Family law center teaches students about public service and child advocacy work

The Honorable Patrick T. Murphy talks to attendees of DePaul University College of Law students
Judge Patrick T. Murphy speaks about a legal career in public service and child advocacy.

DePaul 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.