Judge Owens J. Shelby: A Lifetime of Service and Dedication to Chicago’s West Side

Judge Owens J. Shelby, a native of Chicago’s West Side, has dedicated his life to serving his community. Raised in the city’s heart, his journey from local schools to prestigious legal institutions has shaped his passion for justice and community engagement.

Judge Shelby’s educational path took him through St. Angela School, Providence St. Mel High School, Morehouse College, and Chicago-Kent College of Law. His legal career began as a contract attorney at Loevy and Loevy, where he worked on a landmark class action lawsuit against the Cook County Department of Corrections. This early experience fueled his commitment to advocating for fair treatment within the justice system.

Judge Shelby’s professional path encompassed roles as an assistant counsel to the Speaker of the House of Representatives in Springfield, IL, and later as an assistant state’s attorney for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. Over 14 years, he handled a wide array of cases, from child support to first-degree murder, demonstrating his extensive legal expertise.

In 2020, Judge Shelby transitioned to the Community Justice Center–West, where he collaborated with stakeholders to develop crime prevention programs. His efforts extended to educating youth and seniors on internet safety, domestic violence awareness and fraud prevention.

Beyond his legal work, Judge Shelby’s commitment to community service is evident. He has mentored youth, spoken at career days, coached youth basketball, and served on boards of various organizations, including St. Angela School and the NAACP Westside Chapter.
Judge Shelby’s family plays a significant role in his life, with his wife, Cary Martin Shelby, holding a prestigious position at Chicago-Kent College of Law. They share two children, Malcolm and Faith, who excel in their respective academic pursuits.

As Judge Shelby seeks reelection to his judicial seat in the 7th subcircuit, his positive bar ratings, extensive community involvement, and unwavering dedication make him a formidable candidate and a beacon of inspiration for Chicago’s west side residents.

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