Irish Legal 100


JAMES N. O’Hara is a circuit judge for the Cook County Circuit Court in Illinois. He was appointed to the bench by the Illinois Supreme Court in 2008 and elected to a seat in the 14th Subcircuit in November 2008.

During his tenure on the bench, O’Hara has also been assigned to the First Municipal District. Over the course of his legal career, he has served as an assistant attorney general in the Office of the Illinois Attorney General, and as an assistant public defender in the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender. He also worked as an attorney in private practice, and was a sole practitioner at the time of his appointment.

O’Hara earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Western Illinois University, and a JD from Quinnipiac University School of Law/University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. Married with one daughter, O’Hara’s grandparents emigrated from counties Mayo, Sligo and Roscommon. He holds dual U.S.-Irish citizenship, and is a member of the Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago and the Gaelic Society.





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