President Biden Names Judge Sunil R. Harjani (JD ’00) to Illinois District Court


After Law School Alumni Judgeship

On January 10, President Biden announced his intent to nominate Judge Sunil R. Harjani  (JD ’00) to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He was one of six individuals named to federal district courts in the forty-fourth round of nominees for federal judicial positions. A statement from the White House described all the nominees as “extraordinarily qualified, experienced, and devoted to the rule of law and our Constitution.”

Judge Harjani, an adjunct professor at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law teaching federal civil discovery white collar criminal practice, has served as a United States Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of Illinois since 2019. Before that, he served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Section in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois and practiced federal civil litigation as a senior counsel at the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission and as an associate at Jenner & Block LLP in Chicago. Judge Harjani served as a law clerk for Judge Suzanne B. Conlon on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois from 2001 to 2002. 

“Congratulations to Judge Sunil Harjani on being nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He has spent his career advancing justice as a lawyer and judge, and is extraordinarily well qualified for this new role,” said Dean Hari Osofsky. “We are extremely excited that he was selected for this honor and for the difference that he will make.”

He is also a trained and certified mediator. Before joining the bench, Judge Harjani conducted settlement conferences for the Cook County court system. A prominent member of the Chicago South Asian legal community, he was the first South Asian American to serve as a U.S. Magistrate in the Northern District of Illinois, according to Anna Mercado Clark, President of The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

In a statement U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth noted “Judge Harjani brings strong qualifications and a wealth of courtroom experience that will strengthen our federal bench.”