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August 15, 2011
Wells is the first woman to lead the Third DCA

Judge Wells Linda Ann Wells has become the first female chief judge in the 52-year history of the Third District Court of Appeal.

A “Passing of the Gavel” ceremony honoring Chief Judge Wells was held at the court July 14, during which Chief Judge Wells recalled a time when few women were admitted to law school, interviewed for jobs by law firms, or promoted to professional leadership roles.

Following a short reading from Bradwell v. Illinois, a 1872 United States Supreme Court decision affirming a lower court ruling refusing a woman’s admittance to the Illinois State Bar, Chief Judge Wells credited her selection as chief in substantial part to both her “sisters in the law” who refused to take no for an answer when denied admission to law schools and state bar associations and who persevered in becoming successful attorneys and leaders in the legal profession and to those men who encouraged, supported, and mentored them.

Chief Judge Wells’ tenure will run through July 2013.

[Revised: 12-09-2016]