Justice Robert R. Thomas received his B.A. degree in government from the University of Notre Dame in 1974 and was named an Academic All-American in that same year. He received his J.D. from Loyola University School of Law in 1981 and was elected Circuit Court Judge in DuPage County in 1988. There, he presided over civil jury trials and was the Acting Chief Judge from 1989 to 1994. In 1994, Justice Thomas was elected to the Appellate Court Second District.
On December 4, 2000, Justice Thomas was sworn in as the Illinois Supreme Court Justice for the Second District. Justice Thomas was elected to serve as Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice on September 6, 2005, and served as the Chief Justice until September 5, 2008. Justice Robert R. Thomas retired from the Illinois Supreme Court effective Feb. 29, 2020, and has since joined the Power Rogers law firm where he practices with his son.
In April 1996, Justice Thomas was inducted into the Academic All-American Hall of Fame and in January 1999 he received the prestigious NCAA Silver Anniversary Award.
Justice Thomas is a member of the DuPage County Bar Association and served as the Supreme Court liaison to the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism.