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The Honorable Shelvin Louise Hall

Judge Shelvin Hall was born in Cuero, Texas, in 1948. Hall attended Proviso East High School and graduated from Hampton University and Boston University School of Law. After law school, Hall received training in civil rights law through the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. She then went into private practice with four other women in Houston, Texas, establishing the first law firm in the nation that was run entirely by African American women. Over a six-year period, Hall gained extensive civil rights litigation experience. In 1982, she returned to Chicago and was admitted to practice law in Illinois. For the next eight years, she acted as general counsel to the Illinois Department of Human Rights, supervising civil rights, administrative, labor and legislative issues.

Hall was appointed to the Circuit Court in 1991, overseeing its Domestic Relations Division for four years. From 1995-1999, Hall presided over the Circuit Court's Law Division, hearing Cook County's largest civil cases. In 1999, Hall was appointed Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court's First District.

Judge Hall is chairperson of the Judicial Council of the National Bar Association. She is former chair of the Illinois Judicial Council, an organization of predominately African American judges in Illinois. She has served on the boards of numerous organizations, including the Cook County Bar Association, the National Bar Association, the National Bar Association's Judicial Council, the Lutheran Family Mission and the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago. She was the first woman judge on the executive committee of the Illinois Judicial Conference, and serves on its education committee. She has held memberships in the Illinois Judges Association, the National Association of Women Judges, the Illinois State Bar Association and other bar groups. She is a member of the Friendship Baptist Church where her father, the Rev. Dr. Shelvin Jerome Hall is pastor. Her sister, Justice Priscilla L. Hall, sits on the New York State Supreme Court.

Accession Number

A2002.191

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/26/2002

Last Name

Hall

Maker Category
Middle Name

Louise

Organizations
Schools

Proviso East High School

Hampton University

Boston University

First Name

Shelvin

Birth City, State, Country

Cuero

HM ID

HAL04

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

Find The Good And Praise It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

6/15/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Corn (Fried)

Short Description

Appellate court judge The Honorable Shelvin Louise Hall (1948 - ) was the Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court's First District as well as a chairperson of the Judicial Council of the National Bar Association.

Employment

Illinois Department of Human Rights

Circuit Court of Cook County

Illinois First District Appellate Court

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Shelvin Louise Hall's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Shelvin Louise Hall lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Shelvin Louise Hall describes her parents' background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Shelvin Louise Hall talks about her family's educational background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Shelvin Louise Hall contrasts growing up in Cuero, Texas to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Shelvin Louise Hall talks about her schools and churches in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Shelvin Louise Hall talks about growing up with Black Panther Fred Hampton

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Shelvin Louise Hall talks about attending Proviso East High School in Maywood, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Shelvin Louise Hall talks about her interests at Proviso East High School in Maywood, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Shelvin Louise Hall talks about her father's work with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Shelvin Louise Hall talks about her father's work with Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Shelvin Louise Hall describes attending Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia in the 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Shelvin Louise Hall recalls protesting at Hampton University

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Shelvin Louise Hall talks about the challenges of law school at Boston University

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Shelvin Louise Hall describes helping to create the Black American Law Students Association at Boston University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Shelvin Louise Hall describes her law school professors

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Shelvin Louise Hall talks about her training with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Shelvin Louise Hall describes practicing civil rights law in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Shelvin Louise Hall talks about working with Congressman Mickey Leland

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Shelvin Louise Hall talks about the personalities of Mickey Leland and Ron Dellums

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Shelvin Louise Hall recalls her decision to leave her position as legislative director for Mickey Leland

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Shelvin Louise Hall talks about meeting Fidel Castro in Cuba with Mickey Leland

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Shelvin Louise Hall talks working for the Illinois Department of Human Rights in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Shelvin Louise Hall describes her involvement with the National Bar Association

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Shelvin Louise Hall describes being an Illinois Supreme Court Circuit Court Judge

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Shelvin Louise Hall talks about handling court cases as Illinois Supreme Court Circuit Court Judge

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Shelvin Louise Hall recalls the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court in 1991

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Shelvin Louise Hall shares her views on Clarence Thomas

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Shelvin Louise Hall describes working in the law division as a Circuit Court judge

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Shelvin Louise Hall talks about becoming a justice with the Illinois Appellate Court in 1999

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Shelvin Louise Hall describes running for Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court's First District

