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About Legal Aid and Defender Association

About Legal Aid and Defender Association2018-03-22T13:45:58+00:00

Our mission

To provide holistic, innovative legal services that improve the quality of life and empower vulnerable and underserved individuals, families and communities.

What we do

Legal Aid and Defender Association, Inc. (LAD), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, provides comprehensive civil legal services to residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties who cannot afford an attorney. Founded in 1909, we are proud to be the oldest provider of free civil legal assistance to low-income residents of Michigan. We have a full-time staff of attorneys, paralegals and legal support staff.

We are passionate about securing the rights of low-income individuals and assist with wide-ranging civil legal matters through both advocacy and representation. For example, we help residents stay in their homes through eviction diversion programs, we fight for rightful government-provided benefits for those in need, and we work to improve the health and welfare of low-income families by addressing the root causes of poor health.

How to access our services

All potential clients must complete a screening process to determine their financial eligibility for legal services, as well as lack of conflicts with other clients. Additionally, the screening process will ensure that the client’s legal problem falls within the priorities of our organization. For individuals not qualifying for our services, there is a referral system in place to ensure they receive the help they need.

Have you been charged with a felony? If so, visit the Metropolitan Justice Center of Southeast Michigan website for to learn how you may be eligible to access legal assistance.

Other Resources

Board of Directors

Che’ B. Peterson (Chair)


Cassandra Walker (Vice Chair)


J. Sherman Larkins (Treasurer)

Managing Member
Access Consulting Group, LLC

Secretary (Vacant) 

Ryan Machasic


Vance Jackson


Eric L. Taylor

Sate of Michigan



Nicole Goodson

Chief Counsel

Michelle Johnson

Managing Attorney

Caroline Bermudez Jomaa

Director of Pro Bono and Community