Assistant State Attorney and Adjunct Faculty Member Michael J. Sorich Discusses His Career
By 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 system.
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.