Public Defense Scholarships

As a result of generous grant funding, NACDL is able to offer scholarship assistance to public defense attorneys to attend training programs.

As a result of generous grant funding, NACDL is able to offer scholarship assistance to public defense attorneys to attend training programs hosted by NACDL as well as other organizations. Scholarships are awarded in the form of full or partial reimbursement of the registration costs of the program. Limited travel reimbursement stipends may also be awarded to qualifying individuals to help defray the costs of travel and lodging.

Application Scholarship FAQs

Eligibility requirements for a registration and/or travel scholarship: Applicants must:

  • Be a public defender, contract counsel, or private counsel receiving court appointments
  • Demonstrate financial need

Do I need to be a member? You do not need to be a member to receive a scholarship for registration fees, but membership is required at the time of reimbursement for applicants awarded a travel scholarship.

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Supported by NFCJ

The NACDL Foundation for Criminal Justice preserves and promotes the core values of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the American criminal justice system.

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Application Deadline: Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis beginning approxmiately 90 days before the start of the program. Applications received less than three weeks before the program will not be considered.

To Apply: Submit a completed Public Defense Scholarship Application via email to with “Scholarship Application” in the subject line, or fax the application to (202) 872-8690, Attn: Public Defense Scholarship. 

Additional information about NACDL's Public Defense Scholarship

Application Scholarship FAQs

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Questions about NACDL's Public Defense Scholarship Program should be directed to:

Upcoming CLE Programs

NACDL's 5th Annual Seminar Race Matters V: Policy, Practice, and the Intersection of Race in the Criminal Legal System | Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa, Montgomery, AL | September 7-9, 2022

This 5th Annual event is designed to help practitioners identify and confront issues of Racial Bias in our courts, the law enforcement community, by prosecutors, and yes, even the defense team. This seminar has been created to intentionally challenge you to push the envelope on your understanding of and willingness to attack racial bias in the criminal legal system. Register today!

NACDL & NCDD's 26th Annual Seminar DWI Means Defend with Ingenuity: Practice Like a Pro. September 28-October 1, 2022 at Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV

If you are serious about being an effective DUI defense advocate, or if you're considering adding DUI defenses to your firms portfolio, you need to know the latest scientific and legal strategies to optimize your success at trial. Whether you are a seasoned criminal defense practitioner, or just getting started and needing to learn the ropes, THIS IS THE NATIONAL GATHERING YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO MISS!

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NACDL's 15th Annual Seminar Defending Modern Drug Cases | Planet Hollywood Hotel, Las Vegas, NV | September 28-October 1, 2022

Modern drug cases are evolving as the "War on Drugs" expands.  The opioid epidemic has plagued the nation and the criminal landscape – leading to harsher punishments and other incentives to force pleas, even when they are unjust. As the impact of the pandemic lessens, criminal drug trials are picking up once again, and you must be prepared for the fight! Register today!

NACDL's 2022 Fall Meeting & Seminar Destigmatizing & Litigating Mental & Behavioral Health in Criminal Cases | Marriott Savannah Riverfront, Savannah, GA | October 19-22, 2022 |

Representing a client with mental and behavioral illness requires an in-depth understanding of criminal procedure, experts, mental health defenses, and effective communication tactics. There is also a growing need to understand defendants' stories and the impact trauma, grief, and abuse have on mental health. This program brings together the nation’s top experienced lawyers, doctors, and thought leaders with expertise in mental health issues to empower attorneys to do exactly that. Register today!

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Featured Products

NACDL's 13th Annual Defending Sex Crimes Seminar: Zealous Advocacy in Sexual Assault & Child Victims Cases. November 10-11, 2022 at Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV. Learn more at

Defending charges of sexual assault and child abuse can be daunting — but with the right tools, it doesn’t have to be. Attend this highly-rated one-of-a-kind NACDL seminar and leave with a better understanding of defending sex crimes cases in order to effectively represent your clients before, during, and after trial. Register today!