When We Fight, We Fight To Win
Justice Robert Thomas graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1974, where he was an Academic All American. Justice Thomas kicked the winning field goal in the 1973 National Championship Game vs. Alabama and set many Notre Dame kicking records. Justice Thomas then played in the National Football League for 12 years and was with the Chicago Bears for ten years. He is the 4th leading scorer in Bear's history.
Justice Thomas graduated from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 1981. He was a practicing attorney in the area of civil litigation from 1981 through 1988. Justice Thomas was elected DuPage County Circuit Court Judge on November 8, 1988 where he presided over civil jury trials. He was the acting Chief Judge until he became a Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court for the Second District from 1994 through 2000. He was elected Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court for the Second District on November 7, 2000. He was Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court from 2005 through 2008.
Justice Thomas has been awarded numerous achievements in both his legal and athletic career. In April 1996, Justice Thomas was inducted into the Academic All-American Hall of Fame. In January 1999, he was awarded the prestigious NCAA Silver Anniversary Award. In 2001, he was named the DuPage County Bar Association Lawyer of the Year and in December 2005, he was honored with the Illinois Judges Association Recognition for Professionalism and Civility. Justice Thomas was named a Distinguished Jurist at Loyola University in 2006 and was named the Judge of the Year in 2008 by the Illinois Chapter of American Board of Trial Advocates. In 2012, Justice Thomas was inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame.
In February 2020, Justice Thomas retired from the Illinois Supreme Court and joined Power Rogers, where he practices alongside his friend, Joseph Power, and his son, Jonathan M. Thomas.
A biography of Justice Thomas was recently released, entitled: A View from Two Benches: Bob Thomas in Football and the Law.
He is a recipient of the Lincoln Laureate Award (2002).
- Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Chicago, Illinois
- J.D. - 1981
- University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana
- B.A. - 1974
- Honors: Academic All-American
- Major: Government
- DCBA, Member
- Illinois, 1981
- Academic All-American Hall of Fame, 1996
- NCAA Silver Anniversary Award, 1999
- DuPage County Bar Association Lawyer of the Year, 2001
- Illinois Judges Association Recognition for Professionalism and Civility, 2005
- Distinguished Jurist Award - Loyola University, 2006
- Judge of the Year - Illinois Chapter of American Board of Trial Advocates, 2008
- Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame, 2012
- Lincoln Laureate Award (2022)
- Illinois Supreme Court, Chief Justice, 09/2005 to 09/2008
- Appellate Court Second District, Judge, 1994 to 2000
- DuPage County Circuit Court, Acting Chief Judge, 1989 to 1994
- DuPage County Circuit Court, Judge, 1988 to 1989