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Honorable Mary Grace Rook was appointed by Chief Judge Rufus G. King, III and installed as Magistrate Judge on August 18, 2006. Judge Rook was born and raised in Paterson, New Jersey. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from the Catholic University of America and her Masters in Social Work from the University of Connecticut, where she specialized in clinical practice. She received her law degree from Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law. Prior to receiving her undergraduate degree Judge Rook spent two years living in the Philippines and worked as the director of a crisis intervention center at Clark Air Force Base. During her time there, she received a service award for civilian assistance as a result of her role in the 1975 Saigon airlift.
Upon graduation from law school, Magistrate Judge Rook worked as Counsel for Child Abuse and Neglect, and also worked with the Dalton and Dalton Law Firm on special education cases. In 1999, Judge Rook took on the role of special education attorney in the civil division for the Public Defender Service, where she assisted the juvenile trial attorneys whose clients had outstanding special education needs. Judge Rook was a planner and teacher at the Public Defender Service’s (PDS’) first special education training in 2000.
Following her work as a special education attorney, Judge Rook served as Coordinator of the Juvenile Services Program for PDS. In this capacity, she was responsible for training and supervising staff attorneys and law clerks that worked with PDS at the Oak Hill Youth Center and the Youth Services Center. Judge Rook was part of the truancy workgroup that developed the middle school truancy diversion program.
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