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Lisa Jensen to serve as U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of Illinois, Western Division

February 25, 2019

NIU Law professor, Lisa Jensen, was recently selected as the new magistrate judge for the Northern District of Illinois. Jensen will fill the newly-added magistrate judge position in the Western Division in Rockford.

She is the first woman to serve as a judicial officer in the court’s Western Division.

“We weren’t really surprised to learn that Professor Jensen had been appointed to be a federal magistrate judge,” associate dean for Academic Affairs  and NIU College of Law professor, Marc Falkoff, said. “The outstanding legal credentials we look for in our instructors are the same kinds of skills you want in someone on the bench.”

Mark Cordes, NIU College of Law interim dean, shared the sentiment.

“Lisa Jensen is an excellent choice for U.S. magistrate and we’re excited that she received this highly prestigious appointment,” Cordes said.

Magistrate judges perform a variety of duties for the court, including conducting preliminary proceedings in federal criminal cases and the trial and disposition of federal misdemeanor cases upon consent of the litigants. They conduct various pretrial matters and evidentiary proceedings upon referral from a district judge of the court and the trial and disposition of federal civil cases upon consent of the litigants.

Jensen earned her undergraduate degree from Illinois State University and her law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law. She has more than 25 years of litigation experience,  primarily in the areas of civil rights, employment discrimination and personal injury. Jensen is the founder and owner of Jensen Law Office LLC in Rockford where she oversees the firm’s legal and administrative work.

Cordes said that NIU’s  law school has been fortunate to have Jensen help develop and teach the university’s new Prisoners’ Rights Project.

“The Prisoners’ Rights Project is not only an excellent educational experience for our students, but also addresses a critical societal need,” Cordes said. “The foundation she has built will help ensure the project’s success in future years.”

Falkoff agreed.

“She was a great leader for the pilot year of our Prisoners’ Rights Project and she’ll make a terrific judge,” Falkoff said.