Judge Arlene Y. Coleman Romeo was appointed by unanimous vote of the Illinois Supreme Court to the judicial vacancy of Retired Judge Marcia Maras on September 16, 2022. Currently, she is assigned to the First Municipal District where she presides over Small Claims, Consumer Debt and Non-Jury Trials.
Prior to her appointment, Judge Coleman Romeo was Principle in the law firm of A.Y. Coleman & Associates from 1996 until 2022. She was a Managing Member in the law firm of Coleman & Brown, LLC from 2007-2017. From 1987-1996, Coleman Romeo was a senior litigation associate with the law firm of Witwer, Poltrock & Giampietro where she practiced union-side Labor law representing members of the Chicago Teachers Union, Insurance defense, Employment & Probate law.
As a native Chicagoan, Judge Coleman Romeo attended Chicago Public Schools and graduated from Lindblom Technical High School. She attended Spelman College in Atlanta Georgia, graduating with honors. Coleman Romeo is a 1986 graduate of IIT/Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Judge Colman Romeo was admitted to the State of Illinois Supreme Court in May of 1987. Additionally, she is admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Northern and Central Districts of Illinois and the Seventh Circuit of Appeals.
Throughout her legal career, Judge Coleman Romeo has served the public through legal education training, seminars, workshops, and speaking engagement at various, churches, schools & community events. Judge Coleman Romeo has been appointed to and served on many boards including but not limited to the African American Employment Plan Advisory Council (2011-2022); the Illinois Board of Admissions (2015-2023); and the Bernie Mac Foundation (2020-2022). She currently serves as a board member of the National Conference of Bar Examiners – the organization responsible for the development, delivery, and grading of the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE).
Judge Coleman Romeo served as the 74th President of the Cook County Bar Association (CCBA) from 2015-16. During her many years of service with the CCBA, Coleman Romeo developed and chaired the “Dr. Martin Luther King Call a Lawyer Day of Service” program where lawyers and judges volunteered to provide pro bono legal consultations to the public in various practice areas. She spearheaded a series of forums entitled, “Know Your Rights” which provided legal education to members of African American communities on safe interactions with law enforcement.
“Most people are unfamiliar and intimidated by our judicial system. Every day I strive to provide unfettered access to justice for the public we serve. One of my primary goals as a jurist is to ensure that everyone who appears before me is treated respectfully regardless of their circumstances or situation. Sometimes people can better accept the outcome of their cases, whether they win or lose, if the rules of law and court processes are clearly explained and the parties are treated with equally and respectfully. I try to facilitate the courtroom experience and administration of justice in a positive, equitable & productive way.’