Local Attorney Schaefer Going to Work for Attorney General

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Published on January 16 2014 9:19 pm
Last Updated on January 16 2014 9:28 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Local attorney Barry Schaefer said he loves being a prosecutor and now he's going to get another opportunity to do the thing he loves best about the law.

Schaefer is going to work for the Statewide Grand Jury Bureau of the Criminal Enforcement Division of the Illinois Attorney General's Office.  He said his work will involve prosecuting drug and gun cases as well as computer crimes.  He'll be considered an Assistant Attorney General.

Schaefer is a native of Effingham County, but has worked in many counties in the region as both a prosecutor and as a defense attorney.  He served as Cumberland County State's Attorney for 10 years, was an Assistant State's Attorney in Coles County from 2000 to 2002, and was an Assistant State's Attorney in Effingham County under Kevin Parker from 1993 to 2000.  He was in private practice prior to his work as a prosecutor and has served as a Public Defender or Conflicts Public Defender in Effingham, Jasper, Shelby, Clark and Edgar Counties.

All told, Schaefer has been practicing law for more than 27 years, but 19 of those have been as a prosecutor and he said that's the job he loves.  He said he'll be involved in his new job throughout the process, from investigations to trial to post-trial motions.

Ironically, when he went to law school he thought he wouldn't like the trial process and planned on handling estate planning and the like.  Instead, he said he is more fascinated with criminal law than anything else.

The process of getting his new job has been lengthy.  Schaefer said he applied for the position a year ago and has undergone interviews in Springfield and Chicago.  He heads to Springfield to begin orientation February 3.  Schaefer said he'll be based in Springfield but will be traveling wherever the work takes him.