1441 Sansom Street | Philadelphia, PA 19102 | 215-568-3190
 
 

The Defender Association of Philadelphia is an independent, non-profit corporation which was created in 1934 by a group of Philadelphia lawyers who were dedicated to the ideal of high quality legal services for indigent criminal defendants. That ideal continues today as over 200 full time Assistant Defenders represent clients in adult and juvenile state courts, at civil and criminal mental health hearings, and as child advocates for dependent and neglected children.

The Association is governed by a Board of Directors composed of three groups of directors representing the city government, the organized bar and the community. The Board appoints the Chief Defender and the First Assistant and sets overall policy for the Association.

The Defender Association receives most of its state court funding through a contract with the City of Philadelphia to provide legal services to indigent criminal defendants, but the Association is not a city agency. Although city directors sit on the Association board and the city allocates funds for the Association, the Chief Defender, with the board's full support, has continued the Defender Association tradition of political independence and freedom to act in the best interest of its clients.

 
 
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