The mission of the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender (CCPD) is to protect the rights, liberties and dignity of each person whose case has been entrusted to us by providing the finest legal representation. Our clients are accused of offenses ranging from traffic and misdemeanor charges to capital murder. The Office was established in 1930 and defends poor people in the largest unified court system in the world. At the beginning of 2006, the staff consisted of 742 authorized positions: 549 attorneys, 116 support staff and 77 investigators.

The Law Office is currently organized into several divisions:

  • Juvenile Justice
  • Felony Trial
  • Multiple Defendants
  • First Municipal (Misdemeanor, Traffic, Domestic Violence)
  • Professional Development
  • Civil (Child Protection, Paternity, Mental Health)
  • Legal Resources (Appeals and Post Conviction)
  • Forensic Science
  • Homicide Task Force
  • Investigations
  • and Five Suburban Divisions

Office Locations

The Law Offices of the Public Defender are located throughout Cook County.

  • The following are located in the downtown Chicago area: Administration, Legal Resources, Professional Development, First Municipal (Traffic and Domestic Violence), Multiple Defendants and Forensic Science.
  • The Felony Trial Division, Investigations and Homicide Task Force are located at the Criminal Courts Building, while Juvenile Justice and Child Protection are located at the Juvenile Courts Building.
  • The suburban divisions are located in the following surrounding cities: Skokie, Rolling Meadows, Maywood, Bridgeview and Markham. Several first municipal branch courts are located throughout the City of Chicago.


The office is normally open from 8:30a.m. until 6:00p.m., Monday through Friday; however, the nature of the work often demands more than a forty-hour week.

Qualifications and Application Procedures

Applicants should have a demonstrated interest in working with the poor, a capacity to work long hours, as well as the ability to develop excellent litigation and writing skills. Attorneys joining the Office are asked to give a commitment to remain for at least three years. Applications can be obtained from Cook County Employment Listings. Minorities and women are encouraged to apply.


All persons interested in applying for an attorney position must fill out and file an application online at: Cook County Employment Listings. (See “Offices under the President”) Applications may only be filed when positions are posted and available.

Applicants must be members of the Illinois State Bar Association at the time they submit their application. Attorneys who are not yet admitted to the Illinois Bar may consider volunteering for our office.

Support Staff and Investigators

Our Office utilizes the finest support available, including: Accountants, Administrative Assistants, Case Workers, Clerks, Secretaries, Interpreters, Investigators, Librarians, Mitigation Specialists.

All persons interested in applying for an investigator or support staff  position should apply online at: Cook County Employment Listings (See “Offices under the President”) Applications may only be filed when positions are posted and available.

Volunteer Positions

Our office welcomes volunteers to serve as law clerks and as interns in fields such as social work, criminal justice, psychology, and investigations.  All of our positions are on a volunteer basis.  Please use this link to learn more about our volunteer opportunities.