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.

Continue reading below

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.

Support Us Now

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

Continue reading below

Coronavirus Resources

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

Learn More

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


Upcoming CLE Programs

Race Matters in our criminal justice system. It affects what happens from initial contact with police on the street to the end of the case and everything in between. This program has been created to intentionally challenge you to push the envelope on your understanding of and willingness to attack racial bias in the criminal justice system.

Defending charges of sexual assault and child abuse can be daunting — but with the right tools, it doesn’t have to be. Every year, NACDL identifies the hottest topics and most pressing issues when defending these cases, and brings-in nationally-renowned lawyers and experts to help you prepare for battle. Participate in this highly-rated one-of-a-kind Virtual NACDL seminar to get a better understanding of defending sex crimes cases in order to effectively represent your clients before, during, and after trial.

Whether it is insanity, impairment, a disorder, or adolescent brain development; mental health and intellectual competence issues affect pretrial supervision, trial and sentencing, and your chances of successfully advocating for your impaired client. A lawyer’s understanding of the current science and available treatments is essential, and being able to use that information can be the key to effective and successful representation in all stages of the process. Register today!