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.

Because of the COVID-19 global pandemic and until further notice, we are not allowing walk-ins. In the meantime, we do have a limited number of staff members here answering phones and conducting intake interviews by phone. To apply for representation during this time, please either call (706) 369-6440 or send an email to lawyer.request@gapublicdefender.org with the following information: your name, a good call back number, the best time to reach you and a little information about your case (such as your charges, court date if scheduled, etc.). We will have someone call you to see if you qualify for our services. 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