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Justice | State of Illinois Office of the Illinois Courts

Holder White, Lisa

  • Title: Supreme Court Justice
  • District: 4

Lisa Holder White earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1990 from Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. In 1993, Justice White earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law in Urbana-Champaign.

Assistant State’s Attorney for Macon County was the first legal position held by Justice White. She also previously worked as an Assistant Public Defender, litigating on behalf of those charged with criminal offenses and representing abused and neglected children. Immediately prior to being appointed to the bench, Justice White worked in private practice at the firm formerly known as Brinkoetter & White. Her private practice focused on the areas of family and criminal law.

In 2001, Justice White was sworn in as an Associate Judge, becoming the first Black Judge in the Sixth Judicial Circuit. During her term as an Associate Judge, she was instrumental in securing and implementing the Redeploy Illinois grant aimed at reducing the incarceration rate for non-violent juvenile offenders. In 2008, she was appointed to a Circuit Judge position by the Illinois Supreme Court. In 2010, she was elected to the position. In Macon County, Justice White served as Supervising Judge of the Criminal Law Division. Following an appointment by the Illinois Supreme Court, Justice White was sworn in on January 14, 2013, as the first Black Justice on the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District. In 2014, she was elected to the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District.

Justice White previously served on and chaired the Illinois Supreme Court Judicial Conference Committee on Education, now known as the Committee on Judicial Education. The Committee on Judicial Education is charged with planning and providing continuing judicial education for Illinois judges. She previously chaired the New Judge Seminar Workgroup where she led the group responsible for planning the annual seminar attended by all new Illinois state court judges. She has also served as faculty for the New Judge Seminar. Justice White frequently teaches at the bi-annual Education Conference, which provides all Illinois state court judges with mandatory continuing judicial education. She previously served as a peer reviewer for the Committee on Judicial Education criminal law benchbook. She also served on and chaired the board of the Illinois Judicial College. As a member of the Supreme Court of Illinois Judicial Conference, Justice White helped to develop the Illinois Judicial Branch Strategic Agenda unveiled in October 2019.

Justice White is a member of the Decatur Bar Association, the Sangamon County Bar Association, the Central Illinois Women’s Bar Association, and the Illinois Judges Association. She previously served on the board of the Decatur Public Schools Foundation, the Mid-Illinois Chapter of the American Red Cross, Millikin University, the Illinois Judges Association, the Community Foundation of Macon County, and on the Illinois Supreme Court Access to Justice Appellate Court Committee, and the Juvenile Justice Leadership Council. She currently serves on the University of Illinois College of Law Leadership Project.

In April 2013, Justice White was named "Woman of the Year" at the 2013 Women of Excellence Awards, hosted by the Decatur YMCA and United Way of Decatur and Mid-Illinois. She has also been the recipient of a Lewis University Alumni Achievement Award, the Joe Slaw Civil Rights Award from the Decatur branch of the NAACP, the Illinois Jaycees Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award, the University of Illinois College of Law Black Law Students Association's James Seaberry Award for Excellence, and the Illinois Judges Association Harold Sullivan Award.

Justice White and her husband James have two children.