Donald Johnson has been with the State Defender Office since 1983, starting as a Deputy Defender and leading the office as Chief Defender since 2000. Johnson received his Bachelor of Arts/English Literature from Michigan State University and his Juris Doctorate from the Santa Clara University School of Law.
As Chief Defender, Donald manages 16 attorneys and 3 clerical staff. They close nearly 5000 cases each year.
Donald found that he loved trial work after completing an externship with the Federal Defender for Northern California. He later worked as an intake investigator for the Santa Clara Public Defender in San Jose, California while attending law school. This affirmed his commitment to criminal defense work. After passing the California Bar Exam, he was hired as a deputy defender by the Santa Clara office. This started him on a life-long commitment to criminal defense trial work. He continued with his passion when he returned to Detroit and joined the State Defender Offender. This is his life’s work.
Nicole Goodson joined Legal Aid and Defender Association in 2009 as a Staff Attorney. Presently, she holds the positions of Chief Counsel and Chief Operating Officer. Hall is responsible for the oversight of all day-to-day operations: training and supervision of all civil legal management, developing and implementing education and training programs, meeting with and engaging community members and elected officials, and ensuring that quality legal services are provided to clients in an effective and efficient manner.
Goodson received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Detroit and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Detroit Mercy School Law.