Profile: aaron.goldstein

Aaron Goldstein has been an attorney for over 15 years and is currently an attorney supervisor at the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender in the First Municipal Division. Before coming to the Cook County Public Defenderís Office, he was the founder of The Goldstein Firm, P.C., a criminal defense and civil rights firm in Chicago. Mr. Goldstein has handled all types of criminal federal and state cases and has tried hundreds of felony cases. Mr. Goldstein was the attorney for former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and former Chicago Alderman and Cook County Commissioner William Beavers. He has also represented individuals arrested during the NATO and Occupy Chicago protests. Mr. Goldstein first began his career as an assistant public defender handling all types of state criminal cases as well as child protection cases. Mr. Goldstein is licensed to practice in Illinois and is a member of the Federal Trial Bar and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. He is a member of the Federal Panel which is a select group of attorneys qualified to receive appointments to federal criminal cases. While Illinois had the death penalty, he was certified to handle capital cases as a member of the Illinois Capital Litigation Trial Bar. Mr. Goldstein graduated With Distinction from the University of Iowa, College of Law in 2000. At the University of Iowa, his journal article was published in the Journal of Gender, Race & Justice. Mr. Goldstein teaches Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure at North Park University and taught the trial advocacy team at the DePaul University College of Law. He has also spoken at various seminars and bar associations, law offices and universities. In 2016 Mr. Goldstein was elected Democratic Committeeman for the 33rd Ward in Chicago defeating 40-year incumbent Dick Mell.




On March 18, 2017 - the 54th anniversary of the Gideon v. Wainright decision - NAPD published its Foundational Principleswhich are recommended to NAPD members and other persons and organizations interested in advancing the cause of equal justice for accused persons.  


On March 2, 2017, NAPD released its Statement on Reducing Demand For Public Defense: Alternatives to Traditional Prosecution Can Reduce Defender Workload, Save Money, and Reduce RecidivismThere are more than 2 million people in jail and prison in the United States. This is a four-fold increase since 1980. This increase and the racial disproportionality among incarcerated people has led to alliances across the political spectrum to address the impact on people and on budgets.  As the new Coalition for Public Safety has put it, “Our country has an ‘overcriminalization’ problem and an ‘overincarceration’ problem — and it’s getting worse." NAPD authored this statement because there is a great opportunity to make transformative changes that can improve justice and save money.  A variety of organizations representing a wide spectrum of political views have joined together to end the systematic problem of overcriminalization and narrow the net of incarceration by reforming criminal codes.