Blake Strode, JD ’15
Blake Strode serves as the executive director of ArchCity Defenders, a non-profit civil rights law firm located in St. Louis, Missouri, providing holistic legal advocacy and combating the criminalization of poverty and state violence against poor people and people of color.
ACD uses direct services, impact litigation, and policy and media advocacy as its primary tools to promote justice, protect civil and human rights, and bring about systemic change. ACD works closely with local organizers and activists in support of their intersectional work and has been very active in protest representation as well as litigation around issues of debtors’ prison, police misconduct and unconstitutional court practices.
Strode is a native of the St. Louis region and an alumnus of the University of Arkansas and Harvard Law School. Strode was admitted to Harvard Law School in 2009, but delayed pursuit of his degree for three years to pursue a career as a professional tennis player.
He joined ArchCity Defenders with a Skadden Fellowship after graduating from Harvard Law, and was named executive director at the age of 30. He is a co-author of “Debtors’ Prison in 21st-Century America,” which appeared in The Atlantic in February of 2016.