FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Hon. Robert M. Dow, Jr.

United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois
United States District Judge
Chicago, IL, USA

Robert M. Dow, Jr.

On December 6, 2007, Robert M. Dow, Jr. was sworn in as United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, in Chicago. Judge Dow was nominated by President George W. Bush, with the support of United States Senators Dick Durbin and Barack Obama, and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate on November 13, 2007. Judge Dow has been appointed by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. to serve as a member of the Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules of the United States Judicial Conference. He also is a member of the Rules Committee of the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the court's liaison to the Pro Se Assistance Program Advisory Board.  He has sat by designation on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth and Seventh Circuits.

Prior to his service on the federal bench, Judge Dow was an associate and partner at Mayer Brown LLP. While in private practice, he was a member of Mayer Brown's Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation and General Litigation practice areas. Between 2000 and 2006, he served as a director and officer of the Appellate Lawyers Association of Illinois, including a term as ALA President in 2005-06. He also participated as a Fellow in the Leadership Greater Chicago program in 2003-04.  Dow is a contributing author of BNA's FEDERAL APPELLATE PRACTICE treatise, which was published in 2008, and he has authored or co-authored several articles, including "Arguing for Changes in the Law," which appeared in the Winter 1999 issue of Litigation.   

Before joining Mayer Brown, Dow served as a law clerk to Judge Joel M. Flaum of the United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. In 1987, Dow received a bachelor's degree in history and political science from Yale University summa cum laude with distinction in both majors and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Between 1987 and 1990, he attended the University of Oxford in England on a Rhodes Scholarship, receiving both masters and doctorate degrees in International Relations and earning three varsity letters for basketball.  He then attended Harvard Law School, graduating cum laude in 1993, serving as an editor on two law journals, and receiving an award for excellence in undergraduate teaching at Harvard College.

Judge Dow is active at the Cathedral of St. Raymond Parish, Joliet Catholic Academy, and the Daybreak Shelter in his home town of Joliet, Illinois, where he has coached youth basketball, baseball, football, and soccer. 


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