Judge Megan Goldish has spent the past 23 years of her career practicing law in Cook County, Illinois. Sitting on the bench of the Circuit Court of Cook County since 2014, Judge Megan Goldish serves in the domestic violence court.
In September 2022, the Circuit Court of Cook County Domestic Violence Division launched a pilot program that expanded court access to survivors of domestic violence. After-hours access helps people seeking Civil Emergency Orders of Protection (EOP).
Regular court hours run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. After-hours access provides remote hearings from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Monday through Friday and from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. People seeking Civil EOPs may fill out a request form by visiting Illinois Legal Aid Online.
In August 2022, Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans decided to launch after-hours access based on the Domestic Violence Committee’s recommendation. The committee had been tasked with examining the feasibility of expanding court hours.
Megan Goldish serves as a judge in the Domestic Violence Court of the Circuit Court of Cook County. Leveraging over 20 years of legal experience, including nine years as a Judge, she presides over a high-volume domestic violence court call and oversees criminal, civil, felony, and misdemeanor cases. Alongside her judicial responsibilities, Judge Megan Goldish actively contributes to the community, holding positions such as co-president of the Junior Board of the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind.
The Chicago Lighthouse has partnered with Moraine Valley Community College to launch the Certified Medical Administrative Assistants (CMAA) training program, which focuses on promoting CMAA skill acquisition to facilitate job procurement among unemployed and underemployed populations in Illinois. The program, which enables remote access to CMAA training resources in preparation for the CMAA national certification exam, is free and encourages self-paced study.
Enrollees access core CMAA educational resources such as customer service training, medical insurance coding, business and office management, patient record-keeping, and typing through the remote educational program. They also learn and complete drills at their own pace and convenience.
The National Healthcareer Association offers the CMAA certification exam, which validates competency for filling a medical administrative assistant role in any healthcare facility in the US. A medical administrative assistant is a professional who provides clerical and administrative support in a healthcare setting.
Judge Megan Goldish is a legal professional who has dedicated over 20 years to the practice of law, with the last nine years serving as a judge in the Domestic Violence Court of the Circuit Court of Cook County. In addition, Judge Megan Goldish is an avid student of the theater, as well as a performer.
Performance arts, such as theater, promote empathy, which is the art of sharing other people's feelings and understanding their circumstances and problems. Both actors and audience members often develop empathy through theater, frequently without realizing it.
To play characters convincingly, actors need to learn to execute the actions of the characters they play and also understand the emotions that inspire their actions. While this helps them show the character's emotions and motivations in the play, which is necessary for a standout performance, it also helps them learn to feel and process other people's emotions, encouraging empathy.
For audiences, understanding a play involves establishing a mental connection with the characters throughout the play. This helps them understand the reasons behind the actions the characters take and what each character feels. This is also an example of how the theater experience promotes empathy.
With a distinguished legal career spanning over 20 years, Megan Goldish holds the position of judge in the Domestic Violence Court of the Circuit Court of Cook County. In addition to her legal expertise, Judge Megan Goldish dedicates her time to the nonprofit organization, the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind, showcasing her commitment to social causes.
Aware of the significant number of children who have behavioral, emotional, physical, and mental health needs, Chicago Lighthouse oversees a non-public therapeutic day school that serves students across the Chicago area. The school, known as the Children's Development Center (CDC), features a high staff-to-child ratio, which enables personalized attention and customized learning support. The Children's Development Center focuses on mitigating the adverse impacts of traumatic brain injury, vision loss, autism, intellectual disabilities, and other conditions that hinder learning.
Through Individual Educational Plans (IEPs), each student in the school benefits from a customized teaching plan that aligns with their unique needs. This is different from the teaching modalities of typical schools, which feature the same curriculum and teaching protocols for all students in a class. The Children's Development Center (CDC) also has a close affiliation with the Low Vision Clinic, which offers early stage eye interventions.
The school’s IEP program is data-driven and based on collaboration with parents, students, school districts, and staff. Certified learning behavior specialists at the school use formal assessment scales to tailor teaching recommendations for each child. Physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language therapists, psychologists, and other specialists also provide additional support to each child when necessary.
For over 17 years, Judge Megan Goldish has been practicing law in Cook County and was elected in 2014 as a judge at the Circuit Court of Cook County's Domestic Violence Division. She holds a JD from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, among other qualifications. Judge Megan Goldish is also an enthusiastic theater student and performer, a skill she incorporates into her profession.
Theater and law share various similarities. Both involve live storytelling, performance, and connecting with the audience. Lawyers, like actors, must learn to use their body language, voice, and eye contact to sway the judges in their favor.
Moreover, to perform well on stage, actors must exude confidence to create a commanding presence and navigate the competitive nature of the entertainment industry. Similarly, self-confidence and empathy are crucial in law, as lawyers and their clients must project emotions that correspond to the desired outcome, such as optimism and determination, to effectively persuade their audience or jury. Mastering these skills can be difficult and may require stage training to succeed.
