ROCKFORD — Watching cartoons in mattress was and nonetheless is the treatment for numerous children when they’re sick and out of faculty.
Not so for Tamika Walker.
“When you’re residence sick from college, it’s important to watch what the adults are watching,” she mentioned. “So I watched ‘The Individuals’s Court docket.’
“I noticed what the choose was doing, and I used to be like, ‘I need to do this.’ So, after I discovered you needed to be a lawyer first, I made a decision I wished to be a lawyer. And I simply began taking steps very early in my life to steer me towards that aim.”
Thanks in no small option to Choose Joseph Wapner and ‘The Individuals’s Court docket’ — the primary in an extended line of actuality TV courtroom exhibits — Walker’s childhood aim of turning into a choose will quickly come to fruition. She is going to take her oath of workplace Wednesday as the subsequent affiliate choose of the seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court docket.
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A spot on the bench was created when Affiliate Choose Mary Linn Inexperienced introduced her retirement, efficient Tuesday.
Walker’s path to the bench included incomes her Bachelor of Social Work from Indiana College in 2001, a Grasp of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve College in 2002, and a Juris Physician from Case Western Reserve College College of Regulation in 2005.
She began her regulation profession as an assistant public defender within the Winnebago County Public Defender’s Workplace and later joined the regulation agency of Sreenan & Cain, P.C., which was reorganized as Schafer DeRango & Cain, LLP and once more as DeRango & Cain, LLC, the place Walker presently practices regulation representing purchasers in household regulation disputes and juvenile abuse, neglect and dependency proceedings.
As a toddler, Walker mentioned her notion of a choose was somebody who informed individuals what to do.
“However as I’ve discovered extra in practiced regulation, I perceive that it’s actually so much much less about telling individuals what to do than it’s attempting to make sure that the justice system is truthful,” she mentioned, “and making certain that everybody is heard and ensuring that the choose does their greatest to verify the right rulings are positioned on document.”
Walker believes her 12 years in household courtroom will serve her and people who come earlier than her properly, particularly these with youngsters.
“It was actually attempting to get individuals by means of one of the vital troublesome occasions of their lives with the understanding that you would be able to litigate for years in household courtroom in the event you select to. However, that is not the best way that I’ve tried to follow regulation.
“I did my greatest to follow from a philosophy of understanding that after I depart a case, these individuals are nonetheless going to must work collectively. So, I attempted to facilitate cooperation and tried to work towards a decision each time doable.”
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When Walker takes her oath she is going to be part of Choose Gwyn Gulley as solely the second Black feminine choose within the seventeenth Circuit.
Chief Choose John Lowry mentioned Walker’s expertise in felony, household regulation and juvenile courtrooms and “distinctive interpersonal expertise will serve her properly.”
“Her contributions to the authorized career by means of organized bar actions replicate her real dedication to the regulation,” he mentioned. “Ms. Walker was chosen from a gaggle of excellent candidates. We’re assured she is going to do a wonderful job and stay up for working along with her.”