I am a solo practitioner, focusing in the areas of criminal, juvenile, mental health, guardianship and domestic violence. Previously, I was Executive Director of the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority and the Supervisor of the Seniors and Persons with Disabilities Division of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.
As Executive Director, Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, I directed an agency dedicated to improving criminal justice statewide. I oversaw $100M+ of criminal justice research and grants, Chaired Task Force for Update of Model Domestic Violence Protocol, served on Illinois Violence Prevention Authority, Illinois Family Violence Coordinating Council, Sex Offender Management Board, City of Chicago Mayor’ Domestic Violence Advisory Coordinating Council as well as other local and statewide criminal justice policy bodies.
As Supervisor of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office’s Seniors and Persons with Disabilities/Mental Health Divisions, I directed investigation/prosecution of financial exploitation cases, violent crimes, and abuse cases; supervised civil commitment and forced treatment of mentally ill persons in crisis, and participated in planning first felony diversion mental health court. Prior to being a supervisor, I served as a first-chair in the felony courts at 26th and California after prosecuting cases in Juvenile Court and the branch courts.
How has your practice evolved in the last few years?
The last few years have been incredibly exciting. After many years in governmental service, I represent persons who need representation during trying times. In the next few years, I hope to continue to do so as well as continue to mentor young attorneys to do the same.
If you could offer one piece of advice for young lawyers, what would it be?
As you hone your craft, remember that your word is your bond. Your opposing counsel, the court, as well as your client will remember their experience with you. Be a good advocate but also be a fair one.
What’s one technological device, application or tool you could not function without?
I could not do without my I-phone, which I use for calls, emails as well as to communicate via social media.
How has civility made a difference in your practice of law?
The friends and opposing counsel that I have met throughout my career have enriched not only my life but helped jump-start my private practice. After a number of years in governmental service, I became a solo practitioner. The people I had met as a prosecutor and as the head of a state agency, not only referred cases to me but also counseled me as to the business of practicing law. I have always been a forceful advocate but I have always tried to be a civil, fair one too. I think that that has made all the difference in this aspect of my career.
What do you do for fun?
For fun, I like to practice yoga, attend Bar Method classes (when I am motivated!), read and spend time with my family.