Meet Iris Y. Chavira
Democratic Candidate for Circuit Court Judge, 14th Subcircuit (Brown Vacancy)
Iris was born in Pilsen, located on the Southwest side of Chicago, to immigrant working-class parents. She was the first in her family to graduate college while raising her daughter as a single mother. Through grit and hard work, Iris put herself through law school in the evenings while working full-time. Iris resides in Pilsen with her family.
Iris serves as Division Chief and Senior Administrative Law Judge for the City of Chicago Department of Administrative Hearings, where she supervises Administrative Law Judges responsible for conducting administrative hearings in the Buildings Hearings Division.
Prior to joining the Department of Administrative Hearings, Iris was an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago Department of Law, where she handled complex, high-exposure civil rights cases in state and federal court, and rose to Supervisor of the Federal Civil Rights Litigation Division.
Before joining the City of Chicago, Iris served as an Associate General Counsel with the Office of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, where she managed a portfolio of nine state agencies, focusing on public safety and education, and managed the Governor’s executive clemency process, assisting with the granting of thousands of clemency petitions, including the Governor’s first-ever pardon based on innocence.
Iris began her legal career as an Assistant State’s Attorney with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, where she handled both civil and criminal matters and served as an advocate for victims of crime.
Iris is an adjunct instructor at Morton College in Cicero, where she teaches Legal Writing and Research as part of their Paralegal Studies program.
Iris is a member of various boards and committees. She is on the Chicago Bar Association’s Diversity, Inclusion, Culture, Equity & Engagement (D.I.C.E.) Committee, on the Board of Advisors and Southwest Regional Advisory Board for Catholic Charities of Illinois, a member of DePaul University College of Law Alumni Engagement Board, a member of the Women’s Leadership Committee for the Latino Leadership Council, a Chicago Latino Caucus Foundation Leadership Academy Fellow, and an active member of the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois having served on the Executive Board and Board of Directors for over five years.
Iris believes in the importance of community service and has volunteered her time with numerous community organizations throughout her career, including VECINA, Pilsen Neighbors Community Council, Cabrini Green Legal Aid, Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services, and United Latinos for Empowerment, Education, and Development.
Iris has also mentored dozens of law students through the Diversity Scholarship Foundation, HLAI JD Mentors Program, and through her alma mater DePaul University College of Law.
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:
Iris is a recipient of numerous awards for her professional achievements and commitment to public service, including the Hispanic National Bar Association Top Lawyers Under 40 Award, the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois Government Lawyer Award, the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois Community Service Award, and the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois Above and Beyond Award.
Iris is a proud Double Demon; she received her Juris Doctor and bachelor’s degree from DePaul University.