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Faculty and Administration Profiles

Melissa Durkin

Title/s:  Associate Judge, Cook County, State of Illinois

Specialty Area: Illinois Civil Litigation

Email: melissa.durkin@cookcountyil.gov

CV Link: melissa-durkin-resume


Melissa Durkin is an Associate Judge in Cook County. She is currently assigned to Motion Calendar C in Law Division.  Before coming to Law Division, Judge Durkin was a trial judge in the Domestic Relations Division.  Prior to her assignment to the Domestic Relations Division, Judge Durkin presided over a Forcible Entry and Detainer call in the First Municipal District.   

Immediately prior to taking the bench, Judge Durkin was a Chief Attorney for the Chicago Transit Authority for eleven years, where she litigated personal injury and Wrongful death actions.  Prior to joining the CTA Law Department, Judge Durkin was an Associate Attorney at Beermann, Swerdlove, Woloshin, Barezky, Becker, Genin and London and a Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney.  

In private practice, Judge Durkin litigated a variety of civil matters, including family law cases, employment discrimination cases, and coverage cases.  While at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, she was a criminal prosecutor at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse and later defended Cook County and its employees in torts and civil rights cases in Cook County’s Law Division and in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. 

Judge Durkin received the Illinois Jury Verdict Reporter’s Trial Lawyer Excellence award in 2014 for the last case she took to trial, prior to taking the bench.  Judge Durkin teaches Illinois Civil Litigation Practice at Loyola University School of Law. She is a member of the Illinois Judge’s Association [IJA] and serves on its Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and co-chairs the IJA’s In School Programs Committee. Judge Durkin is also a member of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois [WBAI]. In April of 2022, Judge Durkin will be awarded the WBAI’s Mary Heftel Hooton Award. The WBAI honors members of the judiciary with the Mary Heftel Hooton Award for their exceptional leadership, professionalism, and efforts in advancing women in the law.  Judge Durkin is also actively involved in Women Everywhere Partners in Service, having served as the program’s co-chair in 2017-18.  

She is a graduate of Chicago-Kent College of Law and University of Illinois.


University of Illinois, B.A.
Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D.

Professional Employment

Associate Judge, Cook County, State of Illinois

Courses Taught

Illinois Civil Litigation Practice