Education Committee

NAPD's Education Committee is made up of public defender and assigned counsel trainers, leaders, and staff.  It provides valuable “in the trenches” information to NAPD Training Director Jeff Sherr about the needs of NAPD’s members.  Committee members promotes effective education though the creation of in-person programs, webinars, blogs, podcasts, and written materials that are accessible to litigators, leaders, investigators, social workers, and mitigation specialists across the nation.   The committee recruits NAPD members and experts to create on-line educational content.  NAPD also co-sponsors programs offered by other organizations interested in indigent defense work. Lorinda Meier Youngcourt, Federal Defender (Spokane, WA), is Chair.  Ed Monahan was the Committee Chair from 2014-2019.

In March 2020, NAPD launched online courses supporting trainers around the country as they develop new remote learning programs for their offices. Participants who develop an online course have access to adapt/modify and share modules developed by other trainers to maximize their remote learning opportunities.  In response to the pandemic, NAPD’s annual Executive Leadership Institute has been postponed however online courses and video conference meetups are ongoing.  For more information contact Ernie Lewis. The first Women in Public Defense Conference will be held virtually in August 2020.

To date, the NAPD Education Committee has facilitated over 250 online webinars from many of the country’s best trainers, all of which are archived on MyGideon, NAPD's Public Defense Library. You can see a nearly complete list HERE. Annually more than 5,000 members participate in the Education Committee webinars, and thousands more view these resources from their archives in the MyGideon archive. It is common for organizational members to view these webinars as an office, as part of an extended training program. NAPD is a presumptive CLE provider in Alaska and West Virginia, and many members make successful applications for CLE credit through their local Bar Associations.

The Education Committee also coordinates a special workgroup to develop the annual NAPD Leadership Institutes and its Death Penalty Subcommittee coordinates capital resources for practitioners around the country and, as appropriate, makes relevant mitigation resources available to non-capital advocates. The Committee provides annual ‘We The Defenders’ Training with tracks for social workers, investigators and paralegals, a ‘Team Mitigation Training’ (for teams), an annual Racial Justice Institute, and Train the Trainers Training.  The committee hosts a weekly Zoom meet-up for investigators and a monthly meet-up for social workers.

The Education Committee meets the third Monday of even numbered months. Current info on upcoming events can be found on the Events page of the NAPD website,

Committee Members:

The Education Committee has created a calendar to serve as a comprehensive resource for training events around the country.

Organizations can submit entries to this calendar by filling out the following form. All information must be included for the event to be added to the calendar. All requests to be added to the calendar must be made using the form.

Note: Inclusion on this calendar does not constitute an endorsement by NAPD about the program, organization, resources, etc.