William J. Bauer is a senior judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. Appointed to the seat in 1974, he served as chief judge from 1986 to 1993 and assumed senior status in 1994.

He began his legal career as an assistant state’s attorney for DuPage County, Illinois, becoming first assistant state’s attorney in 1956 and elected state’s attorney in 1959.

From 1953 to 1964, he also was a partner at law firm Erlenborn Bauer & Hotte. Judge Bauer began his judicial career in 1964, elected to the Circuit Court for the 18th Judicial Circuit in DuPage County. In 1971, after serving for a year as U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, he was appointed to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Judge Bauer has served as an adjunct professor of law at both DePaul and Northwestern, and as an instructor for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.

After serving in the U.S. Army from 1945 to 1947, Judge Bauer received an AB from Elmhurst College in 1949 and his JD from DePaul University in 1952. He holds honorary degrees from Elmhurst College, The John Marshall Law School, DePaul University and Roosevelt University.