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Risa Lanier


Risa Lanier serves as First Assistant State’s Attorney at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, the second largest prosecutor’s office in the country. She oversees the operations of the office, which has more than 1,200 employees. Risa also serves as a faculty member for Vera Causa Group. 


In her position as First Assistant, Risa creates policies and procedures in the State’s Attorney’s Office that promote public safety while recognizing and combatting historical inequalities inherent in the criminal justice system through a progressive prosecution model. She also helps develop in-house training programs, engage with elected leaders, stakeholders, and community members, and prosecutes high profile cases.


Born and raised on the south side of Chicago, Risa graduated Illinois State University, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. She then attended Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, School of Law, earning a Juris Doctorate. In 2000, Risa was sworn into the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office where she has practiced criminal law as a prosecutor for the past 23 years.


Outside of her official duties, Risa serves her community in a variety of ways. She is a member of the National Black Prosecutors Association, Cook County Bar Association, and the Chicago Bar Association. Risa is an active member of New Faith Apostolic Church, where she sits on the Executive Board and is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

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