Early Life

Marianne Jackson grew up on the west side of Chicago with her Mother and Father, Marcellene  and Charles, and 4 brothers and 2 sisters.  She graduated from Delano Grammar School and John Marshall High School .


Marianne at age 6.


The Jackson family kids at 3911 W. Gladys St. circa 1961.


Marianne at the Marshall High School prom.


Judge Jackson received her Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Northwestern University in 1970 and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law in Champaign in 1973. While at Northwestern she was initiated into Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.


Marianne (college) and her sister (high school) in their caps and gowns in the family home, 4216 W. West End Ave.


Marianne during her college years.

Defending the wrongfully convicted

During her years in private practice, Judge Jackson was twice honored by the Cook County Bar Association. In 1981, she received the William R. Ming Award in recognition of her participation in the defense and trial of 17 inmates from Pontiac Prison facing the death penalty. In 1990 Judge Jackson received the Richard E. Westbrook Award in recognition of outstanding legal excellence. This was the first time a woman had been so honored.


Headline from the acquittal of the 10 Pontiac inmates.

Assistant State’s Attorney

Judge Jackson started her professional career in 1973 as a Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney. She left that position to become an Assistant United State’s Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, where she was assigned to the Criminal Division.

Private Practice

Upon leaving the United State’s Attorney’s Office in 1979, Judge Jackson entered private practice where she concentrated in criminal defense litigation, handling cases on both the state and federal level.

Academic Teaching

While in private practice, Judge Jackson taught and lectured all across the country on trial advocacy with an emphasis on cross examination. This included three years as an Adjunct Professor at DePaul University teaching trial advocacy and many years on the faculty of the Nation Criminal Defense College at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia.


Marianne cross examining the lead prosecutor concerning prosecutorial  misconduct in the El Rukn trials in federal court in 1993. (actual courtroom sketch)

Marianne Jackson before Judge Milton Shadur in 1996. (actual courtroom sketch)

Professional Career -Overview

Professional Career  -Specific Accomplishments

Admitted to Practice Before the Following Courts:

•Illinois State Bar 1973

•Northern District of Illinois 1973

•7th Circuit Court of Appeals 1975

•United States Supreme Court 1980

Professional Experience:

December 1997 – Present :                Associate Judge Circuit Court of Cook County

1979 – 1997:                                             Private Practice of Law

Circa 1983-1987:                                    Adjunct Professor-Trial Advocacy, DePaul University College of Law

1974 – 1997:                                              Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA)

1973 – 1974:                                             Assistant State’s Attorney (ASA)

Professional Activities:

Panelist:                                                       Law Ed Criminal Justice Seminar

Attorney Self Defense & Hearsay Exemptions

Illinois Staff Bar Association

November, 1989

Speaker:                                                       New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

“Cross Examination to Kill Informants”

November, 1991

Faculty Member:                                     Trial Skills Academy

Institute for Criminal Defense Advocacy

Case Western School of Law

May, 1992

Faculty Member:                                     Advanced Federal Criminal Law

Short Course; “Cross Examination of Snitches”

Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

September, 1993

Speaker:                                                       “Passing the Torch”

A Seminar on Trial Skills-Cross Examination

African American Defender Association

April, 1994

Speaker:                                                       Administrative Office of the US Courts &

The National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys

“Cross Examination”

May, 1994

Speaker:                                                       “Advanced Trial Skills; Cross Examination”

Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys

August, 1994

 Judge/ Evaluator:                                   Trial Practice Workshop Teaching Team

Mandell Legal Clinic

University of Chicago Law School

October, 1994

Speaker:                                                      Chicago Bar Association (CBA) Luncheon Series

“Famous Chicago Trials”

Pontiac Prison Riot Case

May, 1995

Judge/Evaluator:                                     Intensive Trial Practice Workshop Team

Mandell Legal Clinic

University of Chicago Law School

August, 1995

Speaker:                                                      National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

“Uncensored Advocacy-Cross Examination”


Speaker:                                                      “Roaster” Honoring the Honorable George N. Leighton

Illinois Attorneys for Criminal Justice

September, 1995

Panelist/Presenter:                                Seventh Annual Minority and Women Attorney’s Conference

Illinois State Bar Association

May, 1996

Speaker:                                                      “Defending Gang Cases”

National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys

May 1996

Speaker:                                                      “Cross Examination of Cops & Snitches”

Washington Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys

June, 1996

Panelist:                                                      A Meeting with the Masters, “What’s Expected of Us?”

Amicus Curiae Conference


Speaker:                                                       “Secrets of Success in Defending Gang Cases”

Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

February, 1997

Speaker:                                                       “Cross Examining; Snitches and Informants”

Office of the Public Defender

Baltimore, Maryland

April, 1997

Judge/Evaluator:                                     National Criminal Justice Trial

Advocacy Competition

Chicago, Illinois

April, 1997

Judge/Evaluator:                                     Trial Practice Workshop Teaching Team

Mandell Legal Clinic

University of Chicago Law School

October, 1998

Lecturer:                                                      Federal Trial Bar Training Course

October, 1999

Judge:                                                            Intensive Trial Practice Workshop


Panelist:                                                       Federal Trial Seminar

Jury Selection – (Batson Violations & Cross Examination)

August, 2001

Panelist:                                                       Juvenile Justice Symposium

National Bar Association

November 20, 2002

Speaker:                                                       “Girls 2 Women Conference”

Juvenile Justice Probation Department

October, 2004

Judge:                                                            Mock Trial Exercises

“Championing Our Students”

Chicago Bar Association

August, 2009

Panelist:                                                       “Out of the Mouth of Babes”

False Confessions and the Wrongful Convictions of Youth

Bluhm Legal Clinic

Northwestern School of Law



 Authored:                                                   Discovery in Criminal Cases

Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE)

June, 1988

Chapter Supplemented in 1991.

Professional Organizations:

•Illinois Judges Association

•Illinois Judicial Council

•National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

•Cook County Bar Association


•Federal Bar Association

•Federal Trial Bar

•Federal Defender Panel

•National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys

•Founding member, Illinois Attorneys for Criminal Justice

•Founding member Minority Legal Educations, Resources, Inc. (MLER)

Associate Judge Jackson

Judge Marianne Jackson was nominated to the bench as an Associate Judge in November 1997. She has been assigned to the Juvenile Justice Division for the past 14 years.

 She now handles a geographical calendar that encompasses the Far West Side, as well as the Juvenile Justice Drug Treatment Program.  Judge Jackson has helped form an initiative to help arrested youths in high-crime neighborhoods break the cycle of arrests.

After being an associate Judge for 16 years, she is now running to be a circuit court judge.


Civic & Community Involvement

Judge Jackson is an active member of the Central Austin Neighborhood Association (CANA) which seeks to bring together all members of the neighborhood to advocate for improvement in our neighborhood.  The members pool their times, expertise, and resources to accomplish common goals.

Judge Jackson attends Bryn Mawr Community, United Church of Christ and is active with the youth.  She is very involved in Project Angel Tree, providing support and gifts to the children of the incarcerated during the holidays.  She is also a small group discussion leader and has previously been the President of the Board of Christian Education

Paid for by the Committee to Elect Marianne Jackson