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What Inspires Me: Finding Courage in Resilience

Former prosecutor for victims of domestic violence prepares law students in the “me too” era.

Deborah Tuerkheimer
Image: Eileen Molony

Spring 2020

Deborah Tuerkheimer, Class of 1940 Research Professor of Law, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law 

“My work has centered in recent years on sexual misconduct and on the legal and cultural impediments to accountability for assault and harassment.

“I feel incredibly fortunate to be in a position where part of my job is to think and write about issues in ways that I hope ultimately can contribute to improving people’s lives.

“One experience that I took from my time as a prosecutor was watching people who’ve been hurt move forward and demonstrate remarkable resilience. And so as I do my writing, which is very different from work in the trenches, I am informed by those years working directly with people who experienced this kind of violation. That has been seared into me.”

Deborah Tuerkheimer teaches courses on criminal law, evidence and feminist jurisprudence at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. She served as an assistant district attorney in New York County for five years before working as a professor at the University of Maine School of Law and the DePaul University College of Law. She wrote Flawed Convictions: “Shaken Baby Syndrome” and the Inertia of Injustice in 2015 and is at work on a book about credibility in sexual misconduct cases.

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