About Us


about the salt lake legal defender association

Our History

Established in 1965, the Salt Lake Legal Defender Association is a nonprofit law firm provides the highest quality representation to eligible individuals accused of crimes in Salt Lake County. Our office of dedicated lawyers, social service professionals, mitigation specialists, legal assistants, and investigators work hard to protect the rights of our clients.

Utah Business 40 Under 40 Grant Miller

Grant Miller, a District Court Trial attorney at Salt Lake Legal Defender Association, will be honored by Utah Business Magazine, as one of Utah’s 40 under 40, recognizing his accomplishments as a professional, commitment to the community, and promise for the future.

<a href="/Matthew-Vanek/"><div class="teamNameContainer"><h3>Matthew Vanek</h3> <p>ATTORNEY</p> </div></a>

Matt Vanek has been selected as SJ Quinney’s Young Alumni of the Year and will be honored at a dinner on April 21st at the University of Utah SJ Quinney's College of Law.

Alumni Annual Awards Dinner

Friday, April 21 - 5:30-8:30 p.m.

This year we will be combining the annual alumni awards dinner with the annual 3L dinner! We think it will be a tremendous opportunity for our soon-to-be alumni to get together with our outstanding ULaw alums.

We hope to have individual class receptions or designated class tables prior to dinner so you can have a chance to catch up with your class and everyone else you went to law school with. The receptions will be followed by the alumni of the year award presentations, student awards presentations and dinner. Dessert and music will be on the terrace (weather permitting).

Don’t miss this opportunity to catch up and network with your classmates, as well as your friends from other classes. In the event that we get a large group of alumni from out of town, we are preparing activities for Saturday, including a spring-time picnic and activities for families and kids.

Help us spread the word! Share this email with your ULaw alumni friends and coworkers.

Dinner: $100/person



Our staff treats clients, coworkers, and community partners with compassion, kindness, and respect.



We advocate without compromise, zealously working to ensure we provide our clients with effective, creative, and compassionate legal assistance. Our office litigates cases ranging from misdemeanors to death penalty cases; however, we never forget that each case is important to our clients, their loved ones, and our community. Whether it’s a trial before their peers, admission into a specialty court, or an advantageous plea bargain, our attorneys always try to get our clients the best possible outcome. Our attorneys are aided by our experienced investigative team, enabling us to present a strong defense by locating and interviewing witnesses and hunting down exculpatory evidence.



Our social service professionals and mitigation specialists can provide judges, juries, and prosecutors with background information, assessments, and treatment plans that can reduce recidivism, reintegrate our clients into the community, help individuals onto the path of recovery and offer better alternatives to incarceration. In addition to helping our clients, our work and coordination with community treatment providers saves taxpayers money. In 2015, the cost of incarcerating one inmate at the Utah State Prison for one year is $29,349; each client who receives the treatment necessary to change their lives also saves our community money, makes our city safer, and rebuilds families.
Our work ensures that everyone in Salt Lake County receives the same protections guaranteed by the constitution. When we challenge evidence, expose untruths, and demand that the police conduct thorough and fair investigations, we protect everyone from governmental overreach. Our advocacy makes the criminal justice system a fairer process for everyone.