University College of Law's Schiller DuCanto & Fleck Family Law Center joined with the Center for Public Interest Law and the Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative to host a discussion on
public service and child advocacy work. Professor Allison Ortlieb
moderated the panel, which featured the Honorable Patrick T. Murphy
of the Circuit Court of Cook County’s Domestic Relations Division
and Susan DeCostanza, staff attorney from Chicago Volunteer Legal
Services. Focusing on the work of Cook County's Public Guardian Office, the
speakers educated attendees on the value of aiding others and how
experience in public interest can improve one's overall legal acumen.
Judge Murphy described his experience as the first Cook
County Public Guardian. During his 26 years in the role, he saw how
the Public Guardian program expanded from just aiding adults to also helping children. Throughout his career, he has also inspired legal reforms to benefit youths. DeCostanza further explored the importance of
Public Guardians, such as how they make the legal process easier for
children and families.