Judge Joan Margaret O’Brien
JUDICIAL EXPERIENCE: Judge Joan Margaret O’Brien was elected by the voters in 2000, retained in 2006, and again in 2012. Judge O’Brien is the supervising judge of the felony courts in the 5th Municipal District of Cook County. Judge Joan Margaret O’Brien presides over felony cases from the City of Chicago and suburban felony cases in the Bridgeview courthouse. Judge O’Brien started the Veterans Court and the Drug Treatment Court in the 5th District. She was initially assigned to the Child Protection Division of Juvenile Court where Judge O’Brien presided over cases of abuse and neglect of children living in the Austin neighborhood in Chicago. Judge O’Brien served in the Child Protection Division for 7 years.
LEGAL EXPERIENCE: Prior to becoming a judge, Judge Joan Margaret O’Brien worked as an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney for almost 17 years. There she rose through the office to be the highest ranking woman in the Criminal Division where she was the Deputy Bureau Chief, supervising over 250 Assistant State’s Attorneys. Judge O’Brien was also the Chair of the Hate Crimes Task Force and the Chair of the Domestic Violence Task Force.
EDUCATION: Drake University Law School (J.D.); Drake University (B.A.); Barrington High School