Jack O'Malley, '81: "Chicago Justice's Justice"

In the latest episode of a long and successful career, Jack O’Malley has gone from enforcing the law to practicing it to helping the practice exist authentically in a fictionalized world.

O’Malley, a retired 2nd District Appellate Court justice, is a consultant for the upcoming television show “Chicago Justice.” The show is the latest in a series of Chicago-based shows that exist in the same world, including “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago P.D.” and “Chicago Med.”

“Chicago Justice” follows the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office as it seeks to resolve cases. The first episode will air March 1 before moving to its regular 8 p.m. Sunday night time slot on March 5. O’Malley is uniquely equipped for the consulting gig: In addition to being a retired justice and a former Chicago police officer and tactical investigator, he served as the Cook County state’s attorney from 1990 to 1996.

He scored the NBC job as a result of a connection he made nearly four decades ago while in law school — a story he likes to tell his students as a visiting professor of law for Northern Illinois University College of Law.

“I tell my students that the relationships they form even before their legal careers get started can help them many years later,” O’Malley said. “I tell them that this is a guy I met the first day of law school, and in my retirement years, he presented me with a new line of work that’s really fun.”

O’Malley talks with us about his career and his future with “Chicago Justice.”

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