Profile: traci.smith

Traci Smith is the Chief Public Defender for the Minnehaha County Public Defender's Office. She started her career as a deputy public defender in 1999. She became the Chief Deputy in 2003, and the Chief in 2005. With over fifteen years of trial experience and a staff of thirty two employees, her office is providing indigent defense in the largest county in the state in terms of population. She is a 2011 recipient of the Attorney of the Year award through Women in Law, and a published writer for the South Dakota Law Review, in The Outlier Case: Proportionality Review in State v. Rhines, 42 SDLR 192 (1997). She has been recognized for her volunteer contributions by the ABA Criminal Justice Section for the Juvenile Justice Collateral Consequences Project in 2012, and the 2012 publication of the Collateral Consequences of Criminal Prosecutions in South Dakota: A Guide for Criminal Defense Practitioners. Traci has been a speaker and presenter for numerous organizations, including SD Peace and Justice, the SD State Bar, and SD Trial Lawyers Association. She served as the Second Circuit Bar President from 2012-2013 and Secretary for the South Dakota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers from 2009-2012. She is a graduate of the University of SD School of Law and SD State University, and alumna of Virginia Intermont College. When Traci isn’t tethered to her cell phone, she enjoys spending time with her children at their sporting events and traveling to competitive softball tournaments. She currently resides in Sioux Falls South Dakota with her husband and their two children.




December 15, 2018: Registration is now open for NAPD's Spring Events:
  • Executive Leadership Insitute (Frankfort, KY)
  • Train the Trainer (Frankfort, KY)
  • "We the Defenders" Investigators Conference (Biloxi, MS)
  • "We the Defenders" Social Workers/Sentencing AdvocatesConference (Biloxi, MS)
  • Team Mitigation Institute (Atlanta, GA)
Click on Events Tab for more info and to register.

October 30, 2018: NAPD releases a video about its achievements over the 5 years since forming in November in 2013. This films was coordinated by NAPD Steering Committee Member and San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi and debuted at the Racial Justice Training and 5 Year Celebration in Baltimore, Maryland. You can watch the video HERE

July 1, 2018: General Registration opens for the “WE THE DEFENDERS” TRAINING CONFERENCE,  November 26-29, 2018, Indianapolis, IN

You can watch a video about the event HERE 

Due to overwhelming demand, NAPD will again offer this comprehensive Investigator and Social Worker/Sentencing Advocate training experience! The program will include one track for Investigators and a separate track for Social Worker/Sentencing Advocates.  Hear from nationally recognized experts who will share their knowledge on a wide range of topics relevant to the work you do each and every day.  Network with other criminal defense practitioners from around the country and find your tribe. 

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