2023 Champion of Justice Award Recipient

Judge Grace Guerra Dickler

Judge Grace Guerra Dickler graduated from Northwestern University School of Law in 1978. She worked for the Cook County Legal Assistance Foundation (now Legal Aid Chicago), in private practice, and as a supervising attorney with Travelers and Immigrants Aid. Judge Dickler's 39-year judicial career started in 1982 when she became an Administrative Law judge for the Illinois Human Rights Commission. In 1986, she became a Federal Immigration Judge, and in 1988 she was appointed as an associate judge in Cook County. In 2006 she ran and was elected out of the 12th judicial subcircuit and was retained Countywide in 2012 and 2018. In January 2010, Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans appointed Judge Dickler to be the first presiding judge of the newly formed Domestic Violence Division, and in 2011 she was appointed the presiding judge of the Domestic Relations Division.


During her tenure as presiding judge of the Domestic Relations Division, Judge Dickler was responsible for the creation of the Incarcerated Litigants call, a remote call that helped incarcerated people access the courts for crucial civil cases such as divorce and parenting time. Judge Dickler also restructured the division to create equitable treatment for parties regardless of their marital status. Judge Dickler retired from the Circuit Court of Cook County on September 25, 2022.


Judge Dickler is the immediate past President of the Jewish Judges Association.  She was appointed by the Supreme Court to the Illinois Judicial Conference formulated to strategize for the future of the Judicial Branch.  She has served on the Board of the Illinois Judge's Association and was co-editor of the Association's newsletter, The Gavel, for many years. She also served as co-Chair of the Language Access Committee of the Access to Justice Commission of the Illinois Supreme Court and as chair of the Domestic Violence Court Committee.  She has served on the Illinois Bar Association's Family Law Section Council for many years. Judge Dickler is married with two adult children; one is an attorney and the other a Cook County Circuit Court Judge.