COOK COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT Thomas E. Nowinski

Tom Nowinski has been in public service his entire legal career because he has a dedication to the service of others. In his over 17 years as an attorney, Tom has gained extensive experience in both civil and criminal litigation giving Tom not only a depth of legal experience, but a breadth of experience as well.

Tom began his career as Assistant State’s Attorney where he tried hundreds of criminal and civil bench trials and jury trials in state and federal court. While assigned to the Civil Actions Bureau, Tom became the lead attorney representing Cook County offices in the Shakman litigation. In that role, Tom worked to rid government employment from unlawful political discrimination. Tom rose quickly in the State’s Attorney’s Office and eventually became one of the youngest Deputy Supervisors in the State’s Attorney’s Office and oversaw a fourteen-attorney litigation unit.

Outside of litigation, Tom has extensive experience in Labor Relations and Court Administration. As Deputy Direct of Labor Relations for Cook County, Tom assumed the role of legal advisor and contract negotiator responsible for all aspects of labor and employment matters for Cook County government. In this position, Tom worked closely with many organized labor organizations in an effort to ensure fair working conditions and that employee rights were upheld. Tom’s dedication to working families has earned him the support of various labor organizations.

In 2020, Tom was asked by Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Iris Martinez, to be her Chief of Staff. In that position, Tom is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the entire Office, works closely with other justice stakeholders to ensure equal access to the justice system, and continues to lead the charge toward substantial compliance with the Shakman decree. As Chief of Staff, Tom works closely with the judiciary on various court administration matters and has a first-hand understanding of the administrative role of a judge.

Tom and his wife live in Oak Park with their two daughters. Outside of his legal career, Tom is a Board Member of Lawyers4Choice, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating an entry point for men and lawyers to get engaged, get educated, and take action in support of women’s reproductive rights. Tom is also a member of the professional advisory board of the C.H.I.L.D. Foundation, a non-profit foundation dedicated to learning development of children. He is also a volunteer mentor to a disadvantaged high school student from Chicago as part of the Partnership for the Education and Advancement of Kids (PEAK) program. Tom also coaches for the Oak Park Youth Baseball and Softball league and is active in the men’s club at his church.

Tom has been found qualified or recommended by every bar association including the Chicago Bar Association and Alliance of Bar Associations. Tom’s professional and personal experience shows that he has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to be an excellent judge, and that he will run his courtroom with compassion and integrity to ensure equal justice for all.