Judge Ann Celine O’Hallaren Walsh
(From the May 2015 Issue)
Ann Celine Walsh is a homegrown product of DuPage County. Judge Walsh’s lifelong ambition was to become a lawyer and ultimately a judge. She believes being a judge is the epitome of public service. Every day in Traffic Court, she thoroughly enjoys explaining to the public their rights to and procedures in the courtroom.
Judge Walsh’s interest in law began in high school. While at Hinsdale Central High School, she participated in the Mock Trial Competition during her sophomore year through her senior year. The Hinsdale Central Mock Trial team achieved great success at the state and national levels. She credits her high school teacher and mentor Ann Hittle as the force that launched her career as a lawyer.
After high school, Judge Walsh attended Miami of Ohio University where she majored in English Literature and Speech Communication and graduated with honors. She was very involved in peer education, advising and counseling her fellow students on drug and alcohol issues. During one summer, she interned at the Public Defender’s Office in Washington, D.C. as an investigator. These experiences confirmed that she wanted to serve the public in the legal profession.
After graduating from college, Judge Walsh was employed at the prestigious law firm of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue as a project assistant in the environmental law department. Her skills of organization, attention to detail and logical reasoning were honed at the law firm. In the fall of 1995, Judge Walsh entered Chicago–Kent College of Law. In addition to a full classload, she became quite involved in the Chicago Kent Justice Foundation. She participated in the Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Program and Criminal Clinic where she learned the “nuts and bolts” of criminal defense law. She spent many hours assisting her law professor and representing clients in Cook County.
During the summer of her first and second year of law school, Judge Walsh began clerking at the State’s Attorney’s Office in DuPage County for then-State’s Attorney Anthony Peccarelli. In her third year of law school, she was selected as a judicial extern for the Honorable U.S. District Judge Ann C. Williams. In May 1999, Justice Joseph Birkett hired her as an Assistant State’s Attorney. She worked her way up through the State’s Attorney’s Office for almost 16 years starting in Traffic Court, Misdemeanor, Felony and ended her career as Supervisor in Felony, Sex Crimes/Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Unit. In October 2014, the Circuit Judges of the 18th Judicial Circuit selected Judge Walsh as an Associate Judge. Currently, she serves in Addison Field Court. She has come full circle
from her first year as an Assistant State’s Attorney.
Judge Walsh enjoys spending time with her family and friends and has been married for the past 16 years. She and her husband are the proud and devoted parents of 3 boys. She says “it’s all about family.” In her free time, Judge Walsh enjoys pilates, running, sailing and snow skiing with her family.