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Christopher Menich
Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney
1st Municipal District Richard J. Daley Center Courthouse


Outstanding Assistant State's Attorney


This award is given to this Assistant State's Attorneys that go above and beyond.

For 2021 This Award was presented to the following

Assistant State's Attorneys:

Outstanding Asst. State's Attorney

Alice O’Connell
Cook County
Assistant State’s Attorney

1st Municipal District
Richard J. Daley Center
​Courthouse




Joy Eleanor Tolbert Nelson
Joy Eleanor Tolbert Nelson was raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, by her single mother and maternal grandmother. For the past twenty years, Joy has chosen to live in Chicago. She is a wife and a mother of two children. 

Joy learned about the criminal justice system from both sides. Joy’s uncle was in and out of prison for most of her childhood and young adulthood. He died in prison while Joy was in law school. Joy worked her way up from a student member to a national staff member for the YMCA of the USA headquarters in Chicago, IL, and managed a $1 million AmeriCorps grant which focused on Environmental projects in local YMCAs and across the country.

She graduated from Carlow College. Carlow was an all-women’s catholic liberal arts college in her hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Joy has a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Joy feels she owes a fellow high school student that took her under her wing and encouraged her to apply for college scholarships. She feels she would not have attended college without her help. This was after her high school guidance counselor told her she had no future. 

In 2000, Joy graduated from John Marshall Law school. She went to night school. She worked and paid for her education. Joy has been a Cook County Assistant State’s attorney since graduating. 

Joy worked as a Minority summer law clerk for the Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Thomas R. Fitzgerald. Later, he became Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court. She also worked as a Staff Attorney for the Criminal Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County. Her former assignments were Child Support and Enforcement, Narcotics, Child Advocacy Center, Felony Review, the Community Justice North, and Felony Trial Division; 3rd, 2nd, and most recently, first chair at Maywood District 4, Judge Ramon Ocasio, III. Joy has prosecuted big and small cases, including single and double murders. Her present assignment is the Felony Review Unit, assisting law enforcement in the Review and charging of Criminal offenses in Illinois.


Alice O'Connell

Bio Coming Soon!

THE IMPACT ON LIVES

Joy Eleanor Tolbert Nelson
Cook County Assistant
State’s Attorney
4TH Municipal District
​Maywood Courthouse


More Info

Christopher Menich
Christopher is an Assistant State’s Attorney with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. He graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2016, and while in college, he interned in the traffic division of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. This internship inspired him to go to law school with the goal of becoming an Assistant State's Attorney. Christopher graduated from UIC Law School in 2020 and began working in the traffic division of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office as an Assistant State’s Attorney. He views his job of prosecuting misdemeanor traffic offenses as a way for him to help keep others safe on the roadways, and is honored to work with victims, while helping to bring them justice.