Position Information

Position Information Message
Training Director
ATTORNEY-  The Kansas State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services (BIDS) is accepting applications for a state-wide public defense Training Director, to be located within our administrative office in Topeka, Kansas.
An attorney in this position will be employed by the Kansas State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services and will be directly supervised by the Executive Director of BIDS.

Our Mission
The mission of the Kansas State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services (BIDS) is to provide high quality, zealous defense for our clients in every case. BIDS is recreating its public defense model with a renewed emphasis on training and building public defense offices with a client-centered focus, using an interdisciplinary team-based holistic defense system that incorporates community connections and resources to meet our clients’ unique needs.

What We Want
We are looking for a well-qualified, academically curious individual who is passionate about the importance of public defense and who is interested in helping us to fundamentally rebuild our system and transform our offices into a national model of holistic public defense practice. The state-wide Training Director position presents a tremendous opportunity to become a founding leader in our efforts to remake the face of public defense across the entire Kansas Public Defense System.

We are in search of a dynamic, dedicated candidate who is highly experienced in criminal defense litigation and with an established history of successfully organizing and presenting continuing legal education seminars on criminal defense practice and procedure or other significant relevant teaching experience.

What Does a Training Director Do?
This position will be responsible for establishing a high-quality and well-rounded series of training programs for attorney and non-attorney BIDS public defender staff as well as for our extensive assigned counsel program of private appointed attorneys, private investigator contractors, and other assigned counsel support staff.  Areas of training development will include but not be limited to: practical criminal defense trial skills for all experience levels, legal ethics, management training for attorney and non-attorney supervisors, state and federal constitutional law practice, appellate practice, mental health issues in criminal defense, sentencing and mitigation issues, investigative practice, moral injury mitigation practices, workload limitations and controls, and BIDS internal regulations, policies, and procedures. 

The Training Director is responsible for establishing training goals in consultation with the Executive Director and is responsible for the planning, managing, and distribution of these training initiatives to all of our agency employees and assigned counsel across Kansas. The Training Director is also responsible for the production and distribution of training materials, practice guides, training program evaluations, and is responsible for working with the Kansas Continuing Legal Education Commission to ensure compliance and approval of all CLE hours offered by BIDS, as well as for reporting all completed hours for participant credit.

In addition to being extremely familiar with the Kansas Criminal Code and the Kansas Rules of Civil Procedure, a Training Director must also be well-versed in the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct, the ABA’s Standards for the Defense Function (2017), the National Association for Public Defense (NAPD) Workloads Policy Statement (March 2016), the NAPD Statement on Public Defense Staffing (May 2020), and the NAPD Ten Principles for Creating Sustainability in Public Defense position paper (March 2021).

The Training Director is also a member of the Board of Indigents’ Defense Services Administrative Office Executive Leadership Team and will work closely with the Executive Director, the Chief Fiscal Officer, the Administrative Staff Attorney, and the Chief Public Defenders to play a significant role in agency policy development, policy training, employee recruitment, employee retention efforts, diversity initiatives, and community and stakeholder outreach initiatives.

We are particularly interested in candidates who believe in the importance of treating our clients and each other with dignity and respect. We are looking for candidates who appreciate the value of collaborating with our current experienced defenders on everything from best practice casework to all training programs, but who are also proficient at independently managing their own workload, internal and external deadlines, and calendaring. We are looking for zealous advocates with excellent communication skills who are comfortable speaking truth to power and who will help us give each of our client’s their best defense. Our clientele is diverse with significant economic impediments, therefore we are also interested in candidates with experience working with economically and racially diverse populations.

Specific duties of the position include:
  • Designing, implementing, and evaluating training programs for staff attorneys and private panel attorneys, as well as non-attorney support staff.
  • Presenting lectures, facilitating large and small group discussions, providing coaching and feedback at skills exercises and mock hearings.
  • Supervising interns and other staff assisting with training division initiatives.
  • Researching, preparing, and publishing training materials, legal outlines, and best practices guides and periodically updating those materials in a timely manner.
  • Preparing an annual training plan and working with the Chief Fiscal Officer and Executive Director to manage the training budget and other training related resources.
  • Seeking additional or alternative funding sources to support the training division’s budget as needed, including the preparation and administration of grant applications and programs.
  • Collaborating with BIDS’ information technology division to maintain training division email list serves, webpages, and electronic research sites to support training division initiatives.
  • Collaborating with outside agencies, organizations, and other defender groups to implement cross divisional and cross-disciplinary trainings.
  • Assisting the Executive Leadership Team and Chief Defenders to establish and maintain an active agency employee recruitment plan.
  • Assisting the Executive Leadership Team and Chief Defenders to establish and maintain an active agency employee retention program.
  • Actively promoting diversity and inclusion in all levels of training and recruitment.
  • Other duties as assigned

