Sheila M. Murphy was born in Colorado and later attended Loretto Heights College and graduated from both Marquette and DePaul University. Her mother received a medal from Pope John XXIII for her work with the poor. Her father, who had been raised as an orphan, was a lawyer committed to human rights.
Before becoming a lawyer, she taught in the public schools for seven years. Later, as a judge she established a children’s room in the courthouse where she served as Chief Judge and during her tenure a school was opened in the basement of the courthouse for children who needed a second chance after being expelled.
She also worked to establish courts dedicated specifically to domestic violence and drug treatment. Hon. Murphy is currently teaching Restorative Justice at John Marshall Law School for students who go into local schools to demonstrate mentoring and peace circles.
She currently lives in Chicago with her husband, Patrick Racey. They have been married 51 years and have two children–a son, who is a Deacon, and a daughter who is a theologian–and six grandchildren.