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Chicago Hosts First AO Select Orientation
For a week in September, 12 employees from the Administrative Office had the opportunity to experience first-hand the daily activities of a federal court—in this case, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. District and Bankruptcy Courts for the Northern District of Illinois, the district’s Probation and Pretrial Services Office, and the Community Defender Office in Chicago. The participants in this first AO Select orientation represented nearly every directorate in the AO, and were selected with the expectation that their better understanding of the courts will promote a more effective working relationship between the AO and the courts it serves.
Throughout the week, AO staff had the opportunity to watch court proceedings at every level. They discussed what they saw with judges, federal public defenders, and court executives; rode along with probation officers on client visits, and learned how staff attorneys, mediators, courtroom deputies, and other court staff perform their jobs.
The goal of the AO Select Orientation, according to AO Director Jim Duff, is for AO staff to “gain a greater awareness and understanding of the unique challenges faced by the courts and defender organizations so that they can enhance the AO’s delivery of core services and programs for the courts, while expanding and strengthening our partnership with the courts.”