2013 – Carol A. Casey

Carol CaseyThroughout her 21 year tenure as an attorney with the Cook County Office of the Public Guardian, Carol Casey has been guided by a single purpose: advocacy and the pursuit of justice on behalf of marginalized children. Her devotion to a legal career in public service and commitment to increasing access to justice has helped improve the lives of many thousands of vulnerable children.

As a supervisor in the Public Guardian’s juvenile division, Carol is responsible for overseeing the legal staff for six abuse/neglect courtrooms in the Cook County Juvenile Court and is the Office’s point person on criminal and delinquency issues. Her experience and expertise enable her to deftly navigate the juvenile court system, where she represents children in class actions, contested divorces, delinquency matters, cases of abuse and neglect, and contested guardianship.

In addition to her current role as supervisor, Carol is a dedicated teacher and trainer whose passion and expertise is evident in the young legal professionals she educates. She has helped develop and coordinate MCLE accredited training programs for the Public Guardian’s Office, serves as an adjunct professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law in the Children’s Law and Policy program, and regularly provides training and guidance for pro bono lawyers. Carol’s colleagues and students express admiration for her enthusiasm to share her knowledge and mentor others to protect and advocate for children.

While working in the juvenile court system is challenging and often emotionally draining and comes with little recognition or fanfare, Carol is a tireless advocate who never stops fighting to protect vulnerable children. Her perseverance in the face of such challenges has improved countless lives. As a consummate teacher, talented litigator, selfless public servant and a champion for people in need, Carol is truly an unsung hero in our profession and in our community.