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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.

Note: Due to the overwhelming demand for scholarship funding, applications received less than 90 days before a program's scheduled start date will NOT be able to be considered. Please be sure to submit your applicaiton timely to ensure it can be fullly considered for funding. 

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. As the number of people applying often far exceeds the amount of funding available, we strongly urge you to apply at least 90 days in advance. Applications received less than 3 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

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Application   Scholarship FAQs

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

Upcoming CLE Programs

NACDL's 26th Annual Seminar Making the Case for Life: Investigation, Mitigation, and Voir Dire in Capital Cases. New Orleans Marriott, New Orleans, LA. August 28-30, 2024. #NACDLCaseforLife

This seminar is designed to help capital defenders, investigators, and mitigation specialists. Participants will hear cutting-edge presentations regarding pretrial investigations, capital jury selection, new perspectives on discovering the story of the client and mitigation evidence. Register today!

NACDL's 17th Annual Seminar Defending Modern Drug Cases. Planet Hollywood Hotel, Las Vegas, NV. September 18-21, 2024

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More details coming soon. Sessions are in the afternoons only, preceded by DUI Seminar sessions. Register today!

DWI Means Defend With Ingenuity Seminar Successful Strategies from the Masters of DUI Defense. Planet Hollywood Hotel, Las Vegas, NV. September 18-21, 2024.

More details coming soon. Sessions are in the morning only, followed by Drug Seminar sessions. Register today!