Robin Denise Shoffner
Democratic candidate for Cook County Circuit (8th Subcircuit (Fabri Vacancy district)
Responses to our questions
Please submit an essay that explains your legal background, why you are qualified for this position and why you seek this position.
In December 2014, Robin Shoffner was appointed as a judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County. She currently serves in the Fourth Division in Maywood, Illinois, where she presides over both civil and misdemeanor court calls.
She is responsible for presiding over a voluminous that includes traffic and misdemeanor violations, landlord tenant disputes and small claims cases. Judge Shoffner has a reputation for fairness and compassion as a judge for the Circuit Court.
Prior to her appointment as judge, Shoffner had a distinguished career as a trial attorney. She had the unique opportunity to serve as a trial lawyer for a large multi-national corporation, a private law firm and a municipal corporation — the City of Chicago.
She also served as a law clerk for the Illinois Appellate Court, a judge for the Cook County Election Commission and as an arbitrator for the Circuit Court of Cook County. Judge Shoffner is a past president of the Black Women Lawyers' Association and a past board member of the Cook County Bar Association, the oldest and largest African-American bar association.
Judge Shoffner has received distinguished service awards from both, the Black Women Lawyers' Association and the Cook County Bar Association for outstanding service to the legal profession and her community. She is also a member of the Illinois Judges Association, the Illinois Judicial Council and the Chicago Bar Association.
Judge Shoffner attends Holy Angels Catholic Church where she serves on the Pastoral Council and as a member of the Finance Council. She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Chicago Alumnae Chapter, where she serves on the Social Action Committee. In addition, Judge Shoffner serves as a volunteer for the Girl Scouts (Troop 20208) and is a coach for the South Loop Elementary Debate Team. Throughout her life, Judge Shoffner has been committed to helping children achieve their potential.
For years, she served as a mentor for LINK, Inc., an organization that mentors and assist minority high school students attend college and as a trial instructor for the Hyde Park Academy High School Moot Court Team.
Judge Shoffner's compassion and commitment to children led her to adopt her daughter and Judge Shoffner has been very involved with recruiting families to adopt children through the Gayle Sayers Center for African-American Adoption at The Cradle, located in Evanston, Illinois.
Tell us something we would be surprised to learn about you.
In the mid-1960's, my family was among the first African-Americans assigned by the U.S. Air Force to live in a small rural town near Omaha, Nebraska. I can honestly say, "I have seen it all." Our family could not get housing and our teachers had to escort us home from the elementary parochial school we attended. These experiences prepared us for bigger challenges. We learned to be firm yet courteous. As a young attorney, I appeared before judges who would not acknowledge me or berate me - judges who, out of spite of my race or gender or both, assisted opposing counsel and diminished my efforts as a prepared attorney. As a result of these experiences, I have an appreciation and a sensitivity to issues faced by women and minority individuals and am committed to treat every litigant fairly under the law.