Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Michigan

About Us
Attorneys & Staff Legal Resources
For Clients & Families



Charitable Works

The Federal Public Defender Office is committed to not only helping the indigent in the federal court system, but also helping others in the West Michigan community.

The Federal Defender Office plays a very active role in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC).  The CFC is the only authorized solicitation of Federal employees in their workplace on behalf of approved charitable organizations.  Federal employees continue to make the CFC the largest and most successful workplace philanthropic fund-raiser in the world.  Ray Kent, the Federal Defender served as Honorary Chair for the 2009 Campaign.  Karen Jennings, Administrative Assistant is currently serving as a member of the Local Federal Coordinating Committee that is responsible for organizing the Western Michigan Combined Federal Campaign. The Office was  awarded the Eagle Award in 2007 and 2009 which is the top honor for charitable donations through the CFC as well as the Gold Award, the second highest honor since 2005.

Click Here to view the CFC Letter from Ray Kent Honorary Chair for the 2009 Campaign

The Office has also contributed to the Horn of Plenty organized by the Grand Rapids Bar Association Young Lawyers Section, Bethany Christian Services Adopt-a-Family Program, and the Huntington's Disease Society of America.


Members of the Office Working Charity

The Defender Office has volunteered their time at the Children's Museum for such activities as the Trick-or-Treat Night and the Family Game Night.

The Office Working Charity

In the spring of 2010, the office joined together to form a fundraising team for the Colon Cancer Alliance. The office team, better known as Briefs-R-Us raised money for the alliance. Several members of the team walked or ran in Grand Rapids Inaugural Undy 5000 5K run to show support for the cause.

Exodus House Donations

The Office has been a strong supporter of the Exodus Building through a variety of charitable donations. The Exodus Building is a facility for men coming out of homelessness, prisons, and difficult life situations.  Their objective is to help restore the lives of men that have been faced with hopeless situations.  They believe in offering a hand-up, not a hand-out.

The Office Wrapping Presents

Since 2005, the Federal Defender staff along with several CJA Panel attorneys and their support staff have volunteered with the Salvation Army, wrapping presents and organizing toy donations for the Angel Tree Project.  The Salvation Army Angel Tree project hands out roughly 40,000 gifts to under privileged children in the Wood TV 8 viewing area during the Christmas season.


Federal Defender Art Prize

"Whodunit" was an idea created by the Federal Public Defender Office for the Western District of Michigan for ArtPrize. ArtPrize is a phenomenal annual contest that takes place in downtown Grand Rapids, MI in which artists from all over the world submit art, ideas and concepts. Over 300,000+ visitors come to Grand Rapids each year to enjoy ArtPrize.

The purpose of our piece, "Whodunit," was to challenge preconceptions of what a criminal may look like and to invoke self-reflection with respect to our personal prejudices. Our project is dedicated to the defense of the indigent. "We few, we happy few."