ArchCity Defenders (ACD) is a holistic legal advocacy organization that combats the criminalization of poverty and state violence, especially in communities of color. ACD’s foundation of civil and criminal legal representation, social services, impact litigation, policy and media advocacy, and community collaboration achieves and inspires justice and equitable outcomes for people throughout the St. Louis region and beyond.

Welcome to ARCHCITY DEFENDERS

“ArchCity Defenders walks into the danger that most lawyers walk away from. They choose to go to the hard places. They aren’t intimidated by the challenge. They seek it out. They do the thankless work alongside organizers, activists, and community to protect the rights of those our society devalues. They are there after the cameras are gone and the 24-hour news cycle is up.”

-Brittany Packnett Cunningham, Activist, Educator, and Speaker

Our Services

IMPACT AT A GLANCE

Represented thousands of people

in the St. Louis region.

In 2020, we provided 19,154 hours in direct holistic services to a total of 294 households, who had a total of 762 legal cases.

59 civil rights cases filed

regarding issues like debtors’ prisons, police misconduct, cash bail, and jail conditions since 2014.

116 people

avoided homelessness or moved into permanent housing in 2020 with 100% of these clients still housed.

50+ partnerships

formed with local and national groups, nonprofits, and universities to raise awareness and advance systemic policy change in our region.

When it comes to ArchCity Defenders, I trust them. They feel more like my family, like they’re not just my lawyers. They’re my friends also. They listen to you, they want to know if you okay, they want to know how you doing. Even asked, ya know, ‘you got food to eat?’ They make sure you got everything.  They do everything they can for they clients. I never seen so many attorneys like that ever in life. Since I’ve been a part of ArchCity, I feel free. They made me feel free.

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