Welcome to the Western Judicial Circuit Public Defender Office

Who are we?

We are the public defender's office for Athens-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 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?

We represent indigent individuals who have pending criminal charges or juvenile court cases in Athens-Clarke County and Oconee County. To apply for representation, please visit our office between the hours of 9am and 3:30pm, Monday - Friday to see if you qualify for our services. We cannot conduct interviews over the phone. Individuals who are incarcerated may request an interview at the jail.

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

~Winston Churchill