King County Department of Public Defense
Fighting for Justice | Defending the Accused | Working for Change
The Department of Public Defense (DPD) provides legal representation to adults and juveniles who have been charged with a crime and cannot afford an attorney, as well as people facing civil commitment, parents who could lose their children in a dependency action, and people seeking to vacate a past felony or misdemeanor conviction. DPD works to address racial disproportionality in the criminal legal system, the collateral consequences of system involvement, and other structural and systemic issues that undermine the rights of our clients.
In 2018, DPD represented 15,313 individuals in King County courts and handled 6,831 filings in Seattle Municipal Court. Read more about DPD's work in its 2019 annual report.
Videos by DPD
What to Do If Your Child Is Removed by CPS
One of the most painful experiences a parent can face is the removal of their child by CPS. DPD's new video explores this difficult issue, profiling two parents who experienced both removal and reunification and who have guidance to offer others as a result.
Know Your Rights!
This video features three young people delivering a powerful message born of their own experiences in King County. When stopped by the police, they urge viewers, ask if you're free to leave. If you're not, ask for a lawyer, then stay quiet.
DPD issues statement in response to High-Barrier Individuals Working Group's proposed pilots
DPD Director Anita Khandelwal issued a statement about her concerns with the four pilot strategies released Sept. 12 by the High-Barrier Individuals Working Group. For the most part, the pilots fail to address what DPD knows our clients need -- long-term housing and community-based services -- as opposed to more involvement in the criminal legal system. Read her complete statement.
DPD is hiring attorneys and recruiting interns!
DPD is hiring eight to 10 new attorneys -- strong advocates who have a passion for public defense and a demonstrated commitment to representing indigent people. New attorneys will be assigned to one of DPD's four divisions and be based in Seattle or Kent. Read more about this excellent opportunity.
DPD has also begun recruiting for its 10-week summer internship program beginning in June 2020. This is an excellent opportunity to explore a career in public defense. Read more about our internship program and how to apply.
A new unit helps people clear their records
DPD has started a new unit that helps people with prior convictions get those convictions vacated. Under state law, many convictions can be vacated, provided enough time has passed. That means you can legally state on job applications, housing applications, and other forms that you have never been convicted of a crime. Read more about this new unit.
King County Public Defender
If you'd like to invite Anita to speak to your organization, please email DPD at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit this page to read a brief bio about Anita and to learn about the members of her management team.
For media inquiries, please contact Leslie Brown, communications manager, at 206-263-1364 or at email@example.com.