Michael J. Harper, Esquire, graduated from Villanova University School of Law in 1990 and  then clerked in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  In 1992, Mr. Harper joined the Office of the Public Defender of Delaware County where he became an expert litigator in criminal law and juvenile justice and leader of special projects related to mental health and addiction.  For 16 years, he also maintained a side-practice in West Chester, PA in civil litigation, appeals and estate administration. In 2015, Mr. Harper left the government and non-profit sectors to devote more time to his private practice and special advocacy projects related to improving prevention, early intervention and recovery supports in our communities.

Throughout his professional career, Mr. Harper has concentrated on helping individuals and families facing difficult legal and recovery challenges. His expertise and personal approach allows him to effectively engage and motivate clients, advocate for justice in multiple systems, and work collaboratively with behavioral health professionals and families.

Experience & Accomplishments:

  • 1999-2013    Development of Drug Court, Mental Health Court, Veterans Court and Specialized Mitigation Unit for People with Serious Mental Illness
  • 2002- Co-Founder of Pennsylvania Association of Drug Court Professionals
  • 2002- Delaware County Community College,Present Adjunct
  • 2006-2010 Chairman of PACT Advisory Board, Horizon House Highly specialized community-based support program serving people with serious mental illness 
  • 2007-2012 Delaware County Criminal Justice Advisory Board, Behavioral Health Committee
  • 2011-2013 PA Supreme Court’s Accreditation Advisory Committee for Specialty Courts
  • 2012- Community, Hospital & Justice Project for People with Serious Mental Illness, Convened to make recommendations to the Governor
  • 2013-2014 The Council of Southeast PA, Inc., Senior Management Regional non-profit with mission to combat the disease of addiction
  • 2015- William & Mary Law School, Institute of Special Education Advocacy
  • 2015- National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (Main Line Affiliate, Board Member)
  • Present- Education, Outreach & Advocacy for people impacted by mental illness
  • 2015- Montgomery County Forensic Coalition for Mental Health and Criminal Justice
  • Present-   Diversion Committee
  • 2016- The Bridge to Recovery Foundation, Board Member
  • Present- Education, Outreach & Advocacy for people impacted by the disease of addiction
  • 2016- Delaware County Advisory Board,
  • Present Appointed by County Council to evaluate Health & Human Services issues
  • 2016- Delaware County Community College, Special Project Present Education Law Advocacy Clinic