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Winnebago County Public Defender position open

The Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court is accepting applications for the position of Winnebago County Public Defender. This position shall become vacant upon the retirement of the current Public Defender on December 31, 2016.

The duties of the Public Defender are established by statute, (55 ILCS 5/3-4006). The Winnebago County Public Defender’s Office is appointed by the Court to represent indigent clients in felony, misdemeanor, traffic, juvenile delinquency and juvenile abuse / neglect cases. The Office is also involved in representation of adults and juveniles in connection with the Winnebago County Problem-Solving Courts.

The Public Defender assigns, directs, and evaluates the work of the staff attorneys in providing competent legal services to the public within the rules of law and professional responsibility. The office is currently staffed by 33 full time assistant public defenders, 4 investigators and 7 office assistants.

The Public Defender’s responsibilities includes the appointment and supervision of staff attorneys and support personnel, office management, functions of human resources, establishment of office policies, oversight and preparation of departmental budgets, and related work as required. The Public Defender must have the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with employees, court personnel, public officials, the public, and members of the local bar associations.

Applicants must be licensed to practice law in Illinois, be in good standing with the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission and have at least five years experience in providing criminal legal services including felony trial work and experience in other areas of criminal law. In addition to an excellent command of substantive criminal law, other qualifications should include proven effective administrative skills, knowledge of modern methods and practices of criminal law, interviewing and counseling techniques, ability to train and develop staff professionals in legal research and presentation methods, and the ability to anticipate and resolve various related problems as they arise. Knowledge of problem-solving courts’ protocol and procedures is desirable.

The salary is set by statute at not less than 90% of the compensation of the Winnebago County State’s Attorney. The starting salary for this position is $149,282 per year. Winnebago County benefits package included. This is a full time position and the Public Defender cannot engage in the private practice of law.

All applicants must complete an application available at the Office of the Chief Judge of the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit and on the Seventeenth Judicial Court Website – If you so desire, you may request that an application be e-mailed to you by submitting your request to: An application will be e-mailed to you as soon as possible during working hours.

Trial Court Administrator Thomas R. Jakeway at
Applications must be received by 5:00 P.M. on, November 11, 2016. Applications received
after the deadline will not be accepted.

Posted on October 24, 2016 by Morgan Yingst