Illinois Judges Association

Pro Bono Spotlight - March 2024

This month, the IJA Pro Bono Committee spotlights Judge Reginald C. Mathews, Circuit Judge in the 19th Judicial Circuit.  Judge Mathews has served as a judge in Lake County, Illinois for nearly six years; first as an Associate Judge and now as an elected Circuit Judge. 

Judge Mathews has been serving as the supervising juvenile justice judge presiding over delinquency and abuse and neglect cases since May 2022.  Prior to his current assignment, he presided over the domestic violence and protective order cases for over two years.   In the courtroom, Judge Mathews often explains to people that poor choices made in the past do not define them, but that they will be judged by the actions they take moving forward.  Outside of the courtroom, Judge Mathews sets an example for all of us by taking action to serve the community and the judiciary.

In addition to his judicial responsibilities, Judge Mathews has served as co-chairperson of the community outreach committee for the 19th Judicial Circuit Court.  While Judge Mathews presided over the domestic violence courtroom, he volunteered for several programs hosted by A Safe Place. Judge Mathews enjoys memberships and serving in the following organizations: the North Chicago Rotary Club, the Jefferson Inns of Court, and the Lake County Juvenile Justice Council. Judge Mathews has served as a Sunday school teacher and a Children’s Church advisor for his church for over 23 years.

Judge Mathews has served the Supreme Court of Illinois Judicial College as a panelist/presenter during both sessions of Ed Con 2022 focusing on Remote Court Appearances with Self-Represented Litigants. Between 2018 to present, Judge Mathews has volunteered for the Illinois Judge’s Association reading to student initiatives and blood drives. Judge Mathews and his family have volunteered with Feed My Starving Children on several occasions. Judge Mathews has been the guest speaker at the Juvenile Detention Center and area schools for Black History Month annually. Judge Mathews has volunteered for the annual Lake County Mock Trial competition and has led the Lake County’s annual Law Day program for students. Judge Mathews has also served as a motivational speaker for high school law classes as well as at events sponsored by youth programs sponsored by the Legacy Reentry Foundation and Grandparent and Kin Raising Children in Lake County.

The IJA Pro Bono Committee recognizes Judge Mathews this month in appreciation for his service to the judiciary and to the community.