Anthony J. Karrat serves as Executive Director for Legal Aid Service of Broward County (Legal Aid). Tony has been at the helm of the agency for over 45 years and has more than 50 years of legal experience as an attorney. Mr. Karrat is responsible for overseeing all program operations in both Broward and Collier Counties. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the George Washington University Law Center. After law school, Tony spent three years with Seattle Legal Services specializing in general poverty law issues, family law matters, and as a supervisor in a prison law project.
He joined Legal Aid in 1975 as a branch office supervising attorney prior to being named Executive Director in 1976. Under his direction, Legal Aid has grown from a three-attorney office with a $250,000 budget to a regional law firm of 73 attorneys with a budget of $12 million. During these years, the program has had a significant impact on the low-income community in Broward County in areas as diverse as housing conditions for the poor, protecting victims of domestic violence, and helping the homeless, elderly, children, and people with HIV/AIDS.
In 2004, Tony oversaw the merger with a one-attorney Legal Aid program in Collier County which is now a twelve-attorney program with offices in Naples and Immokalee. In 1981, Tony, together with leaders of the Broward Bar, helped create Broward Lawyers Care (BLC,) the recognized pro bono program in Broward County, Florida. BLC is administered by Legal Aid and enables over 1,230 private attorneys to donate services to the poor each year. More than 4,240 Broward lawyers have participated and roughly 18,450 clients/families have received legal assistance from BLC during the past 36 years. Under Tony’s leadership, Legal Aid services, which are designed to help clients build self-sufficiency, have adapted to meet the everchanging needs of our community.
On October 19, 2020, Tony was honored by WPLG-ABC Local 10 with the prestigious LIFEtime Award presented during their My Future, My Choice Annual LIFE Awards. During this virtual presentation, Tony was recognized for his lifetime of work supporting Legal Aid programs in Broward County and providing access to justice to the most underserved members of the community.
Mr. Karrat is also recipient of The Russell E. Carlisle Advocacy Award presented by Legal Aid Programs in Broward County and of the 2021 Jane Elizabeth Curran Distinguished Service Award presented by the Florida Bar Foundation.