Public Defense Scholarships

As a result of generous grant funding, NACDL is able to offer scholarship assistance to public defense attorneys to attend training programs.

As a result of generous grant funding, NACDL is able to offer scholarship assistance to public defense attorneys to attend training programs hosted by NACDL as well as other organizations. Scholarships are awarded in the form of full or partial reimbursement of the registration costs of the program. Limited travel reimbursement stipends may also be awarded to qualifying individuals to help defray the costs of travel and lodging.


Application Scholarship FAQs


Eligibility requirements for a registration and/or travel scholarship: Applicants must:

  • Be a public defender, contract counsel, or private counsel receiving court appointments
  • Demonstrate financial need

Do I need to be a member? You do not need to be a member to receive a scholarship for registration fees, but membership is required at the time of reimbursement for applicants awarded a travel scholarship.

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Supported by NFCJ

The NACDL Foundation for Criminal Justice preserves and promotes the core values of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the American criminal justice system.

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Application Deadline: Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis beginning approxmiately 90 days before the start of the program. Applications received less than three weeks before the program will not be considered.

To Apply: Submit a completed Public Defense Scholarship Application via email to pdtscholarship@nacdl.org with “Scholarship Application” in the subject line, or fax the application to (202) 872-8690, Attn: Public Defense Scholarship. 


Additional information about NACDL's Public Defense Scholarship

Application Scholarship FAQs

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Coronavirus Resources

NACDL to Focus on Service and Support for Members, Clients, and Community Throughout Virus Emergency

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Questions about NACDL's Public Defense Scholarship Program should be directed to: pdtscholarship@nacdl.org


Upcoming CLE Programs

Cross-examination is a fundamental tool in the trial lawyer's toolbox. There is no part of trial practice that can be more difficult or rewarding, but you have to know the limitations in order to be the most effective. Attend this seminar, and you will learn how to “Tap Into Victory” for your clients by brewing a winning case through effective cross-examination.

This seminar is designed to help capital defenders, investigators, and mitigation specialists. Participants will hear cutting-edge presentations regarding pretrial investigations, capital jury selection, new perspectives on discovering the story of the client and mitigation evidence.

As part of being effective advocates for our clients, criminal defense lawyers face the challenge of confronting the difficult issues presented by race in America. This 4th Annual event is designed to help practitioners identify and confront issues of Racial Bias in our courts, the law enforcement community, by prosecutors, and yes, even the defense team. This seminar has been created to intentionally challenge you to push the envelope on your understanding of and willingness to attack racial bias in the criminal legal system.