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Meet Maria

Maria McCarthy is a highly respected career prosecutor who has been fighting for justice in Cook County for more than 30 years.


As an Assistant State’s Attorney in Cook County, McCarthy prosecuted serial murderers, gang leaders, serial rapists, child molesters, armed robbers, carjackers, animal abusers and other violent criminals. She also supervised the Homicide-Sex Unit and Domestic Violence Division in Chicago and was the Supervisor of the State’s Attorney’s Office at the Rolling Meadows courthouse where she oversaw the prosecution of all felony and misdemeanor cases from approximately 25 northwest suburbs, including Arlington Heights, Inverness, Mount Prospect, Palatine, Prospect Heights, Rolling Meadows and Wheeling. 


McCarthy subsequently worked as the First Assistant in the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office, where she supervised the Criminal and Civil Bureaus. In 2022, she was appointed Special Prosecutor in murder cases that are pending in Will County. She also worked for Freeborn & Peters in Chicago, where she defended companies in civil litigation.


She has handled thousands of cases, including complex and high-profile murder and complex rape cases. Cases McCarthy has prosecuted have been profiled on Dateline NBC, the Oxygen Network and ID Channel. She has extensive experience with physicians, psychiatrists and forensic experts in DNA, fingerprints, firearms, trace evidence, blood spatter, cell tower analysis, pathology and water deaths.


McCarthy has trained thousands of attorneys, both in-house and nationally as a faculty member of the Illinois State’s Attorneys Prosecutors Office, on trial advocacy skills, legal issues, rules of evidence and ethics. She’s taught at colleges and law schools, including Harper College and Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, where she received the Joan M. Corboy Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching Advocacy and Professionalism. In addition, she leads presentations at national conferences, including the Conference on Crimes Against Women.


While a Board Member for Rahab’s Daughters, an organization that combats human trafficking, she coordinated a training for police officers and prosecutors on the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases. She also conducts trainings for the Chicago Police Department’s new detectives as well as detectives seeking their Lead Homicide Investigator certification, and has trained thousands of police officers on a state and national level.


McCarthy grew up in Mount Prospect and Arlington Heights, and attended Prospect High School, where she received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2007. In 2019, she was awarded the Scales of Justice Award by the Northwest Suburban Bar Association. In 2020, McCarthy was inducted as a Fellow in The American College of Trial Lawyers, widely considered to be the premier professional trial organization in North America.


She currently lives in Mount Prospect with her stubborn but lovable bulldogs, Mac and Art.

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