Certain pre-law organizations like the University of South Florida (USF) Mock Trial now integrate theater techniques into their training programs to help members cultivate the ability to deliver compelling arguments and connect with audiences and juries. These skills are fundamental to achieving success in the legal profession.
Judge Megan Goldish of the Circuit Court of Cook County in Chicago, Illinois, is experienced in law, as a judge and as an attorney. She graduated with honors from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law and has also studied law at the University of Cambridge in England. Additionally, Judge Megan Goldish is a member of various legal organizations, including the Women's Bar Association of Illinois (WBAI).
Founded in 1914 by nine female lawyers practicing in the Chicago Metropolitan area, the Women's Bar Association of Illinois (WBAI) is аmong the state's first and principal bar association. It aims to promote the interests and welfare of women lawyers and to contribute to the enactment of legislаtion for the public good and the administration of justice.
WBAI hosts an annual judicial reception to honor the judiciary, during which the association presents the Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Judicial Achievement Award to judges who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments. This event allows attendees to network with state and federal judges, attorneys, law students, and legal support staff around the state, fostering lasting relationships.
Ticket prices for the WBAI Judicial Reception event vary depending on membership status, with members receiving a discounted rate compared to non-members. Newly admitted lawyers, government attorneys, and law students are eligible for an even lower rate. Judges attend the event for free. However, all attendees must register in advance.
A judge presiding over domestic violence cases for the Circuit Court of Cook County, Judge Megan Goldish has been in the legal profession for over 18 years, first as an attorney and then joining the bench in 2014. In addition to her work at the courthouse, Judge Megan Goldish is a member of several professional organizations, such as the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois (WBAI) which gave her the Mary Heftel Hooten Award.
The Mary Heftel Hooten Award is given to those who advance the cause of female attorneys in the profession. Born in 1919, Heftel Hooten was a judge in New York and a WBAI president who, during her 33-year career, made it her mission to raise the profile of female attorneys and help them become more accepted in this male-dominated field. The award honors men and women who help further advance women in this field through their exceptional leadership and professionalism.
Established in 1914, the WBAI is Illinois’ oldest and largest bar association. Nine female attorneys launched the organization that would provide women resources for furthering their law careers while aiding in legislation supporting justice.
A judge with the Domestic Violence Court of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, Megan Goldish has a history of volunteer service with a number of professional associations and advocacy organizations. Alongside co-chair Joel Bruckman, Judge Megan Goldish leads the Junior Board of The Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind .
Since emerging as a charity for people with vision loss in 1906, The Chicago Lighthouse has broadened its scope to serve a variety of people in the disabled and veteran communities. The Chicago Lighthouse Junior Board contributes to several initiatives, including the Birth-to-Three Early Intervention Program.
Birth-to-Three is driven by urgency, as infants and toddlers learn primarily through sight. With this fact in mind, qualified program staff offer home-based support to children with vision impairment and other disabilities. This support ranges from optometric examinations to occupational therapy and psychological services. The Chicago Lighthouse program also offers assistance to parents and guardians that includes virtual support groups and targeted parenting advice.
A Northwestern Pritzker School of Law graduate, Megan Goldish practiced as an attorney for almost two decades before she was elected as a judge. Since 2014, Judge Megan Goldish has served in the Domestic Violence Court of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.
In November 2022, Cook County officially lowered the court fee for filing adoptions. This change came after its October 2022 approval by the Cook County Board of Commissioners. Adoption filing fees dropped from $265 to just $89. There were several weeks between the approval and institution of this legislation.
While announcing the fee reduction, Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans revealed that it would be in place by National Adoption Day on November 19. He praised the new fee rate for increasing adoption opportunities for local residents.
A co-drafter of the fee-reduction legislation, Illinois Appellate Court Justice Sanjay Tailor echoed Timothy Evans’ enthusiasm, claiming that the lower fee will help Cook County increase its overall number of adoption cases after years of steady decline. In a prepared statement, Sanjay Tailor said, “Making adoption less expensive benefits everyone.”
A recognized presence in the legal profession in Illinois, Judge Megan Goldish serves as a judge in the Domestic Violence Court of the Circuit Court of Cook County. In 2020, Judge Megan Goldish was one of the recipients of the Mary Heftel Hooton award from the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois (WBAI).
In honor of the memory of former Circuit Court of Cook County Judge Mary Heftel Hooton, WBAI established the Mary Heftel Hooton award to recognize the members of the legal profession who advance the cause of women lawyers. The award is given to circuit, supreme court, and federal judges who have distinguished themselves with exceptional professionalism, leadership, and effort to women in law.
Born on July 5, 1919, in New York, Judge Hooton’s dream was to be a US President. Thinking she could not be President without becoming a lawyer, she earned her juris doctor from DePaul University in 1943. Her 33-year career as a lawyer and judge is marked by making women lawyers known and accepted. When elected as president of WBAI in 1976, her charge to the members was to “keep their heads up and keep going,” a charge that became WBAI’s mandate until today.