Maryam A. Afshar-Stewart's rapid rise through the legal field is the result of a deeply-rooted work ethic, singleness of purpose, and the lifelong pursuit of one goal..to win. Even as a child, Maryam always knew she was going to be an attorney. The first-generation daughter of an immigrant mother and father, Maryam learned early in life that success comes to those willing to put in the work. As a result, while still completing her bachelor's degree at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, Maryam's persistence and academic achievement helped her secure a position at the prestigious Chicago law firm of Kirkland and Ellis, LLP where she assisted attorneys in preparing major cases for complex litigation as well as other sophisticated transactional matters.
After gaining valuable experience in private practice and obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Psychology, Maryam attended Valparaiso University Law School, in Valparaiso, Indiana where she received her Juris Doctor degree in 2016. During her time in law school, Maryam gained valuable insight as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Judge E. Kenneth Wright, Jr., presiding judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois as well as the Honorable Judge Samuel L. Cappas in the Lake Superior Court Criminal Division, Indiana. Maryam also gained practical experience as a part of Valparaiso University Law School’s Criminal Clinic where she defended indigent clients charged with a range of misdemeanors and felonies. In addition, Maryam was a member of the Valparaiso University Law Review Executive Board where she authored and published the article Wrongfully Incarcerated Never Fully Compensated: An Examination of Indiana’s Failure to Indemnify Exonerated Inmates, a discussion of the pervasive problem of wrongful incarceration and the lack of just compensation for those later found to be innocent. Maryam also worked directly with the metro homicide unit in the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office. Maryam was President of the Women Law Student’s Association and Vice-President of the Muslim Students Association.
After graduating law school in 2016, Maryam accepted a position as a deputy prosecuting attorney with the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office where she has prosecuted hundreds of felonies and misdemeanors. Maryam has conducted twenty trials and has secured convictions in complex murders, domestic violence, kidnapping, and sexual assault cases at trial. She was also selected to assist in the prosecution of a death penalty case.
Maryam's reputation as a tough, aggressive trial attorney earned her an appointment by elected Lake County Prosecutor, Bernard Carter, to the newly-formed Lake County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victim’s Unit, which specializes in prosecuting cases of sexual assault, domestic violence, and domestic violence related homicides. Maryam has extensive experience and has received training from experts throughout the country on the particular and unique issues involved in the prosecution of sex crimes and domestic violence. Maryam has also served as keynote speaker at forums to discuss the prosecution and defense of cases involving domestic violence and sex crimes.
She has also conducted various trainings for law enforcement officers and nurses on topics that include investigation, prosecution, and courtroom testimony. Maryam was also a member of the Lake County Sexual Assault Response Team.
Outside the Prosecutor’s Office, Maryam worked as an Adjunct Professor of Law at her alma mater, Valparaiso University Law School, educating the next generation of attorneys in trial practice.
Having mastered the intricacies of prosecution work, Maryam now joins Stracci Law Group and brings with her that same belief that success comes to those willing to put in the work and continues the pursuit of what has always been her goal... and ours...to win!