Between 1999 and 2003 public defenders were gradually introduced into Israel's welfare-oriented Juvenile Courts. This article reports on the findings of a study that sought to assess the perspectives of the social work trained probation officers on the early impacts of the introduction of public defenders. The study involved in-depth interviews with 14 probation officers. The major findings of the study were that the probation officers: (1) supported the introduction of public defenders in principle but not in practice; (2) believed public defenders should be committed to the therapeutic perspective of the court and become an additional link in the treatment chain; (3) felt that their influence in the court had diminished with the arrival of public defenders; and, (4) viewed the public defenders as compromising the benefit to the young defendant of the drama of the court hearing. Many of the study's findings can be explained by Eisenstein and Jacob's (1991) model of the courtroom workgroup.