Welcome to the Western Judicial Circuit Public Defender Office

Who are we?

We are the public defender's office for Clarke and Oconee Counties. These two counties comprise one judicial circuit, the Western circuit. (Western link opens in a new tab)

Some people still call us by our old name: "Legal Aid". That's us.

We are a law office publicly funded by the Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County, Oconee County and the State of Georgia. We are part of the state-wide public defender system known as the Georgia Public Defender Council (GPDC).

Who do we represent and how do you apply for services?

We represent indigent individuals who have pending criminal charges or juvenile court cases in Clarke County and Oconee County.

As of March 21, 2022 we are no longer conducting phone interviews and are accepting walk-ins again. To apply for representation, please visit our office between 9:00 am and 3:30 pm Monday through Friday to see if you qualify for our services. PLEASE BRING A MASK.

Individuals who are incarcerated may request an interview at the jail.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please call our main office at (706) 369-6440.

"The true measure of a civilized society is how it treats people accused of crimes."

~Winston Churchill