WHERE SHE COMES FROM
Aileen Bhandari is a lifelong resident of Chicago and a Democrat. She is a second generation Indian and Filipino American and was raised by her parents on the Northwest side of Chicago along with her 5 siblings. Ms. Bhandari attended Our Lady of Victory Grammar school, graduated from Notre Dame High School for Girls and attended Loyola University Chicago. Ms. Bhandari also received her Juris Doctorate from DePaul University College of Law where she was Student Bar Association President. She was also awarded the Student Service Award and Diversity Award in 2002.
A THRIVING CAREER
Ms. Bhandari has gained valuable knowledge and experience which will aid her as a Judge. She has prosecuted cases for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office in Chicago, Illinois for over 19 years. As an Assistant State’s Attorney in the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau Felony Trial Division, she has prosecuted a litany of felony cases including Murder, Attempt Murder, Sexual Assaults against Women and Children, and Financial Crimes. She has litigated well over 300 bench trials and motion including over 40 jury trials. Ms. Bhandari is currently a Supervisor at the Cook County State's Attorney's office where she focuses on crime prevention, violence reduction and public safety measures.
Ms. Bhandari has been found Highly Recommended, Qualified or Recommended by ALL evaluating Bar associations for Circuit Court Judge, as well as Qualified by the Chicago Bar Association. Chicago Council of Lawyers said, “Aileen Bhandari is considered to have good legal ability and has substantial trial experience in more complex criminal law matters. Her temperament is described as calm and affable. She is a well-respected prosecutor who is described as having a commitment to understanding the needs of different communities and of crime victims."
Ms. Bhandari has continued her service to the legal community with her participation with several bar associations. She was elected to the Board of Directors as Treasurer and past Chair of the Judicial Evaluation Committee for the South Asian Bar Association. She has served as President-Elect and President for the South Asian Bar Association. Currently, she is on the Board of Directors for the Filipino Lawyers Association of Chicago and .National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, where she is the Vice -President of the National Board. Ms. Bhandari was an Honorary Board member of the Asian American Bar Association and has been a member in good standing of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, Cook County Bar Association, and Hellenic Bar Association. Ms. Bhandari also serves as an Executive Board member of the Asian American Coalition of Chicago. Her other activities include serving on the Asian American Advisory Council for former State Treasurers as well as the Asian Advisory Council for the County State’s Attorney in past years.
As part of her dedication and service to her community Ms. Bhandari has mentored many law students over the years, participated in being a panelists on a variety of legal topics including Hate Crimes and Gun Violence. She is a Diversity Scholarship Mentor to first generation law students, participates in Lawyers in the Classroom and volunteered to judge moot court and mock trials for law students and various high schools. She serves as Education Day and Planning Co-Chair for Women Everywhere Education Day, where over 300 Chicago Public High School girls are educated about to various careers in courthouses. Amidst Covid-19, she organized a drive for personal care items for Veterans and victims of Domestic Violence.
COMMUNITY & FAMILY
Throughout her career and Ms. Bhandari has dedicated her time and efforts to diversity, victims and public service. Ms. Bhandari's commitment to diversity began at Loyola University where she served as President of the Indian Students Association and a member of the Council of Pan Asian Americans . She also spearheaded planning for the University’s annual Unity in Diversity week for several years. For the last 20 years she has participated in voter registration drives, pro bono clinics, immigration and naturalization clinics, domestic violence shelters, expungement expos and served the homeless on Thanksgiving Day in the Uptown neighborhood. Ms. Bhandari is married with three children and thankful for all their love and support.