First Defense Legal Aid

  • IL


5100 W. Harrison St.
United States

About Us

For over 20 years, First Defense Legal Aid has been commited to ensuring equal justice to people in custody at Chicago Police stations. FDLA's mission and program are unique both nationally and in the Chicago community. FDLA provides a free, reliable, and experienced lawyer to individuals who are arrested in the city of Chicago - 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The FDLA attorney is available at the initial and most critical stage of police detention: from the time of arrest until the court system assigns a Public Defender. The FDLA attorney helps the client understand and assert his rights, gathers information about arrest and detainment, documents evidence of police brutality, advocates for medical treatment, and informs the family and friends of the detainee throughout the process. FDLA is the only source of free legal representation available to indigent Chicagoans in police custody, and also focuses on Street Law educational outreach, community organizing, and systemic reform.

If you are interested in volunteering for FDLA, please complete and submit the Volunteer Information Form found on our website at