Immediately upon passing the Illinois State Bar in 1976, Bruce Paynter became the Assistant State's Attorney in Cook Country, Illinois. While in this position from 1976 to 1997, Bruce received immeasurable trial experience, which included eight capital murder trials. In 1988, he was appointed as the supervisor of municipal district prosecutions in Cook County's Second Municipal District. He was tasked with directly supervising and training assistant state's attorneys assigned to felony and misdemeanor courts, assisting and training suburban police department personnel, participating in charging decisions, and responding to citizen concerns brought directly to the attention of the State's Attorney's Office. By 1993 Bruce became Supervisor of Felony Trial Courts in the Cook County Criminal Courts Building. During this time, Bruce directed supervision and training of assistant state's attorneys assigned to six felony courtrooms and developing and implementing training programs for prosecutors and police, all while maintaining a personal caseload of criminal trials. In 1995 the Association of Government Attorneys in Capital Litigation recognized Bruce's efforts with the "Trial Advocacy Award" for excellence in the trial of capital cases.
In 1997, Bruce went to work for Williams Montgomery & John, Ltd. of Chicago where he litigated numerous cases regarding personal injury allegations, products liability, environmental enforcement, and other civil proceedings. He now operates his own law practice in his lifelong hometown area of Chicago where he specializes in the defense of criminal and traffic charges.
Bruce received both his bachelor's degree with honors and his law degree from Northwestern University. He still maintains an active presence at his alma mater as a member of both the Northwestern University Marching Band Alumni Board of Directors and the Northwestern University Gridiron Network Board of Directors. In addition to these associations, Bruce is Secretary/Treasurer of the John P. Paynter Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to furthering music's cause in memory of Bruce's father, the prolific bandleader, composer, conductor and arranger for Northwestern University.