Employment Opportunities

The Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender was established in 1930 and defends indigent clients in one of the largest unified court systems in the United States. We have more than 650 employees including more than 450 attorneys who represent tens of thousands of clients a year, accused of offenses ranging from traffic violations and misdemeanors to felonies such as murder.

Our mission 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 office has multiple divisions and our offices are located throughout Cook County.

Current Job Openings

The following positions are currently open:

All applications must be submitted through the linked Taleo website. Please follow us on LinkedIn for announcements of future job postings!

Please contact the Cook County Bureau of Human Resources (BHR) at 312-603-3300, x2 or BHR.WorkforceStrategy@cookcountyil.gov with any questions.

For information about law student internships, see our Internships & Volunteer Opportunities Page.

Application Procedures

Please carefully complete and submit all applications and required supporting documents, following the instructions on the job listing. Failure to do so may disqualify an applicant from employment consideration.

Cook County Government is an Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) employer and affords equal employment opportunities to applicants without regard to race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, source of income, housing status, military service or discharge status, gender identity, or genetic information.

Assistant Public Defenders

Applicants for Assistant Public Defender positions must be a member of the Illinois Bar at the time they submit their application.

Applicants should have a demonstrated interest in working with indigent clients, a capacity to work long hours and the ability to develop excellent litigation and writing skills.

Attorneys with legal experience outside our office are encouraged to apply for attorney supervisor roles when such postings are listed.

Law students may consider applying for our Law Student Volunteer Internship Program For more information on this program click here.

Recent law school graduates who are not yet admitted to the Illinois Bar may consider applying for pre-licensed positions as explained below.

Pre-licensed Assistant Public Defender Program

Recent law school graduates who have not yet been admitted to practice law in Illinois, have the opportunity to work as a Pre-licensed Assistant Public Defender. Pre-licensed Assistant Public Defenders have one calendar year after their start date to get sworn-in to the Illinois bar. Upon being sworn-in, Pre-licensed Assistant Public Defenders automatically get promoted to Assistant Public Defender I.  

The minimum qualifications for Pre-licensed Assistant Public Defenders are:

  • Must be currently enrolled in an accredited school of law having completed at least 54 credit hours required. (Must provide original law school transcript at time of interview) OR
  • have graduated from an accredited school of law with a Juris Doctorate degree preparing to take the Illinois bar or awaiting Illinois bar results, but not yet licensed as an Illinois attorney. (Must provide law school transcript).

Support staff, investigators, mitigation specialists, case workers, social workers, interpreters, and other non-attorney positions

Our office’s work to provide the finest legal representation for all of our clients would not be possible without skilled support staff, investigators, mitigation specialists, case workers, social workers, language interpreters and other important roles.

Important notes for applicants

Documents uploaded for previous or different applications will not be considered. Applicants must upload documents separately for each application.

Failure to provide required documents prior to the closing date will result in disqualification from further consideration.