Judge Peterson honored by law school alumni

The Greater Will County Alumni Chapter of The John Marshall Law School recently honored Grundy County Judge Lance Peterson with its award for “Outstanding Contributions to the Community Bench and Bar.”  

The award presentation and reception was at the law offices of Mahoney, Silverman and Cross in Joliet and was attended by attorneys and judges from Grundy, LaSalle, Will, Kendall and Cook counties, as well as staff from the alumni relations office of John Marshall Law School. Dean John Corkery of the law school presented the award and spoke to the attendees about Peterson’s career.

“It was very humbling to be recognized by other John Marshall alumni and it reminded me that John Marshall is an outstanding institution and I was very fortunate to have a great experience there,” Peterson said in a news release. “The reception was a wonderful event and I enjoyed reconnecting with friends and colleagues that I don’t get to see that often, and frankly there were other judges there I think more deserving of the award than I.”

While attending John Marshall, Peterson received the Borg-Warner Scholarship for academic excellence, received the Scribes Award for meritorious legal writing, was selected editor-in-chief of the John Marshall Law Review and represented the school in a national criminal justice trial competition.

Upon graduation he took a position as Judicial Law Clerk to Illinois Appellate Justice Tobias Barry, according to the news release. In 1994 Peterson was hired as Judicial Law Clerk for the late Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Ann McMorrow, who was the first woman to sit on the Illinois Supreme Court and who served as Chief Justice from 2002 to 2005. Peterson moved back to Grundy County in 1995 and began practicing law at the firm of Cortina, Mueller, Garretson & O’Brien until being elected Grundy County State’s Attorney in 1996.

As state’s attorney, Peterson helped start Grundy County’s first domestic violence shelter and received the 13th Judicial Circuit Family Violence Prevention Council’s annual award for his work creating the Grundy County Domestic Violence Diversion Program. He also created the Juvenile Justice Diversion Program and the Grundy County Crime Victim Progress Fund.  

Peterson was appointed associate judge in 2001 by the Circuit Judges of the 13th Judicial Circuit and was elected Circuit Judge for Grundy County in 2010. Judge Peterson has served on several committees at the request of the Illinois Supreme Court administrative office and was named Chairman of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinating Committee in 2003. He has authored the first two chapters of a benchbook for Illinois judges and instructed other judges at judicial education conferences each year from 2005 through 2012.