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Shelvin Louise Hall describes her job as Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court's First District

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Shelvin Louise Hall talks about her appellate court cases

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Shelvin Louise Hall describes her hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Shelvin Louise Hall reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Shelvin Louise Hall talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Shelvin Louise Hall describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Shelvin Louise Hall talks about her future plans and recent wedding

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Shelvin Louise Hall narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$1

DAStory

2$7

DATitle
Shelvin Louise Hall talks about her training with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund
Shelvin Louise Hall talks about growing up with Black Panther Fred Hampton
Transcript
So it was--we got to find out I mean we were able to find out more and more about what civil rights law was about and such that by the time I was graduating from Boston University, I applied to the [NAACP] Legal Defense Fund and was chosen as a number one fellow and that meant that they gave me funds to set up private practice. They trained me at the ink fund what we used to call it which is a Legal Defense and Education Fund Incorporated and we call it the ink fund for short. They trained us at their offices and then assigned us to cooperating attorneys throughout the south. So I was assigned to [HM] Gabrielle [Kirk] McDonald and Mark McDonald in Houston, Texas. I was born in Texas, I wanted to go back. I had some idea that's where I wanted to practice law. And so the ink fund--legal defense fund gave me money for books and they gave us a stipend and assigned me to Gabby McDonald [Gabrielle Kirk McDonald] and then for three years after that they supported me being in private practice as long as I was cooperating with them in terms of their civil rights cases. So it was a wonderful beginning for a person who wanted to be a civil rights lawyer.$I want to back track a little bit and talk about Fred Hampton, you said he was a comedian, I've never heard people say that before.$$Fred, Fred, Brother Fred. He was--like I said we lived on the same street. I lived on the 400 block of 17th and he lived on the other side of Washington Boulevard which was, I guess like two blocks away from me--two or three blocks. Immediately across the street from Irving Elementary School which is where we all went to school. He and his brother Bill Hampton was still around and his sister Delores and my mother--like I said was a school teacher but she didn't believe in making brown bag lunches at all and she would much rather give us lunch money and we would go to the restaurants and eat at lunch time. There was a restaurant on the corner called the Maywood Sweet Shop which my brother and I frequented and Fred would come there at lunch and start telling us jokes and he would just--I mean he didn't eat himself, he just came for the entertainment, to be the entertainment. I vividly remember snorting orange soda in response to one of Fred's jokes; I mean it was just hilarious. Eddie Murphy had nothing on him, he was just a natural funny guy and he was just so interesting to contrast that to his image as the vigilant, warrior like Black Panther that the media cast him as. But I knew him as Fred--he used to have a long-we used to call him watermelon head and I saw the play not too long ago that was at Daley College that they put on about his life and they got most of it right except they were talking about Fred was a natural athlete, not a word of truth in it, please. He was leaden, he did play basketball but then I was a cheerleader so you know imagine that. If I could be a cheerleader, Fred could play basketball.$$He played on the team?$$He played basketball, yeah in grammar school now we're talking so; in high school he started growing in consciousness--black consciousness. And I remember very well he was trying--we all went to Proviso East High School and he was trying to convince us to boycott the prom because in his opinion they were not treating black athletes properly at Proviso East. He was saying that well they worked them and while it's football season they are all popular and everything but there was no commitment to their graduating from high school or really treated them less than kindly in his opinion. Subsequently, he couldn't see why they would be heroes when it was football season but there was no commitment to making sure that they were in fact graduates. And so we saw at that time his consciousness and he was you know tweaking us and trying to get us to get focused on the realities of what was going on at the time in Maywood.$$Now was he part of the Black Panther party then?$$Not at that time, he was still--he was not a part of the Panthers at that time but then subsequently when we were going to college he had joined the Panther Party. He had a problem with an ice cream truck that they arrested him for and then he got more and more active with the Black Panthers. I just remember being stunned because I went to-we graduated in 1966 from Proviso East and I went to Hampton at that time immediately out of high school and I remember-was that '68 [1968]--?$$'69 [1969]$$Yeah I was at a rally, I was at a black power rally or an activist rally in Virginia and the word came through at that time that Fred had been killed. I remember being so stunned, I was at the back of the room and I walked all the way up to the front and said you must be kidding, who did you say had been killed and they said Fred Hampton and then I spoke and talked about how I had known him and, and you know, what a really fine and very concerned brother that he was and what a loss it was.