Monica M. Torres-Linares, is the Managing Counsel, Justicia Attorneys/Abogados concentrating in Criminal, Family and Immigration Law, particularly in working-class and Latino communities.
Monica is a founding board member of Legal Prep Charter Academies, a legal-themed charter high school on Chicago's west side, and currently serves on the Local School Council for Murray Language Academy, a CPS school on the south side.
Monica also hosted the show "Political Forum" for two years while serving as a board member for CAN TV. Monica continues to give back to the community by engaging in pro bono work with Catholic Charities Legal Assistance, Cook County Elder Justice Center, the Resurrection Project, The Mexican Consulate and LUCHA among other organizations.
Monica graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a minor in Spanish, and obtained her Juris Doctor from The John Marshall Law School. She is a former Cook County Assistant Public Defender, a former legal aid attorney, and a former contract Mediator for the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations and has also taught as Adjunct Professor at Northeastern Illinois University.
Monica Torres-Linares has been an active member of the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois ("HLAI") since 2001, a Board Director from 2005 to 2007, and co-chair of the Judicial Committee, where she has successfully promoted efforts to increase the Latino presence in the judiciary through the Chief Judge and Executive Committee of Cook County, among others.
Monica's leadership breathed new life and importance into HLAI during her presidency to promote justice and equality amongst the poor and disadvantaged. Activities during her Presidency include conferencing with the Chief Judge of Cook County over unjust immigration detentions, collaborating to prevent racial profiling through the Office of the Governor, raising funds for Benito Juarez High School and outreach with the local media, which led to the organization's highest membership ever.
Monica has been recognized for her contributions to the community by the Chicago Latino Network, which awarded her Latina Professional of the Year, and by the Community Renewal Society, which named her one of 35 Under 35 Community Leaders. The John Marshall Law School recognized her with the Latino Law Student Association Alumni of the Year Award, and she has been honored as a Chicago Sun-Times Public Interest Law Fellow.
Monica is a Mexican-American native of Moline, Illinois, and has also lived in Ocotlán, Jalisco, Mexico. She currently resides in Hyde Park, Chicago with her husband Juan Carlos Linares, son Amaru and daughter Maya.