Illinois Judges Association

Pro Bono Spotlight - December 2021

 Judge Jo Beth Weber has served as the Resident Circuit Judge in Jefferson County since 2012. She currently presides over a criminal docket, a juvenile delinquency docket, and the Wayne County and Jefferson County drug courts. Before elevating to the bench, Judge Weber clerked for four different appellate court judges, and she served as associate general counsel for Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and as the deputy of the State Appellate Defender’s office in Mt. Vernon, Illinois.

Judge Weber served as faculty for the Judicial Education Conferences held in 2016 and 2018 and as faculty for the 2019 Juvenile Biennial Conference. The Illinois Supreme Court recently appointed Judge Weber, as one of five judges, to chair the Illinois Mental Health Task Force. She is the current chairperson of the Second Circuit’s Pro Bono Committee, and she was named the Chairperson of the Women’s Justice Task Force in 2018.

Besides her professional accolades, Judge Weber has been honored for her community activities. She was given special recognition for outstanding service to the people of Jefferson County by the African American Heritage Committee. In addition, the Jefferson County Crime Stoppers honored her for her status as an outstanding contributor in 2016, 2018 and 2019. Judge Weber was also named Outstanding Working Woman of Illinois by the Illinois Federation of Business Women’s Clubs in 2017.

The event for which she should be proudest is the “Hand Up” Summit that has been held annually in Jefferson County since 2017, with the exception of 2020 when it had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. This summit was created by Judge Weber, and she solicited the help of various charitable organizations, businesses, educational facilities and law enforcement agencies in putting on this event. As many as 1,000 Jefferson County residents have attended this summit, and they are provided with back-to-school supplies and services, educational assistance, family services and vocational assistance, all at no charge. Those citizens who are in need of legal assistance in the expungement and sealing of criminal records are also provided those services pro bono.

Judge Jo Beth Weber is certainly deserving of the IJA’s December Pro Bono Spotlight!