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Maria Hawilo

Senior Contributor

Maria Hawilo is a Distinguished Professor in Residence at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and she previously served as Clinical Assistant Professor of Law in the Bluhm Legal Clinic at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. Since becoming a lawyer in 2003, she has defended indigent clients in various state and federal systems facing serious criminal charges, and extensive prison sentences, up to and including lifetime imprisonment. Maria is a noted trial and appellate advocate, having successfully represented and litigated complex cases, including civil rights cases. Her teaching and research interests focus on the juvenile and criminal justice system, and its vast overreach and disparate impact on African-American and Latinx youth. She has conducted qualitative and quantitative research around the functioning of local criminal justice systems, including the gathering of sensitive criminal justice data. She has worked with elected stakeholders, including the district attorney’s office, the sheriff’s office, the public defender’s office, and the courts to understand and gather critical criminal system data and to increase transparency.  Maria has also worked in the international human rights field, particularly training and teaching in collaborative partnerships. She received a BS in biopsychology and neuroscience, with distinction, from the University of Michigan Honors Program, and a J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School.