Thursday, October 25, 2012
Judge, mom, wife, public servant, community volunteer are just some of the many hats Maité Murphy wears these days – and she wears all of them well.
But her motivation runs far deeper than mere personal success. Being involved, setting a positive example, and making a difference have always been key elements to Murphy's approach to life.
She has enjoyed a successful and interesting career in law, literally moving from one side of the bench to the other, from prosecutor, private practice, to judge, in the space of a few years. She has also served as past president of the Dorchester County Bar Association and is a member of the SC Women's Bar Association.
She works, or has worked, with a number of community organizations, serving on the board of directors for the Summerville YMCA, the development board of Children in Crisis. She is a past board member of Meals on Wheels and is an active volunteer with the Summerville Miracle League and the “Women Build” project for Habitat for Humanity. She is a member of the Summerville Rotary Club and St. Paul's Episcopal Church.
“Maité is one of the finest young women that I have ever been associated with,” noted Edward Carter of Appraisal Services of SC. “She is an active member of our community and has consistently demonstrated her dedication to making Summerville and Dorchester County a better place to live.”
Murphy says it is important to show our children by example to give back to the community of which we are a part.
“You have to love what you do, and you try to make a difference through your work, as well as through service to your community,” she noted. “I think community service is an important aspect of being a good citizen – and we have such a great community here in Dorchester County.”
Murphy said she loves the law and has greatly enjoyed her career. She started in private practice and then joined the First Circuit Solicitor's Office in 1998, ultimately rising to the position of Chief Deputy Solicitor. It was her job to prosecute all violent crimes against women and children in Dorchester, Orangeburg, and Calhoun counties, an experience that would be enlightening in a variety of ways, she said.
“It was a very rewarding time,” she said. “It really gave me a feeling that I was doing some good out there. Throughout my career I have been very fortunate to work with so many great people – judges, attorneys, and clients in need. You learn something from each case and experience.”
Her next step was private practice – The Murphy Law Firm -- with her husband, State Rep. Chris Murphy. But as interesting and enjoyable as that was, she was soon taking on another challenge – this time from the other side of the bar. Murphy was appointed as a county magistrate in 2009, ultimately serving as Chief Magistrate for Dorchester County before being appointed Master In Equity in 2011.
“It's funny – even when I was a young child, my grandmother would tell me that I should be a judge,” Murphy said. “I guess I was always the mediator in the family.”
Busy as she is, Murphy is also very family-oriented and makes it a priority to balance work and community service with an active and happy family life. The Murphy's two sons, Austin and Jackson, are involved in many activities, especially sports, which keeps the family on the go, she said.
“I am very blessed,” she said. “This is such a wonderful place to live and I'm really, truly blessed to be part of such a great team here in Dorchester County.”