Tom and Diane Geraghty to Receive UNICEF Chicago Humanitarian Awards

September 21, 2016

Thomas Geraghty (JD ’69) and Diane Geraghty (JD ’72) will be honored at the UNICEF Chicago Humanitarian Awards Luncheon on Friday, September 23, as “strong, extraordinary leaders who are contributing locally and internationally to the improvement of children’s lives.”

Tom is the Class of 1967 James B. Haddad Professor of Law, director of the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law’s Bluhm Legal Clinic, and associate dean of clinic education. Diane is A. Kathleen Beazley Chair in Children's Law, professor of law and director of the Civitas ChildLaw Center, and co-director of the Center for Criminal Justice Research, Policy and Practice at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

The Geraghtys, who met while working on juvenile court cases through the Bluhm Legal Clinic, have worked extensively on the legal rights of children both in the United States and abroad.

During Tom’s tenure as director—a position he has held since 1976—the Clinic has opened the Children and Family Justice Center and the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth. He has also been active in various juvenile court reform projects, including assessing the juvenile division of the Cook County Public Defender’s Office and writing training materials for lawyers who represent children and parents.

Diane, who has taught at Loyola since 1977, developed the Civitas ChildLaw Center, the first law school program to integrate a traditional JD curriculum with a specialized course of study in children’s law. The center is “devoted to teaching, scholarship, and service that forges connections among law, social work, medicine, psychiatry, education, and other disciplines key to child welfare.”

The Geraghtys have served as consultants to UNICEF regarding the creation of juvenile courts in developing countries in Asia and in efforts to improve access to legal services for children in Africa. They have worked on UNICEF projects in Thailand, Vietnam, Ghana, Malawi and Senegal, where they coauthored a report on how to make legal aid child-friendly.

“We are so honored to receive the UNICEF Chicago Humanitarian Award,” the Geraghtys told the Chicago Tribune in a recent interview. “We have been fortunate enough to witness how UNICEF carries out its critical mission on the ground and the incredible commitment and integrity of those who work on behalf of children across the globe. Our hope is that others will be inspired to support UNICEF and its work—the challenges are real but so is the promise for a brighter future for all children that UNICEF offers.”