Carolyn Gallagher: Candidate Profile
Cook County Circuit Court (Democrat)
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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
Family: Married to attorney Paul A. Brocksmith; three children (ages 25, 22, 21)
Education: IIT Chicago Kent College of Law - Master of Laws Degree 1987.
DePaul University College of Law - Juris Doctorate Degree 1981.
St. Mary's University - Bachelor of Arts Degree 1978.
Civic involvement: Volunteer Attorney, Chicago Legal Clinic.
Volunteer Attorney, Richard J. Daley Chancery Advice Desk.
General Counsel, New Health Foundation Worldwide.
Elected offices held: N/A
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.
Why are you running for this office? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is that?
Becoming a judge has been my long-term career goal since I served an Appellate Court clerkship 30 years ago. The justice for whom I worked encouraged me to become well qualified for the position by gaining as much quality legal experience as possible. Toward that end, I joined a boutique law firm with a strong commercial litigation practice and began a career of trial and appellate work in the United States District Court, United States Court of Appeals, Illinois Appellate Court, and Circuit Courts in Cook, DePage and Lake Counties.
In addition to three decades of private practice, for four years, I was a full-time Legal Writing and Research professor at DePaul University College of Law, where I instructed law students on the written and oral communication and advocacy skills that are essential to the effective practice of law.
Throughout my career, I have also contributed pro bono legal services to the disadvantaged through the Chicago Legal Clinic, the Chicago Bar Foundation Chancery Advice Desk, and New Health Foundation Worldwide, a not-for-profit organization devoted to serving the medical, legal and social needs of transgendered and other gender-variant individuals.
I am running for this office because my career in private practice and academia, and my demonstrated commitment to public service, make me uniquely qualified for the bench. I intend to be the kind of judge our citizens deserve -- one who not only is knowledgeable and experienced in the law, but also is compassionate, fair, professional, and respectful of all those who enter her courtroom.
What differentiates you most from your opponents in the race?
I have practiced law at least ten years longer than have any of my opponents; have significantly more civil trial and appellate experience; appear to have practiced in a wider variety of trial and appellate courts; appear to have provided significantly more pro bono legal services to the disadvantaged; and appear to be the only candidate who has been a law school professor.
Finally, is there anything we haven't asked about that you feel we should know?
My legal research and writing skills are excellent, as evidenced by the fact that I was entrusted with the substantial task of teaching Legal Writing and Research to law students. Many judges lack such skills, but they are critical to thoroughly understanding and applying the governing law to the fact pattern in each case, and to clearly communicating the legal analysis leading to the outcome in each written decision.