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.

You can also see what we accomplished in 2017, and what new benefits will exist in 2018 in our Recap-Forward Document.

You can also download a Complete List of All NAPD Webinars (150+) that are accessible to NAPD members in our Webinar Archive on MyGideon.

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 150 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 Public Defense Experts: NAPD works with local offices and partners to 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; it has supported more than 40 briefs since 2014.
  • Ethics and Policy Papers: NAPD tackles diverse issues through published ethics opinions/policy papers.
  • Racial Justice: NAPD supports training and community outreach to address the pervasive racial bias that pervades every level of the criminal justice system, from policing through sentencing (and beyond).
  • 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 & Outreach: NAPD creates resources, communications assistance and directly supports members to promote public defenders and public defender values.
  • Strike Force: NAPD mentors, shares resources, and lends NAPD support to local jurisdictions when zealous advocacy leads to risk or sanction. The Committee also facilitates a Mentors Prorgram for Executive Leaders and Managers.
  • Workload Advocacy: NAPD is developing resources, analyzing data, creating workload standards, and supporting offices grow their budgets to meet workloads need and/or litigate excessive workloads.
  • Systems Builders: NAPD lends tailored support to systems undergoing structural, financial or leadership transitions, including Board and/or Commission training.
  • Fines & Fees Advocacy: NAPD addresses how court costs/other fees assessed to indigent clients threaten client’s rights, illegally restricts their liberty and oppresses entire communities.

Join Us: NAPD is a member-led movement. Annual individual membership is $30; organizational membership is $25/person. NAPD has more than 120 member organizations (including 19 statewide systems), 600 individual members and more than 15,000 total members across all fifty states.


NAPD News

January 23, 2018: In response to US Attorney General Jeff Session's reversal of prior policy on the imposition of fines and fees for criminal defendants, NAPD submitted the following letter on behalf of the public defender community. You can read the letter HERE
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January 17, 2018: The 2018 NAPD Investigators Conference and 2018 Social Workers & Sentencing Advocates Institute (March 26-29, 2018 in Denver, CO) are now at full capacity and closed for registration. A wait list is being developed.
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November 28, 2017: NAPD has uploaded videos of the presentations from the 2017 NAPD Workloads Conference in St. Louis (held November 17-18). Members can access these valuable presentations on MyGideon by logging into their NAPD account.
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April 16, 2017: 60 Minutes' Anderson Cooper features the Orleans Public Defenders and NAPD General Counsel in a substantive segment about public defenders' excessive workloads, pervasive injustice, and the obligation of defenders to resist the "conveyer belt" of mass-incarceration. You can watch the compelling segment HERE
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On March 18, 2017 - the 54th anniversary of the Gideon v. Wainright decision - NAPD published its Foundational Principles, which are recommended to NAPD members and other persons and organizations interested in advancing the cause of equal justice for accused persons.