Public Defense Corporations

Public defense corporations are non-profit groups created in the 1970s and 1980s as alternatives to the then county-based public defender system.  They were created because of a desire to further protect the legal rights of those considered to be disadvantaged in the traditional criminal justice system, primarily people of color and of minority ethnic heritage. The corporations provide quality, independent criminal and juvenile defense services to such groups, who otherwise would need public defense services. The four corporations are the Neighborhood Justice Corporation (St. Paul); Legal Rights Center (Minneapolis), Duluth Indian Legal, and the Regional Native Public Defense Corporation (serving Leech Lake and White Earth).
The Legal Rights Center (LRC) is located in Minneapolis and primarily serves residents of Hennepin County; however, as they are well known across the state by the American Indian community they may go to other counties to represent Native Americans.  You may contact the LRC at
The Indian Legal Assistance Program (ILA) is located in Duluth.  ILA provides legal services for felony, gross misdemeanor, and petty misdemeanor cases.  The office serves the following counties:  St. Louis, Carlton, Lake, Cook, Aitkin, Mille Lacs, Pine, Crow Wing and Morrison.  It also serves the Bois Forte Reservation Tribal Court and Fond du Lac Tribal Court. Click here to contact ILA.
The Neighborhood Justice Center (NJC) is located in St. Paul.  The core service of the NJC is the provision of criminal and juvenile public defense representation in Ramsey County and the east metro.   You may contact the NJC at
The Regional Native Public Defense Corporation (RNPDC) serves members of the White Earth and Leech Lake Reservations.  RNPDC serves members in Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater, Hubbard, Itasca, and Mahnomen counties. You may contact the RNPDC at