate if I did not believe I would be a fair, hard-working, and ethical
judge​. ​I believe my diverse personal and professional experiences have provided me the
skills to be such a judge at this point of my career.

15. What are the most pressing issues facing the justice system and why?
The most troubling issue I witness n a regular basis is that people who cannot afford an
attorney are at a significant disadvantage. Simply filing a pleading or a response is
difficult. There often are long lines at the Daley Center to file such documents in person.
The e-filing system we have is limited and costly. The forms for most Divisions are
complicated, and not easily understood by a layman. The courtroom experience also is
difficult for the self-represented. Judges and court staff, understandably, are prohibited
from giving legal advice. There is limited pro bono legal help available. Cases are often
dismissed or litigants are found to be in default because they did not know what was
required of them or how to navigate the system. As a result, this affects the public’s ​trust
and confidence in our courts.

There are several ways we could improve the system for the indigent and self-represented.
These include:

1. Developing forms in “plain language,” and not in legalese. Posting “how to” online
videos and conducting frequent similar in-person seminars to assist these litigants.

2. Simplifying court procedures in some Divisions. For example, some jurisdictions allow
two divorcing pro se litigants to “tell their story,” and let the judge ask them questions,
rather than requiring the judge to strictly adhere to rules of evidence and civil procedure.

3. Making every court date “count.” Allowing cases to drag out unnecessarily is both
upsetting and expensive to the self-represented, especially if they are missing work to come
to court regularly. Judges should be mindful that circumstances are different for the
self-represented than they are for attorneys.

4. Creating self-help work stations with the Clerk’s staff present so the self-represented
could access computers, printers, scanners, and the internet.

While some of these improvements would be more costly than others, providing better
services to the self-represented would likely streamline the court process for them, improve
the quality of their pleadings, reduce their frustration, and increase the probability of them
having equal access to justice.

16. How will your experiences help you serve as a good judge?

I have over 17 years of litigation experience in multiple areas of the law, including domestic
relations, chancery, probate, criminal, and appeals. Before practicing law, I earned a
Master’s degree and worked as a social worker for 10 years in disadvantaged communities
and with at-risk individuals, including minority teen mothers, the elderly, and people with
HIV/AIDS. As an attorney I have represented hundreds of indigent victims of domestic
violence. This is the kind of experience most judges do not have. They don’t have an
understanding about the struggles the poor and disadvantaged face on a daily basis. I also
believe I am fair, hard-working, and conscientious.
17. What do you wish voters knew about you?
All of the bar associations that evaluate judicial candidates have rated me either
“Qualified” or “Recommended.”