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Donald G. Wilkerson, J.D.

Professor of Practice
School of Law


B.S., Illinois State University, 1973
M.Ed., Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville, 1978
J.D., Saint Louis University School of Law, 1993

Practice Areas

Judge Wilkerson began his legal career at Thompson Coburn (then Thompson Mitchell) and later worked at the Stolar Partnership law firm. In 1995, he joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in St. Louis as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. In 2005, Judge Wilkerson was appointed a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois – the first Black judge and, indeed, the first person of color to serve on the Southern District bench.

Judge Wilkerson has taught Criminal Sentencing Law at Southern Illinois University School of Law in Carbondale and has been an adjunct professor at Washington University School of Law, teaching in its trial clinic for more than 20 years. He served as the John C. Shepherd Graduation Speaker for SLU LAW in 2019 and was inducted into the SLU LAW Order of the Fleur de Lis Hall of Fame in 2020. He continued to serve the citizens of Southern Illinois as a Recalled Magistrate Judge for a short period of time before fully retiring from the bench in 2020. Judge Wilkerson is currently serving as a Mediator/Arbitrator with Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services (JAMS) in Clayton, Missouri.