Justice Makes Us Safer: WHYY NEWSWORKS Audio Interview with Lawrence Krasner on Suncloud Larry Krasner, who’s never worked as a prosecutor, shares why he’s the right guy to be Philadelphia’s next D.A. Civil rights and criminal defense attorney Larry Krasner is one of Philadelphia’s most outspoken and highly regarded progressive attorneys. For nearly 30 years he has been fearlessly demanding fair treatment and justice for his clients of all backgrounds. Krasner has lived in Philadelphia for most of his life. His mother graduated high school in rural Missouri at the age of 16, became a tent evangelist, and then attended bible college and divinity school. His father, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, was a letter carrier who volunteered to serve in WWII, went to college on the GI bill and then became an author and writer.
After attending public schools, first in St. Louis and then in the Philadelphia area, Krasner earned degrees from the University of Chicago and Stanford Law School, with the help of student loans and scholarships. While at Stanford, rather than focusing on corporate law, he worked for indigenous rights, homeless people and the poor, in criminal matters. As he finished law school in 1987 he received job offers from prosecutors’ and public defenders’ offices around the country. Returning to Philadelphia in 1987 with his fiancée, a civil rights lawyer who became a judge in Philadelphia (they have now been married 27 years), Krasner chose to work as a public defender. In 1991 he was promoted to the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Philadelphia. In 1993 he started his own Center City law practice, specializing in criminal defense and civil rights. Since then, Krasner has tried thousands of jury and bench trials in criminal and civil court and represented countless defendants arrested for free speech activity, in most cases at no cost, including members of ACT-UP, Black Lives Matter, Casino-Free Philadelphia, Earth Quaker Action Team, Grannies for Peace, Heeding God’s Call, Kensington Welfare Rights Union, Occupy Philly and Reclaim Philadelphia, protesters at RNC 2000 and DNC 2016, and people speaking out about disability rights, immigration rights, Philadelphia public schools, the death penalty and other critical issues.
As a child, Krasner’s favorite television cartoon character was Underdog.