Raising triplets as a single mother, representing the people of Cook County as an Assistant State’s Attorney, and being an active member of our community has prepared Marcia O’Brien Conway to serve as a judge.

Marcia grew up in a close-knit family where family and community were an integral part of life. As a family they supported each other through successes and failures, always encouraging the application of perseverance and humor in both the best and worst of times.

Marcia and her siblings were taught the importance of giving back to their community and helping others whenever possible. For Marcia the opportunity to give back through legal work began while in law school. She worked at her school’s legal clinic.

The clinic represented people who were unable to afford legal representation. While at the clinic, she successfully represented a client with intellectual disabilities who had previously been denied Medicare benefits. She presented the facts, and the law, and as a result, an administrative law judge reversed the prior decision and ordered Medicare benefits for the client. This was the moment she realized a good judge can make a difference in peoples’ lives.

Marcia raised her children from birth as a single mother, while working. Mike, Maggie and Jack have undergone numerous surgeries, therapies and doctors’ visits. Marcia understands what it is like for herself and others to struggle medically, physically, emotionally and financially, and to be viewed as outsiders as a result. Her life experiences have made her a more compassionate person to those who are struggling in any area of life.

In addition to her legal work, Marcia has served for several years on various local commissions in the community. At her children’s school, she served as room mom, art mom and Cub Scout leader, for multiple years. Marcia is active in the community through volunteer work, including the River Forest Civic Association, Mothers Against Violence Everywhere, National Alliance on Mental Health, Organization for Autism Research, American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Marcia will bring a unique perspective to the job of Judge of the Circuit – it is wisdom gained through adversity and her life, community and legal experience makes her more compassionate and knowledgeable. The law needs to be balanced with common sense and compassion.


2008–2018 Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office (Real Estate Tax Division)
Represented Cook County and County officials in a wide-range of real estate
tax litigation, including valuation disputes on commercial and industrial
properties, tax sales, exemptions, injunctive actions and actions against Cook
County’s Indemnity Fund.

Conducted all phases of litigation, including document and written discovery,
deposing expert witnesses, preparing discovery motions and dispositive
motions, such as motions to dismiss and summary judgment, and examining
witnesses at trial.

Drafted opinion letters to members of the Cook County Board advising on the
legality of legislative proposals involving property taxation.

Experiences included successfully obtaining dismissal of several lawsuits
against Cook County’s Indemnity Fund; representing the Cook County Board
of Review in hearings before the Property Tax Appeal Board; representing the
Cook County Assessor in erroneous exemption hearings; investigating abusive
tax-buying practices; defending against petitions to vacate tax sales; and
negotiating settlements of tax disputes brought in Circuit Court thereby saving
local tax districts on average over $50 million in public revenue per year.

1994–2007 Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office (Corporate Transactions)
Drafted and negotiated purchase and sale agreements and closed title on
various County properties, including 69 W. Washington St., Chicago, and 555
W. Harrison St., Chicago.

Drafted and negotiated ground leases and leasebacks on numerous Countyowned
properties for important public purposes, including the Ruth M.
Rothstein Core Center; State of Illinois In-Patient Mental Health Facility on
Oak Forest Hospital campus; and Vision House, Inc.’s Child Care Center for
children diagnosed as HIV-positive on Provident Hospital campus.

Drafted the template documents, including the mortgage, note, loan agreement
and restrictive covenants tailored for, and utilized by, the Cook County HOME
Program. Represented Cook County as lender at dozens of loan closings
conducted under the HOME Program.

Drafted numerous ordinances and resolutions for consideration and
enactment/execution by the Cook County Board of Commissioners.

Drafted numerous advice letters based upon requests made by members of the
Cook County Board of Commissioners and County officials.

Drafted and negotiated numerous contracts for services and goods provided to
Cook County.

Drafted and negotiated multi-million dollar settlement award to Cook County
in dispute with AT&T.

1993–1994 Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office (Chancery)
Defended numerous and various lawsuits filed against Cook County and
County officials.

1986–1991 Solo Practitioner
Negotiated contracts in real estate transactions, conducted closings, and
drafted lease agreements.

1988 Winston & Strawn
Consulting Attorney
Participated in Staley Continental Inc. v. Drexel Burnham Lambert, Inc., a
federal RICO action. Researched and advised on viability of our client’s RICO
claims concerning an unsettled area of the law.

1984–1986 Winston & Strawn
Associate Attorney
Participated in both commercial litigation and real estate transactions as an
associate in the litigation and real estate departments.

Participated in pre-trial matters and six-week trial in Northern Indiana Public
Service Comm. v. Carbon County Coal Co. (N.D. Ind.), where the jury awarded
our client, the counterclaimant, $181 million dollars—the largest jury award
in Indiana history at the time. Notably, our legal theories and trial strategies
were premised on my pre-lawsuit research and advice, which anticipated the
future claims brought by plaintiff to excuse its contractual performance (such
as force majeure, frustration of purpose and unilateral mistake) and
articulated successful defenses. Affirmed on appeal at 735 F.2d.

Summer 1983 Winston & Strawn
Summer Associate
Drafted various legal memoranda for litigation purposes, most notably
possible causes of action against a brokerage house for the alleged “churning”
of stock.

Summer 1982 U.S. District Court for Northern District of Illinois
Intern for Judge Charles Kocoras
Researched and drafted preliminary drafts of opinions utilized by the Judge’s
Law Clerk.

Summer 1982 Illinois Attorney General
Law Clerk
Researched legal issues involving payment of student loan obligations to
the State of Illinois.


1989–1991 Roosevelt University
Adjunct Instructor, Legal Assistance Program
Taught principles of real estate law to paralegal students.


1984 Juris Doctor
Loyola University, School of Law
Editor-in-Chief, Loyola Law Review
Teaching Assistant for Legal Writing
Graduated Cum Laude (top 10%)
GPA: 3.5/4.0

1980 B.A., History
University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana
GPA: 4.9/5.0
Magna Cum Laude

Honors & Activities

  • Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society
  • Edward J. James Scholar
  • Phi Alpha Delta History Honorary
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
  • Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society
  • Dean’s List for seven semesters
  • Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority
    Scholarship Chairman, Panhellenic Rush Counselor