2020 – Marcia M. Meis
Throughout her entire legal career, Marcia has dedicated herself to service in the public sector. Beginning her career as a law clerk in the Illinois Appellate Court, Marcia found her home at the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (AOIC) in 1999. During her 20-year tenure at the AOIC, Marcia has assisted with every division and worked closely with a variety of judges, clerks, and stakeholders throughout the state. She is highly respected among the judicial branch for her professionalism and is often asked to speak nationally on a variety of court management topics.
Marcia has worked to make the Illinois judicial branch the best it can be—an entity that is fair, inclusive, innovative, and responsive to changing needs. Among her many accomplishments at the AOIC, Marcia was instrumental in the Court’s decision to reconstitute the Judicial Conference as a smaller, more active, and engaged entity tasked with creating and implementing a long-term statewide Strategic Agenda for the judicial branch. Marcia is also an advocate for improving access to justice and has led many efforts to improve the criminal justice and child welfare systems.
Most recently, Marcia demonstrated her exemplary leadership and vision during the COVID-19 pandemic which disrupted the judicial branch operations. She formed the COVID-19 Leadership Group to assess the constantly evolving situation and to understand the needs of each level of the state court system. Her steady leadership kept the judicial branch functioning throughout the pandemic while preparing for an uncertain future. As illustrated by her actions throughout these unprecedented times, Marcia is the consummate public servant and a true unsung hero of the legal profession.