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Stephen L. Richards

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Criminal Defense Attorney in Chicago, IL

Law Office of Stephen L. Richards
53 West Jackson Blvd, Suite 756
Chicago, IL 60604
Phone: 773-756-5498
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2012 - 2022
Licensed in Illinois Since: 1985
Education: Brooklyn Law School
Practice Areas: Criminal Defense, Appellate, Civil Rights
Attorney Profile

For more than 30  years, Stephen L. Richards has devoted his practice to handling criminal charges, criminal appeals and civil rights lawsuits for clients in Chicago and northeastern Illinois. A veteran of more than 125 felony jury trials, hundreds of bench trials and thousands of other cases in which he effectively negotiated positive outcomes for his clients, Stephen is best known for his work in highly publicized capital murder cases, appeals and reform efforts. That said, he also represents clients facing felony charges that span the entire spectrum of criminal law including drug offenses and white collar criminal charges of every type, including fraud, money laundering and RICO cases.

Stephen is an honors graduate of the University of Chicago and Brooklyn Law School. Before re-entering private practice in 2008, Stephen spent nearly 20 years in public service, first as an assistant public defender in Cook County, and later as a deputy defender in the Office of the Appellate Defender. In 2003, Stephen was honored to receive the National Legal Aid and Defender Association's Kutak-Dodds Award, also known as "The Defender" prize.

To learn more about Mr. Richards, visit the Law Office of Stephen L. Richards website at

Practice Areas
  • 70%Criminal Defense
  • 20%Appellate
  • 10%Civil Rights


11 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2012 - 2022

About Stephen L. Richards

First Admitted: 1985, Illinois

Professional Webpage:

Bar/Professional Activity

  • President, Illinois Public Defender Association, 2006 - 2008
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 2008
  • Illinois, 1985
  • Board Member, Illinois Public Defender Association, 2000 - Present

Educational Background

  • University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, B.A. in History With Honors


  • Order of Barristers, Moot Court, Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn, New York
  • Kutak-Dodds Award, Defender Prize, National Legal Aid and Defender Association, 2003

Representative Clients

  • People v. Arthur King, 154 Ill.2d 217, 608 N.E.2d 877 (Ill. S. Ct.), 1993
  • People v. Terry Griggs, 152 Ill.2d 1, 604 N.E.2d 257 (Ill. S. Ct.), 1992

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • Reasonable Doubt Redux, 34 John Marshall L. Rev. 495, 2001
  • The Admissibility of Expert Testimony, American Bar Association, 2003
  • New Ideas for Jury Selection, Illinois Public Defender Association, 2007
  • Capital Jury Selection, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal, 2007

Special Licenses/Certifications

  • Lead Counsel, Capital Litigation Trial Bar, Illinois Supreme Court, 2001
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Office Location for Stephen L. Richards

53 West Jackson Blvd
Suite 756
Chicago, IL 60604

Phone: 773-756-5498

Last Updated: 5/18/2022

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