Application Materials Needed Send resume, cover letter, list of references, and Kansas Tax Clearance form to:
Heather Cessna,
Executive Director
Kansas State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services
by email to hcessna@sbids.org
Email applications should include “ BIDS Training Director Application” in the email subject line.
Application deadline: Open Until Filled, priority given to applications received by Friday, August 6, 2021. 
Please be aware that if an offer of employment is made, actual employment is subject to two pre-employment conditions which include:
  • Confirmation of active Kansas license in good standing and/or successful admission to the Kansas Bar.
  • Governor’s salary approval.
Kansas Tax Clearance Certificate Required: Each applicant (even non-residents) applying for a State of Kansas job vacancy must obtain a valid Kansas Certificate of Tax Clearance by accessing the Kansas Department of Revenue's website. A Tax Clearance is a comprehensive tax account review to determine and ensure that an individual's account is compliant with all primary Kansas Tax Laws. A Tax Clearance expires every 90 days. All applicants, including current state employees, are responsible for submitting a valid certificate with all other application materials to the hiring agency. This is in accordance with Executive Order 2004-03. If you need assistance with the tax clearance, please contact 785-296-3199.
Equal Employment Opportunity:  The State of Kansas is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We value diversity, equity, and inclusion as essential elements that create and foster a welcoming workplace. All qualified persons will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, political affiliation, disability or any other factor unrelated to the essential functions of the job.
If you wish to identify yourself as a qualified person with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act and would like to request an accommodation, please address the request to the agency recruiter.
Advertisement by KSBIDS.
Position: Training Director
Organization: Kansas State Board of Indigents' Defense Services
Location: Topeka,  KS 
United States
Salary: $70,000 - $85,000
Posting Start Date: 7/27/2021
Date Posted: 7/27/2021
Requirements Minimum requirements for this position include:
  • Graduation from an ABA accredited law school.
  • Applicants must also either be currently licensed to practice law in the State of Kansas and their license must be in good standing or they must be willing and able to seek admission to the Kansas Bar immediately upon hire and prior to any employment start date.  Any current law licenses must be active and in good standing.
  • Must have at least five years of experience as a criminal defense litigator.
  • Must have a proven history of successfully preparing and presenting trainings and continuing legal education programs or other significant teaching experience.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and be willing and able to travel in-state to each of our regional defender offices.
  • Must be willing and able to travel out-of-state to national training programs and conferences.
  • Must have demonstrated formal or informal leadership skills.
  • Must have knowledge of training principles and practices for adult learners.
  • Must have familiarity with training evaluations and needs assessments.
  • Must have experience developing curricula and training materials and have presented that information to audiences in a clear and engaging manner.
  • Must have experience facilitating group discussions and experience coaching skills exercises to maximize learning for the participants.
  • Must have experience organizing event logistics and to work concurrently on multiple short term and long-range projects.
  • Must have a commitment to working with a culturally diverse, low-income population and a substantive understanding of the explicit and implicit biases impacting our clients.
  • Must have exceptional communication skills, including a demonstrated ability to effectively communicate in both oral and written form.
  • Must have the ability to use or learn to use all necessary electronic systems, including all required E-filing systems and records management systems, as well as case tracking databases.
  • Must have hands on experience organizing, and managing complex litigation.
  • Must be able to handle frequent interruptions and multiple calls and inquiries.
  • Must have demonstrated ability to effectively interact with clients, co-workers, and other colleagues in a respectful and appropriate manner.
  • Must be able to maintain confidentiality and manage confidential information.
  • Must be academically curious about criminal law and procedure.
  • Must treat every client, witness, training participant, co-worker, and colleague with dignity and respect.
  • Must be able to demonstrate a commitment to a client-centered practice.
  • Must possess exceptional organizational and time management skills.
  • Must have a keenly developed and uncompromising set of personal and professional ethics.
Highly preferred qualifications include:
  • Criminal defense experience handling major felonies, capital cases, and appeals.
  • Demonstrated formal or informal leadership skills and experience conducting performance coaching.
  • Experience and/or familiarity with holistic, client-centered public defense practices.
  • Experience developing or leading continuing legal education training programs.
  • Experience in community organizing and the development of local community connections and resources.
  • Experience and/or familiarity with participatory defense models.
  • Experience working with economically and racially diverse populations.
 This is an experienced level position.
Status: This listing expires on: 10/25/2021
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Organization Information
Kansas State Board of Indigents' Defense Services
700 SW Jackson Street, Suite 500

Topeka,  KS 66603
United States
(785) 296-6631
Heather Cessna, Executive Director