Judge Lionel Jean Baptiste
- Appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court as Circuit Court Judge of Cook County, Ninth Subcircuit, on March 4, 2011
- 20 years of Legal Experience
- Princeton University Graduate Class of '74
- Chicago-Kent College of Law Graduate 1990
- Elected to three terms and served ten years as Alderman of the Second Ward of the City of Evanston
- A lifetime of service protecting families and improving communities.
ABOUT JUDGE LIONEL JEAN-BAPTISTE
Judge Lionel Jean-Baptiste is a dedicated husband, a father to three children, and a grandfather to three grandchildren. His childhood was spent in Haiti. He moved to Evanston at the age of 14. Lionel made friends fast at Evanston Township High School (ETHS), becoming President of the Student Council and an All-State soccer player on ETHS’ 1970 State Championship soccer team.
Upon graduating from ETHS in 1970, he attended Princeton University where he received his B.S. degree in Political Science. Lionel met his wonderful wife, Lenore, at Princeton. They have been married for 35 years.
After graduating from Princeton, Lionel taught elementary school students in Brooklyn’s Bedford Stuyvesant community. He also taught as an adjunct professor at New Rochelle Community College in New York City. Lionel later became the Director of Special Housing for the New York City Housing Preservation and Development Department, serving the homeless and providing emergency housing.
Lionel and his family moved from New York City to Evanston, and he enrolled in the Chicago-Kent School of Law in 1986. While raising a family and working a full time job as the Executive Assistant to the President of Chicago’s Malcolm X College, Lionel graduated from law school in 1990. As an attorney, he practiced primarily in the areas of Immigration, Personal Injury, Probate, Domestic Relations and Real Estate.
Lionel is currently serving as a Cook County Circuit Court Judge for the 9th Subcircuit, having been appointed by the Supreme Court of Illinois, and sworn in on March 4, 2011. Since his appointment, he has conducted several trials and hearings in the Traffic, Forcible Detainer and Municipal Divisions.
Before being sworn in as Judge, Lionel Jean-Baptiste served for 10 years as an Alderman of the 2nd Ward of the City of Evanston. As an Alderman, he was recognized as a hard worker, a strong negotiator and a voice of fairness and reason. He served on several committees including Economic Development, Human Services, Administration and Public Works, Minority Women and Evanston-based Business Enterprises, Community Development Block Grants, Planning and Development, Rules and other special projects committees.
Due to his hard work on behalf of youth, the Evanston Police Department requested that Lionel be assigned to serve on the Restorative Justice Committee. This committee engages in an alternative conflict resolution approach to help reduce violence.
Lionel is a firm believer in volunteerism within his community. To that end he has served as a Civil Service Commissioner for the City of Evanston. He founded the Evanston Youth Initiative to help young adults stay away from crime and succeed in life. He is a member of the NAACP, his neighborhood association, and the Haitian American Community Association. He is the founder and past Chairman of the Haitian Congress to Fortify Haiti, and a founding member of the Haitian Relief Fund of Illinois. He is also a founder and past president of the Haitian American Lawyers Association of Illinois.