Defender Association of Philadelphia
The Defender Association of Philadelphia represents approximately seventy percent of all persons arrested in Philadelphia. The Association, however, has no power to appoint itself as legal counsel. The Court of Common Pleas and the Municipal Court of Philadelphia determine standards of indigence and make all counsel appointments for the Association.
Clients are represented by fulltime Assistant Defenders who are members of the Pennsylvania Bar and who are not permitted to maintain a private practice or to participate in partisan political activity.
Assistant Defenders rotate their assignments through the various units or divisions within the office. The trial units or divisions generally correspond to the Philadelphia Criminal Justice System's own organization.
In The News
- Whistleblower lawsuit raises questions about legal representation of Philly's troubled poor children, Newsworks, September 20, 2017.
- New chief of Defender Association of Philadelphia known for taking different approach, Philadelphia Inquirer, August 10, 2015.