CBA Record July-August 2020
Treasurer of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession. As for foresight and follow through, shortly after becoming Executive Director Murphy promptly addressed the relocation of the CBA’s 52,000 square foot original headquarters. If this move failed to occur, the CBA’s 50-year lease would lapse and the anticipated rent would increase four- fold. Murphy developed a five-year plan to move the CBA’s physical location from 29 S. LaSalle Street to its current location at 321 S. Plymouth Court by August 1990. To make this monumental move, Murphy oversaw every decision from selecting the property, reaching an agreement with the former John Marshall Law School to house the CBA’s 120,000 volume library, to overseeing the rebuild of the CBA’s current building via weekly meetings over one-and-a-half-years years. He also spent untold hours calling and visiting hundreds of people over a two-year period to secure sufficient financing for this massive move. The CBA would literally not be standing where it is today without Murphy’s efforts. Regarding programming, Murphy con- tinued to look forward to the legal needs of our community by helping develop and implement many of the CBA’s lead- ing programs, just a few of which include the Lawyer Referral and In-Court Lawyer Referral Programs, Dial-Law, and Law at the Library in collaborative partnerships with the Chicago Public Library. Murphy was also a key contributor, along with past CBA President Thomas A. Demetrio, in establishing the Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth Program, which provides tutor and mentoring services to young students from Chicago’s most impoverished com- munities. Additionally, the CBA Insurance Agency, a subsidiary of the CBA which offers full insurance services, as well as the CBA’s Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and the Barristers Big Band, both of which offer CBA members creativity outlets and provide enjoyment for the community at large, would not be here without Murphy’s efforts.
Murphy with 2008-09 CBA President Judge E. Kenneth Wright Jr.
National and International Connec- tions Murphy also connected the CBA with national and international leaders. Some of these included lunch and a home video with U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens; PSAs with John Houseman and the Chicago Public Library; and meetings with current Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, current Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Andrew Young, OprahWinfrey, Ted Ken- nedy, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Johnny Cochran, to name a few. One notable story occurred when Murphy and Past CBA President Judge E. KennethWright Jr. met with Desmond Tutu through an introduction by Judge Sheila Murphy. Archbishop Tutu agreed to come to the CBA and talk with our legal community about the important issue of teen youth violence, an initiative that began with past CBA President Anita Alvarez. When talking about this program, Murphy can still clearly hear Tutu’s power- ful message, which still rings true today: “Put the face of your child on the face of these children being hurt, injured, or killed.” The violence needs to stop.
In addition to his extensive work at the CBA, Murphy was elected and served as President of the National Association of Bar Executives in 1989 and was appointed by Mayor Richard Daley to serve on Chi- cago’s Workforce Board. He also served on the Ethics Committee for the Elmhurst Art Museum and serves as President of The Chicago Bar Association’s Condominium Board of Directors. The CBA remains one of the leading metropolitan bar associations in the world because of our leadership, our members, our programs, and our unified dedica- tion to justice and service to the public. Murphy is quick to note, “We owe this universal respect and admiration to each of [our current members] and to generations of past members whose leadership, vision, intellect, dedication to the law and public service met and successfully addressed challenges confronting the courts and our society.” However, we also owe this in large part to Murphy’s incredible stewardship over the last five decades.
With contributions from Clifford Gately, CBA Record Editorial Board member.
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