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2019 Black Public Defender Association (BPDA) Conference.
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avatar for Keir Bradford-Gray

Keir Bradford-Gray

Defender Association of Philadelphia
Chief Defender
Philadelphia PA

Since becoming Chief Defender of the Defender Association of Philadelphia in 2015, Keir Bradford- Grey has been the city’s leading advocate for comprehensive justice system reform. Ms. Bradford- Grey believes that the Defender must not only provide clients with first-rate legal counsel, but also champion innovative programs and partnerships that give communities the power to ensure positive outcomes for those who encounter our justice system. Ms. Bradford-Grey has spent the last five years spearheading initiatives to provide clients access to services that will enable them to avoid the most damaging aspects of the justice system while developing the skills they need to successfully re-enter their communities.


She has established partnerships with justice system stakeholders and community allies to advance client-centered representation, empower individuals to advocate for themselves at every stage of the system, and make communities stronger and safer. These efforts include bringing participatory defense – a dynamic community-driven criminal justice reform program – to both Montgomery County and Philadelphia and launching the Pre-Entry Coalition, a partnership with community organizations to provide services to reduce or eliminate pre-trial incarceration for people with criminal charges.


Ms. Bradford Grey’s successful defense of a high-profile homicide client in 2019 has been a catalyst for conversations about the importance of having well-resourced public defenders, and the assumptions that our justice system too often makes about people of color.


A Boston native, Ms. Bradford-Grey has dedicated her career to public interest work. After earning a law degree from Ohio Northern University School of Law, she began her legal career as an assistant public defender at the Defender Association of Philadelphia before becoming an assistant federal defender at the Delaware Federal Defenders Office, and later, Montgomery County’s Chief Defender.


Ms. Bradford-Grey serves on a number of boards and associations, including President of the American Council of Chief Defenders (ACCD), a large subchapter of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA) dedicated to securing a fair justice system and ensuring high quality legal representation for people facing loss of life, freedom, or family.