DeKalb County Lawyer
Mary F. Petruchius
AREAS OF PRACTICE
– Criminal Defense
– Juvenile Law
– Mental Health Law
– Real Estate Law
– Traffic Violations
– Family Law
– Guardianship & Adoptions
CERTIFIED LEGAL SPECIALTIES
– Trained Mediator
– Illinois, 1991
– U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 1991
– U.S. Supreme Court, 2001
– John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois
– J.D. 1989
– Loyola University of Chicago
– Graduate School of Anthropology – 1974 – 1979
– Loyola University of Chicago – B.S. – 1974
HONORS AND AWARDS
– Illinois SuperLawyer, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2014
– ISBA Matthew Maloney Tradition of Excellence Award, 2011
– ISBA Board of Governors Award, 2014
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS
– American Bar Association
– ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, Law Practice Management and Women Rainmakers Section
– DeKalb and Kane County Bar Associations
– Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
– Illinois Bar Foundation
– Illinois Real Estate Lawyers Association
– Illinois State Bar Association
– ISBA Standing Committee on Women and the Law, Diversity Leadership Council, Child Law Section Council
CURRENT COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES
– Election Judge – Federal, State, Local Elections, 1996 – Present
– Pay it Forward House, Monthly Volunteer, 2007 – Present
– Trusted Networking Advisors, Founding Member, 2009 – Present
Mary F. Petruchius was born and raised in DeKalb, Illinois. She received her B. S. degree in Anthropology from Loyola University of Chicago and earned 24 hours toward her M. A. degree at Loyola. For two years, Mary taught Anthropology at St. Scholastica Academy in Chicago. During this time, she organized and presented the first all-high school rape prevention seminar in the City of Chicago in the early 1980’s.
When speaking about her unique background, Mary has said, “With my education in the field of cultural Anthropology, I studied how humans behave. I learned not only how different human beings are, but how alike we can be.
This academic background provided a solid foundation for my career as a teacher and then as an attorney. My education and life experiences have proven to be extremely valuable tools when interacting with all types of personalities in my law practice, bar association involvement, and local community volunteer work throughout the years.”
Mary received her Juris Doctorate degree from the John Marshall Law School, Chicago. She is admitted to practice law in the State of Illinois, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the U.S. Supreme Court, and is a mediator and guardian ad litem in custody and adoption cases. She completed mediation training with the Conflict Resolution and Divorce Mediation Institute and is a past member of the Mediation Council of Illinois and the Association for Conflict Resolution.
The first eight years of Mary Petruchius’ legal career were spent as an assistant public defender in Kane and De Kalb Counties, representing indigent persons in criminal, juvenile, and mental health law cases. She represented over 400 clients in involuntary mental health commitment and medication hearings.
In 1995, Mary wrote and edited the Mental Health Law Handbook for bench and attorney use in commitment and medication hearings in Kane County. This unique experience helped her to develop additional insights other attorneys may not possess in assessing cases.
In June of 2000, Mary formed the general practice law firm of Schmack & Petruchius in Sycamore, Illinois. She opened The Law Office of Mary F. Petruchius, a solo law firm, in January, 2008, in Sycamore, Illinois. Her areas of concentration include: Criminal Defense; DUI & Traffic Defense; Family, Juvenile, & Mental Health Law; Real Estate; Wills; Guardianships & Adoptions; and Mediation.
Mary Petruchius was the 2013-14 Chair of the Illinois State Bar Association’s (ISBA) Standing Committee on Women & the Law and she is a current member of the ISBA Diversity Leadership Council and Child Law Section Council. Mary formerly served on the ISBA Standing Committee on Law Related Education for the Public and was as a judge for that Committee’s ISBA High School Mock Trial Competition.
Mary has participated in drafting, organizing, moderating and lecturing several continuing legal education programs, including: “The Secret World of Human Trafficking”; “Girls’ Justice: Delivered or Denied?”; “Women in the Criminal Justice System: Justice Delivered or Denied?”; “Elder Law Issues for Everyone: Your Aging Clients, Their Parents, and You.”; and “Bullying: Latest Trends, Developments, and Legal Remedies.” She has authored and co-authored several articles for the ISBA, and the Kane County Bar Briefs.
Mary served on the ISBA Assembly for the 16th Judicial Circuit, the Association’s governing body. She is an Illinois Bar Foundation (IBF) Gold Member, and was recently appointed to serve on the IBF Board. The IBF is the charitable arm of the ISBA, whose goals are to ensure meaningful access to the justice system for individuals with limited means and to assist lawyers who can no longer support themselves due to incapacity. For the past several years, Mary has worked as a volunteer at the annual IBF Gala, in addition to attending and contributing to numerous fundraisers for the IBF.
Mary Petruchius was the 2011 recipient of the ISBA Matthew Maloney Tradition of Excellence Award. This award is given to one Illinois attorney each year who exhibits passion, zealous advocacy, and personal service, both to the profession and to the bar. When the Illinois Lawyer Now journal asked her for her response to receiving this prestigious award, Mary said, “I love being a lawyer. I love getting up and going to work every day, and to receive recognition from my peers and colleagues for doing just that is beyond an honor. It just can get any better than that! It is such a privilege to receive this award in memory of Matt Maloney. I will humbly strive to continue Matt’s tradition of practicing law and living my live with the same ‘ “passion, zealous advocacy, and personal service. “
On June 20, 2014, Mary received the ISBA Board of Governors Award, which honors ISBA officers or members whose efforts in furthering the goals of the ISBA substantially exceed that which is normally expected of members. She was nominated for this tribute by the 2013-14 ISBA President, Paula Hudson Holderman.
Mary is a member of the De Kalb & Kane County and the American Bar Association (ABA), the ABA Law Practice Management & Women Rainmakers Section, and the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession. She was a member of the Leadership Committee for the 2011-12 Prairie State Campaign for Legal Services for the 16th Judicial Circuit. In 2010 and 2013, Mary participated in the Women Everywhere Community Service Day in Chicago. She is a past member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, “Teach Tolerance” of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and The Supreme Court Society.
Mary Petruchius is a member of the Illinois Real Estate Lawyers Association and became an attorney title agent for Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. and Fox Title Company in 2014. Mary is currently on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Mary was voted Illinois Super Lawyer by her peers in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014.
Within her community, Mary Petruchius was President of the Kishwaukee Women’s Network from 2009-12 and was on the executive board for the De Kalb County Hospice from 2004-2011. She was an executive board member for Duck Soup Natural Food Coop from 2009-14, and is a founding member of Trusted Networking Advisors, a business networking group.
Mary was a member of the De Kalb County Community Mental Health Board from 1997-2005, serving as Vice President from 1998-2000 and President from 2000-2002. Mary was a member of the De Kalb County Juvenile Justice Council and its Truancy Committee during its tenure in De Kalb County. In 2010, Mary Petruchius was appointed Chair of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Luncheon and was its 2010, 2011 Chair of the Go Red for Women Circle of Red.
Since 2007, Mary is a monthly volunteer at the Pay-It-Forward House, a Ronald McDonald-type home providing respite for the families of patients in Kindred Hospital, Sycamore, Illinois. She has served as an election judge in almost every federal, state, and local election since 1996.