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Public Defense Training Programs

In far too many regions of the country, training for both publicly-employed defenders and private counsel providing public defense services by court assignment or contract is grossly inadequate, undermining the ABA’s Ten Principles of a Public Defense Delivery System.1 In order to support public defense and with grant support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, NACDL creates free national training programs for public defense providers and offers online resources to make those programs accessible nationwide. The national training program established by NACDL offers jurisdictionally specific training curricula and programs are aimed at addressing specific regional and local needs.

The online resources available through this page help support ongoing training efforts and deliver technical support by disseminating resources, training curricula and selected materials, as well as videos and webinars that enable other public defense providers to adopt best practices. Videos of training programs are only available for informational reference and not for CLE credit.

  Public Defense Day 
NACDL's Colette Tvedt and Diane Price celebrating 2016 #publicdefenseday with nearly 100 public defense practitioners in Mississippi (defenders from MS, AL, TN).  

This project was supported by Grant No. 2013-MU-BX-K014 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.



  1. See ABA’s Ten Principles of a Public Defense Delivery System, Principle 9:“Defense counsel is provided with and required to attend continuing legal education.” The commentary to Principle 9 states: “Counsel and staff providing defense services should have systematic and comprehensive training appropriate to their areas of practice and at least equal to that received by prosecutors.”

This webpage is funded in part through a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this webpage (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).

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