Mary Catherine Marubio, who is an administrative law judge for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation ( IDFPR ), was announced as one of 13 new associate judges in the Cook County Circuit Court on April 19.
Marubio, who is a lesbian, was selected from a pool of 283 candidates for the position. She also currently serves as IDFPR's ethics officer.
"It truly is a life-changing event," Marubio said. "I'll never be a 'lawyer' again, and it's such a part of my identity. I've been practicing just under 20 years and it's such a big part of my daily life. You lose your first name. You're 'Judge' to everybody now."
She said she spent about five or six years contemplating a judicial post, adding, "I explored running in my subcircuit and running county-wide. I threw my application in on the associate track because I felt ready to run. Everything came together."
Marubio has long been active in LGBT causes and has served on the board of ACLU of Illinois. She is also chair of the Trans Legal Advisory Board for Chicago House and Social Service Agency's Trans Life Center.
"It's good for the people in front of me [as a judge] to know that the circuit court is, bit-by-bit, more reflective of the community as a whole," Marubio said. "Asian judges, blind judges, queer judgesit's a place where [difference] is understood. …I aim for inclusiveness. In my courtroom, that's my goal. You are welcome here and there is respect for language, and you are going to have y0ur day in court."
Reflecting on her good news, Marubio mentioned her gratitude to LGBT judges who are already on the bench, many of whom "helped me navigate this process and showed unwavering support for this candidacy. …I am the sum of 20 years of their work."