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Learning Center Experience
Michael J. Sorich, School of Public Safety Adjunct Faculty Member
As a Cook County assistant state’s attorney
for the past 10 years, I have had the fortune to have a wide array of
experiences and opportunities throughout my career. As I think back on how I
made this career
choice of public service, it began in my childhood years, hearing stories
from my father who was a Chicago police officer for approximately 10 years. He
would tell me stories of some of the cases he worked on while working
undercover in the Vice Unit. My dad would explain the interactions he had with
the Cook County courts system, testifying before judges, and working with
prosecutors to ensure a successful outcome of their cases after sometimes a
long investigation of numerous individuals.
While studying for my undergraduate
degree at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois, I started
volunteering part time at the McLean County State’s Attorney’s Office. There, I
had my first real-world exposure to the criminal justice system, assisting
prosecutors as they helped police investigate their cases. I started to learn
how various agencies in the criminal courts all interact with one other,
whether it is the probation department, social services, or pretrial
investigations. Each of these departments plays a vital role in our courts
After law school, I started working as
an assistant state’s attorney in courtrooms in Chicago and the suburbs. Prosecuting
a wide variety of cases, from traffic tickets to first degree murders, has
exposed me to various police and court services
personnel. My responsibilities as a prosecutor involve working on
investigations with police officers, meeting with victims and witnesses, and
preparing our cases so that justice is served for the people of the state of
Illinois. Each criminal case requires individual attention, and with this it
requires coordination of various agencies in the criminal justice system. Probation
and parole departments, along with welfare agencies all play a vital role and
make up the core of public service in
our courts. Each department plays an essential role in the administration
of justice to the public at large.
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