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:

Lorinda Youngcourt, Chair - Federal Defender's Office Spokane, WA
Jennifer Ahnstedt - Colorado State Public Defender
Jenny Andrews - Santa Barbara County Public Defender Office Sonoma County, CA
Diane Black - Marion County Public Defender Indianapolis, IN
Trish McCann-Betram - Georgia Public Defender Council
Marilena David-Martin - Michigan Indigent Defense Commission
Mary DeFusco - Defender's Association of Philadelphia
Mike DiLauro - Rhode Island Public Defender's Office
Herb Duzant - Federal Defender's Office - District of Nevada
Shawna Geiger - Colorado Office of Respondent Parents' Counsel
Brent Getty - Montana Office of Public Defense
Patrick Hakes - Nashville Defenders
Ernie Lewis - Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy (retired) & NAPD (retired)
Kate Mason - Augusta Circuit Public Defender (Georgia)
Kevin McClain - McClain Investigations (Chicago, IL)
Ed Monahan - Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy (retired)
Melinda Pendergraph - Missouri State Public Defender System
Gina Piemonte - Law Offices of the Cook County Public Defender (Illinois)
Gina Pruski - Wisconsin Public Defender's Office
Effie Siebold - Colorado State Public Defender
Phyllis Subin - New Mexico Public Defender (retired)