Colleen McNally retired as a Superior Court Judge for the State of Arizona in Maricopa County in September, 2017. Prior to her appointment to the bench, she was a public lawyer serving in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, the Office of the Attorney General for the State of Arizona and the Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office. As a superior court judge she served in all of the major court departments and in leadership as the Presiding Judge for the Northwest Regional Court Center, the Presiding Family Court Judge and the Presiding Juvenile Court Judge.
Much of Judge McNally‘s career has been devoted to improving the justice system’s response to children and families. She spent many years as a Drug Court and Treatment Court Judge helping to support and encourage people who were battling substance addiction. While working with parents in Family Treatment Court, it became very apparent to her that support from other parents was one of the most important factors in helping parents to address the issues that had caused them to be involved in the child welfare system.
When looking at what she wanted to do in retirement, she saw the Family Involvement Center as being ideally situated to implement improvement in family engagement AND system response to families in both child welfare and juvenile justice. FIC has an impressive track record in not only assisting parents in navigating the education and behavioral health systems, but in amplifying parents’ voices to improve the systems that should be serving them.
In retirement, Judge McNally also serves on the Advisory Council of the Arizona Center for African American Children, the Curriculum Committee for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and is enjoying some free time with her husband and dogs in their home in Glendale, where they raised their sons.