Marshall J. Hartman received both his B.A. (1954) and his J.D. (1957) from the University of Chicago. Mr. Hartman served the indigent and disadvantaged through the public defender movement for more than four decades. He has represented clients in juvenile court, misdemeanor cases, felony cases, death penalty cases, and appellate and post-conviction cases in the Appellate and State Supreme Courts and before the United States Supreme Court. In his years as a public defender, Hartman experienced a multitude of challenges, including inadequate funding, high caseloads, lack of formal training programs, too few investigators, no social workers and inherent conflicts that arose in the days that defenders were allowed to have private practices. These frustrations led him to create legislation, programs, commissions and agencies that all aimed to ensure that indigent clients can and do receive first-rate, professional representation.
Hartman also has served as national director of Defender Services for the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, and from 1991 to 2003, he led the Capital Litigation Division of the Illinois State Appellate Defender Office. He also has evaluated and provided technical assistance to numerous public defender offices to raise their standards of representation for the poor. Now retired, Hartman continues to write while serving on the Adjunct Faculty at Chicago-Kent College of Law, and remains in touch with former clients serving time on death row.