Loyola University Chicago

School of Law

Advocacy and Dispute Resolution

304: A Practical Introduction to Daley Center Courtrooms

Credit Hours





”Daley Center” is a practical course to acquaint the future attorney with the Circuit Court of Cook County, which is one of the largest unified court systems in the world, handling more than 2 million cases annually. It is divided into eight divisions and six municipal districts with over 400 judges hearing cases daily. This course focuses on the Daley Center which is the hub of all legal activity in the City of Chicago and is the busiest of the circuit districts. It will give the provide a familiarity with the various structures, functions and operations within the Daley Center, which houses 120 court and hearing rooms, related government agencies and the Cook County Law Library (one of the largest law libraries in the nation).

This course is essential for the prospective attorney who intends to practice in Chicago and the surrounding area. It will provide practical guidance to handle a lawsuit from its inception to initial hearing before a judge.  It will teach procedure both outside the courtroom as well as before the court.  You will learn the process for filing a lawsuit with the Clerk of the Circuit Court, serving the lawsuit through the Sheriff of Cook County, and prosecuting the suit before the court.  The course will focus on the five divisions of the County Department (Chancery, County, Domestic Relations, Law and Probate) housed in the Daley Center in addition to the First Municipal District of the Municipal Department. It will also present an opportunity to learn from and interact with practicing attorney through discussion, lectures and presentations. The advice these seasoned practitioners offer will be invaluable to the newly-licensed lawyer who will benefit greatly from their experience, guidance and direction regarding the proper practice of law and appropriate demeanor before the bench.  You will understand the daily operations of the various courtrooms and the role and function of each person assigned to the court. Additionally, you will learn the functions of the courtroom and clerk’s offices through on-site observation of morning court calls, filing and scheduling motions, viewing motion practice and an introduction to the Cook County Law Library and its helpful staff. This will be a non-graded course.