William H. Laws
Democratic candidate for Cook County Circuit (2nd Subcircuit (Laws 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.
I am the 3rd oldest of 12 children who grew up in a working-class family from a small town in Ohio. While my father worked extremely hard to provide, the family was raised in a local housing project. My upbringing allowed me to witness firsthand the struggles some families endure.
I decided early on to become an attorney in order to help others. While attending Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, I was passionately involved as a certified 711 law student in representing low income families in the inner-city of Chicago in the areas of landlord tenant cases, divorces, and misdemeanor offenses.
The Northwestern Legal Assistance Clinic provided free legal services to the poor who could not afford the services of a private attorney. Based on my participation in the legal clinic I have represented several clients over the years on a pro-bono basis because I recognize the importance of giving back to the community to those in need.
Over the past 37 years as an attorney with an emphasis on criminal defense, I have been involved in hundreds of cases in all aspects of criminal litigation. I have represented clients in several counties throughout Illinois in State as well as Federal District Courts in both bench and jury trials. My practice entailed being involved in numerous adversarial proceedings including First Degree Murder and complex Federal Drug Conspiracy Cases.
I have thoughtfully prepared arguments on behalf of my clients, researched legal issues, prepared various motion pleadings, post-trial motions and briefs on appeal. Moreover, I have represented defendants in Post-Conviction murder cases involving complex violations of a defendant's constitutional rights. I have submitted my credentials to both the Chicago Bar Association and the member organizations of the Alliance of Bar Associations.
These bar ratings are pending, except for two bar associations. The Illinois State Bar Association has found me "Qualified" to serve as a judge. Additionally, the Women's Bar Association of Illinois has found me "Recommended" for the office of Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County.
Based on my experience as an attorney I submit that I have the character, legal knowledge, and sense of fairness to be an impartial judge giving dignity and respect to those appearing before the court. I seek the position in order to apply my legal acumen to the pinnacle of service in the legal profession and giving back to the community as a public servant.
Tell us something we would be surprised to learn about you.
I won a football scholarship to Howard University after being voted most valuable player on my high school football team. Subsequently, I worked at General Motors Corporation on the auto assembly line to supplement my income for college expenses.