From her early days as a public defender to specializing in high-profile criminal cases at her own law firm, Kathleen M. Mullin, J.D., has maintained a passion for law and justice throughout her 25-year career. Her experience has taken her from courtrooms to television as a legal analyst and trial commentator, and to law schools teaching as an adjunct professor. Mullin once again uses her legal experience to better the next generation of criminal and social justice workers as the director of the University of Saint Joseph’s (USJ) new Criminal/Restorative Justice program. “I love to empower my students to find joy and fulfillment in their studies and to impart the wisdom that I’ve gathered along the way,” says Mullin. “It’s a very symbiotic relationship. It’s something that I truly enjoy and which reenergizes my creativity, my spirit for the law, and my lifelong commitment to justice for all.”
Through her work in this program, Mullin emphasizes the importance of real-world experience for students interested in this field. Offering intern- and externship opportunities with businesses and organizations in the area, USJ’s Criminal/Restorative Justice program focuses on providing first-hand experience in order to allow students to discover their passions. “I hope to cultivate opportunities and allow USJ students to experience something that may light a fire in them to seek justice,” says Mullin, who discovered her passion for law during her courtroom experience as a law student.
In the past, the criminal justice system has focused solely on crime and punishment. Today, there is a national shift towards restorative justice. This approach breaks the previous mold, and responds to mass incarceration by offering individuals an opportunity for acceptance, healing, and growth. Determined to go beyond merely punishment for one’s actions, restorative justice works on teaching an acceptance, healing and reintegration, which falls in line with the Mercy values. Mullin hopes students gain a passion for this approach through their work at USJ. “In this program, whether you leave to become a nurse, a social worker, or a lawyer, I want you to take with you a deep understanding that there is no ‘us’ and ‘them.’ There is only us. We must work together to find new ways to heal and restore us all.”
J.D., Boston University School of Law
B.A., Boston University