Elizabeth Monkus
Professional Summary

I am a 2000 graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center and have over  ten years experience as a policy analyst,  civil litigator and criminal defense attorney. My career has focused on research and writing skills and throughout my career, I have sought and taken opportunities to serve as adjunct faculty and a guest lecturer, not simply for the enjoyment of teaching but also for the chance to further my education. I have processed and shared information with audiences ranging from appellate judges to juvenile offenders and their families, from graduate students to foreign lawyers learning the U.S. legal system, from U.S. military officers to persons seeking services from a legal clinic. I have worked and volunteered in positions dedicated to community engagement and the public interest.

As a student member of the American Criminal Law Review, I co-authored an article in the 13th Annual Survey of White Collar Crime and my law review peers selected me to serve as Notes Development Editor my second year. I also served as research assistant to Professor Julie Cohen, who examines topics of technology and the law. During my last year at GULC, I participated in the school’s federal legislation clinic, representing Catholic Charities USA and the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities during the public comment period for the regulations promulgated pursuant to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. While in the clinic, I had the honor of studying under Peter Edelman and briefing Senator Kennedy's staff regarding competing proposed regulations.

Upon graduation from Georgetown, I entered a public service career, beginning as law clerk to the Honorable Carol K. McGinley in the Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas, who maintained an entirely criminal docket. Following my clerkship, I returned to Chicago, where I volunteered with the Bluhm Legal Clinic, as a pro bono defender of juveniles in the criminal and juvenile courts. I next joined the Office of the State Appellate Defender. These positions drew heavily on my research, writing and presentation skills. For example, at the Appellate Defender, I presented at the annual juvenile trainer's conference on the same issue. For the Bluhm Legal Clinic, I authored a model brief under new transfer provisions of the Juvenile Act that was filed in countless cases. I was honored when Judge McGinley submitted an opinion I researched and drafted for her to the County Reporter for publication.

In 2006, I transitioned to civil litigation, beginning in a two-member consumer-protection firm, practicing in the state and federal courts and advancing to a larger private firm. In that firm, I handled contested matters and appeals in the state and federal courts for a six-member firm representing primarily banking clients. My cases present a range of issues from civil RICO, to the Truth in  Lending Act to the propriety of standing orders in the Circuit Court. I managed my own docket.


In 2010, I joined the Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice, where I am a policy analyst and staff attorney. In 2013, I was put in charge of the Center for Judicial Performance and Ethics. At Chicago Appleseed, I am involved with all aspects of our research and advocacy. In addition to researching and writing policy briefs, editorials, and blog posts, I also coordinate pro bono teams working on independent projects, assisting in development of research plans, recruitment of volunteers and facilitation of focus groups. I contribute regularly to our blog, maintain our Twitter account, and assist with grant writing when necessary.


In addition to my work as an attorney, I have more than ten years experience teaching law students and nonlaw graduation students. I was an advisor in the Writing Resource Center at the John Marshall Law School, where I worked primarily with first year law students who were struggling with, or merely uncomfortable with, the basic mechanics of writing or with the general structure of legal analysis. On occasion, I worked with second- and third-year students to hone their lawyering skills and assisted moot court students. When I had time, I was able to develop research plans  with students writing a student note. In addition to individual sessions with students, I have presented an IRAC seminar and developed a legal citation workshop. I also served as adjunct professor at Governors State University, teaching Constitutional law to nonlaw graduate students. As a full-time employee of Georgetown University Law Center during law school, I managed Georgetown's nine student-edited law journals. In my supervision of the Law Center's student editors, I not only administrated publication schedules and conference planning, but also assisted in the development of notes programs and served as a resource for editing both the substance and style of the articles prepared for publication. I created and directed training seminars and oversaw the annual write-on competition. Finally, I contributed to the development of the Advanced Scholarly Editing Seminar by which journal editors now receive class credit for their efforts.

Prior to becoming an attorney, I was the managing editor for the Journal of Consumer Research, while it was hosted by the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and the production editor at Georgetown University Law Center's Office of Journal Administration. At the Journal of Consumer Research, I managed the peer review process and supervised our graduate student research assistant. As production editor in the Office of Journal Administration at Georgetown,  I was more involved with both the publications and with the university administration. During my tenure at OJA, we also computerized the annual write-on competition process and switched from WordPerfect to MicroSoft Word for student office use. The shift in word processing software required radical changes to the technical specifications of the files we produced to our vendor for printing the journals and I managed the change-over process for publication standards. Because I was charged with keeping the student journals on-time and under-budget, I frequently served as liaison between the student editors and university administration. When necessary, I also acted as a buffer between the students and authors to enforce publication rules and standards while preserving the benefit of student-author relationships.

My legal education at Georgetown University emphasized public service, and so I believe that I am obligated to use the education, skills, and gifts that I have, to the best that I can, with the knowledge that we each have a duty to leave the world better for our having been there. I was taught that the greatest waste is squandering those gifts and failing to help. I remember, on more than one occasion, talking to my mentor in law school about why I wanted to study law and how it echoed the motto on the wall of the law library: Law is but the means, justice is the end. I value the experience of private civil practice, but my education emphasized advocacy which puts the law to a positive social purpose. Therefore, I have remained active in the public interest since my transition to civil practice. I served as a  board member of the Auxiliary Society of the Red Cross of Greater Chicago and currently am certified as a facilitator with the Red Cross International Services Humanitarian Law program. I also volunteer with the Cabrini Green Legal Aid Expungement Help Desk and PPILAct. I am always interested to discuss opportunities to become more involved.