Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Pastoral Studies

Sheila M. O’Brien

Justice O’Brien is a consultant to law firms on appellate court issues.  She served as a Presiding Judge and a member of the Executive Committee on the appellate court.

She is a media commentator/writer and has appeared on CNN, Fox News, Chicago Tonight, NPR and other programs concerning the law, the role of women or the arts.  She is a frequent guest speaker at universities and civic groups and is active in civic affairs and the legal profession. 

Justice O’Brien earned her B.A. and J.D. from the University of Notre Dame and her M.A. in theology from St. Mary-of-the-Woods College. She is licensed by the Supreme Courts of Illinois, Missouri and the United States.

Mrs. O’Brien served as a trial attorney and law professor (1980-1985), Circuit Court Judge (1985-1994), and Illinois Appellate Court Justice (1994-2011).  

Sheila M. O’Brien is the recipient of the “Women of Achievement” (1995) and the “Edward F. Sorin” award (2007) from the University of Notre Dame. She was granted the “Outstanding Women in America” award (1985 – 1990) and “Women’s Bar Association of Illinois” award in 2007.

Justice O’Brien and her husband United States District Judge Wayne Andersen (ret.) are the parents of three children.