Justice Joy Virginia Cunningham was elected to the Illinois Appellate Court in 2006. Prior to joining the court Justice Cunningham served a.s Senior Vice President- General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for the Northwestem Memorial Healthcare system. Earlier in her career, Justice Cunningham se.rved as a circuit court judge in Cook County where she had a diverse assignment including jury trials.
Justice Cunningham has had a broad range of experience over the course of her legal career, initially serving as a judicial law clerk to Justice Glenn Johnson in the Illinois Appellate Court. She has also served as an assistant Attorney General for the State of lllinois, a law firm trial lawyer and Associate General Counsel for Loyola University of Chicago. Justice Cunningham co-chairs the Chicago Bar Association's joint state / federal judicial security task force; and she currently chairs the Illinois Supreme Court Judicial Evaluation Performance Committee. She is also a member ofthe Ilinois Supreme Court Education Committee.
In 2004, Justice Cunningham became the first black woman to be elected President of the 23,000 member Chicago Bar Association, the nation's largest municipal bar association. She writes and speaks on a number of topics including healthcare, regulatory matters, ethics and issues related to diversity. She is noted for her interest in mentoring young people and regularly participates in mentoring and educational activities.
She is a member of a number of professional and civic associations. She has been recognized for her service to several community and civic organizations. She currently sits in the Second Division of the Illinois Appellate Court, First Judicial District.