Membership Benefits

The National Association for Public Defense is an inclusive and collaborative grassroots movement of public defense professionals dedicated to bringing meaningful access to justice for poor people. Please download our summary of membership benefits HERE. You can view a complete list of all NAPD webinars (almost 150!) that are accessible to memebrs in our Webinar Archive HERE.

Stronger Together

NAPD pools the intellectual capital of our members by compiling practical, relevant resources and bringing local justice issues to the national stage. Member benefits include:

  • Articles - NAPD articles chronicle experiences, legal developments, news stories, challenges, and successes in the field, providing insight into both the common goals and the diverse circumstances of public defense work.
  • Leadership Education - NAPD organizes annial conferences on workloads, leadership and trial skills.
  • Webinars - NAPD hosts webinars almost weekly, and has more than 100 webinars in its archive on MyGideon. Topics innclude: “Internet Secrets and Social Media Intelligence Revealed”; “Using Mental Illness to Get a Jury to Not Guilty”; “Cross–Examination of a Complainant in a Sex Case”; “Defending Confession Cases”; Spotting & Challenging Prosecutorial Misconduct”; and, “Language Impairments.”
  • MyGideon - MyGideon is NAPD's library of public defense resources and information, continuously curated for quality and recency. All past webinars and hundreds of other training videos are archived on MyGideon. The resources at MyGideon grow daily.

The Voice for Public Defense

NAPD works with local offices and national partners in order to set and focus the national public defense agenda. Activities include:

  • Amicus Briefs - NAPD stands ready to join other organizations in attacking injustice by filing amicus briefs to support diverse justice reforms.
  • Ethics and Policy Papers - NAPD tackles diverse issues through published ethics opinions and policy papers.
  • Fines & Fees Advocacy - NAPD promotes advocacy resources and systemic reform recommendations to ensure that indigent defendants are not assessed cripping criminal justice debt that threaten their rights, illegally restrict their liberty and subjugate entire communities - disproportionately communities of color.
  • IT Support - NAPD provides guidance on case management systems, data/database development, and related technology for organizations that lack IT support staff.
  • Juvenile Justice - NAPD works to ensure that juvenile defense is supported and resourced by the national defense community.
  • Public Education and Outreach - NAPD creates resources, recruits communications assistance and provides direct support to members to promote public defense values.
  • Strike Force - NAPD mentors, shares resources, and lends NAPD support to local jurisdictions when zealous advocacy leads to risk or sanction.
  • Workload Advocacy - NAPD is developing resources, analyzing data, creating workload standards, and supporting offices litigating excessive workloads.
  • Systems Builders - NAPD lends tailored support to systems undergoing structural, financial or leadership transitions, including Board and/or Commission training.

Join Us

The substantive work of NAPD is undertaken by our volunteer members – the public defense experts. Annual individual membership is $25; organizational membership (when joining all organization advocates) is $20/person. NAPD currently has more than 100 member organizations and nearly 14,000 members across all fifty states.


NAPD News

On December 28, 2016, NAPD published its Open Letter to Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro for his prosecution of Orleans Public Defender investigator Taryn Blume. A bedrock principle of our criminal justice system is that every citizen accused by the government of a crime starts with the benefit of the doubt – with a presumption that they are in fact innocent.  That right becomes meaningless if we do not uphold the equally important right of every citizen-accused defense team who fights for her cause; who digs for evidence of her innocence; who exposes the government when it hides that evidence.  The legitimacy of our criminal justice system depends upon defense lawyers and defense investigators doing their jobs, and doing them well, without fear of reprisal from a prosecutor acting more like a bully than the champion of truth and justice he is supposed to be.

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Last Chance to Register! The NAPD Executive Leadership Institute (ELI-2017) is almost full will will be held from 3:00 pm on April 2 through 11:45 am on April 5, 2017 at the Department of Public Advocacy training facility in Frankfort, KY. You can see more information and registration details HERE