DECATUR – Macon County Presiding Judge A.G. Webber told a packed courtroom that he was impressed with the works skills and congeniality of Phoebe Bowers when she worked with him at an early age.
Bowers, 36, had her first professional experience as a summer intern at the law office where Webber worked when she was an undergraduate student at Millikin University.
On Friday, she began her career working with Webber once again, after she was sworn is as an associate judge of the 6th Judicial Circuit.
Webber told those attending the ceremony that Bowers has earned the respect of the legal community as an attorney and a popular mediator.
“Phoebe is the same person as she was as a summer law clerk,” Webber said. “We said she was a good kid. Now we say she possesses a judicial temperament.”
Bowers, who was elected to the bench by the circuit judges of the 6th Judical Circuit, is assigned to cases including traffic, orders of protection, DUI and forcible entry.
Bowers, who replaced R.C. Bollinger, elected in November as a circuit judge, formerly worked as a partner in the Decatur firm of Fuller, Quigg and Bowers.
Leo Quigg, who Bowers called her mentor, said this is the second time he lost a partner to the bench. Kitty McCarthy, who recently retired, also became a judge after working at his firm.
Quigg said that working with Bowers has been a “real pleasure.”
“She's got the good temperament, a really bright young lady,” he said. “I'll miss her.”
Melissa Watson, a close friend who also has enjoyed a professional relationship with Bowers, said she is very compassionate, with a “very high degree of integrity.” Watson, a financial adviser, has recommended clients to Bowers.
“I think she'll be an excellent judge,” Watson said. “She has provided a good level of care and service for her clients.”
Peggy Bowers, Phoebe's mother, said she is not surprised her daughter became a judge, but a little bit surprised she accomplished this so soon.
“She's always succeeded in everything she attempted,” said Peggy Bowers, former postmaster at Bethany and Sullivan. “She's always been a goal-setter and always reached her goals.”
Phoebe Bowers's father, Dan, is a retired conservation officer for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
A 1996 graduate of Sullivan High School, Bowers earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Millikin University and a law degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. She began working as an associate attorney at the Decatur firm of Samuels, Miller, Schroeder, Jackson and Sly in 2003.
Bowers recently served a term as president of the Decatur Bar Association. She is a member of the board of directors of Baby TALK, a non-profit child development organization.