In The Courtoom

  • Circuit Court Judge – Felony Division, 2016-present
  • Associate Judge – 2012-2016
  • Former Lake County State’s Attorney Division Chief
  • Experienced Felony Prosecutor
  • Lake County Mental Health Court, founding team member
  • Lake County Sexual Assault Coordinating Council, founding team member

In The Community

  • Illinois Judges’ Association, Board of Directors.
  • Lake County Law-Related Education Initiative, founding member
  • Lake County Bar Association, Board of Directors
  • Youth Cub Scout volunteer
  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor.
Judge Christen "Christy" Bishop

Judge Christen "Christy" Bishop

Circuit Court Judge, 19th Judicial Circuit, Lake County, Illinois

Judge Christen Bishop took her first seat on the bench in 2012 when appointed as an Associate Judge. Initially, she presided over traffic and misdemeanor cases, but in 2014, she was assigned to the Felony division, presiding over bond court.  In 2016, the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously appointed her to Circuit Judge, filling the countywide seat vacated by the retirement of Judge Christopher Starck. She is currently assigned to the felony division and presides over trials and motions, civil forfeitures, and assists with specialty courts.


Bishop began her law career in the Lake County State’s Attorney’s office where she served for 17 years. She rose up the ranks from traffic assistant to division chief for the Juvenile Trial and Special Investigations divisions, as well as supervising attorney for the Lake County Children’s Advocacy Center.

She often handled the most sensitive investigations and prosecutions, involving child physical and sexual abuse. She litigated several cases where parents and/or caretakers were charged and ultimately convicted of the murder of young children. As the supervising attorney of the Lake County Children’s Advocacy Center, she coordinated a team of professionals, including first responders, medical professionals and law enforcement officers in a prompt, collaborative response to child victims of sexual crimes.

Judge Bishop is a recipient of the Juvenile Officers’ Association Hall of Fame Award as well as the Fred L. Foreman Criminal Justice Award. She’s a member of the Illinois and Lake County Bar Associations, Illinois Judges’ Association and Association of Women Attorneys in Lake County.

Judge Bishop is married to attorney Greg Nikitas, and they have two children.