Hon. Thomas More Donnelly

Title/s:  Associate Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County

Specialty Area: Advocacy (Trial Advocacy)

Phone: 312.603.6010



Tom serves as an Associate Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County. He is assigned to the Law Division. Sworn in as a judge in 2000, he currently hears civil jury trials. He has presided over hundreds jury trials.  He received the Harold Sullivan Award from the Illinois Judges Association in 2018.  He received the Impact Award from the Center for Disability and Elder Law in 2019.

He chairs the Illinois Judicial College Board of Trustees, the Illinois Supreme Court’s educational arm, responsible for the training of Illinois judges and those who assist judges in the court system, including  probation officers, court clerks, guardians ad litem, trial court administrators, and law clerks.

He serves on the faculty of the National Judicial College.  He teaches hundreds of judges around the country, teaching state court judges and military judges.

Before becoming a judge, he clerked for the Honorable Mary Ann G. McMorrow (Loyola Law ’53) and served as an assistant public defender for thirteen years. He serves on the Illinois Judicial Ethics Committee. He has chaired both the CBA Chicago Bar Association (CBA) Professional Responsibility Committee and the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) Standing Committee on Professional Conduct. He coauthored an online annotation on Illinois Legal Ethics for Cornell Law School. He served as the Reporter for the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Professional Responsibility (1996-2000).

Tom has taught at Loyola Law School since 1987, and has directed the Philip H. Corboy Trial Advocacy Fellowship for twenty years from 1995-2016.  He currently teaches Illinois Civil Litigation Practice at Loyola. He has taught Illinois Tax Litigation and Procedure, Professional Responsibility, Professional Responsibility Seminar, and Criminal Procedure at Loyola. He is a past recipient of the St. Robert Bellarmine Award for a distinguished young alumnus and is an honorary member of Loyola‘s Circle of Advocates.

He has taught trial advocacy at the University of Chicago Law School in the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic.   He has lectured at Washington and Lee Law School, Marquette Law School, and DePaul Law School.

He authored Survey of Illinois Law: Enforcement of Judgment, 31 S.IU.L.J. 819 (2006) (coauthored with Judge Sanjay Tailor) and, responding to an article by Loyola Professor John Breen, The Leaven of the World: Serving the Poor is Neither the Air in the Balloon nor the Cherry on the Sundae, 43 Gonz.L.Rev. 607 (2007-2008). Recently, he has authored “New Supreme Court Rule:  Help for self-represented litigants” ISBA Bench & Bar Newsletter, Vol. 45, pp. 1-3 (September 2014); “New Illinois Rule of Evidence: Business record certification,” Trial Briefs, Vol. 57, no. 8, (March 2012) “Respecting Religious Freedom Without Sacrificing Justice: The Right to Wear Religious Garb in Court Proceedings,” ISBA Bench & Bar Newsletter, Vol. 42, pp. 9-10 (October 2011). 

Tom serves on the Advisory Board of Loyola’s Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage.  He has spoken at many Hank Center presentations at both the Lakeshore and Water Tower campuses.  He directed the Cultural Forum of the Lumen Christi Institute at the University of Chicago from 2016-2017.

Tom served as president of the Catholic Lawyers Guild of Chicago from 2015-16, which had named him 2014 Catholic Lawyer of the Year; he has served on the Guild’s board since 1988.  He is the past chair of the John Howard Association and the current vice-chair of the National Center for the Laity. Married to Anne Wicker, the have four sons and live in Queen of Angel’s parish where he teaches RCIA.


BA, St. John's College, 1981
JD, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, 1986

Program Areas

Illinois Litigation