NAPD is pleased to announce that Professor Norm Lefstein has assumed the role of Special Advisor within its organizational leadership. A member of NAPD since the association’s founding, Professor Lefstein will advise the Steering Committee on issues of organizational focus, strategies for reform implementation, and opportunities for collaboration with a wider set of partners. Professor Lefstein was approved of this role at the meeting of the NAPD Steering Committee on May 21, 2015.
Norman Lefstein is Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis.  Professor Lefstein served as a member and co-reporter for the National Right to Counsel Committee, organized by The Constitution Project of Washington, D.C., and NLADA.  In this capacity, he was the primary author of Justice Denied: America’s Continuing Neglect of Our Constitutional Right to Counsel, published in 2009.  In November 2011, as a consultant to the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants, the ABA published his book, Securing Reasonable Caseloads: Ethics and Law in Public Defense. 

NAPD has prioritized workload and resource advocacy as a primary focus area in its strategic plan, calling excessive workloads the most significant issue currently faced by public defenders and public defense systems. Steve Hanlon, Professor of Practice at St. Louis University Law School and co-Chair of the NAPD Workloads Committee, said, “Dean Norman Lefstein has been the driving force behind the American Bar Association's decades-long effort to develop the law and public policy needed to end the plague of excessive workloads for public defenders. His joining the NAPD as a Special Advisor will significantly enhance our efforts to make that law and public policy a reality for every pubic defender in this country.”

In addition to his work to end excessive workloads, Professor Lefstein was the reporter for the Second Edition of ABA Criminal Justice Standards Relating to The Prosecution Function, The Defense Function, Providing Defense Services, and Pleas of Guilty.  Professor Lefstein also is the author of Criminal Defense Services for the Poor, published by the ABA in 1982, and co-author of Gideon's Broken Promise: America's Continuing Quest for Equal Justice, published by the ABA in 2004.  Currently, Professor Lefstein serves as a special advisor to the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants.

Professor Lefstein also served as director of the Washington, D.C. Public Defender Service; as an Assistant United States Attorney in D.C.; and as a staff member in the Office of the Deputy Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice.  During 1986-1987, Professor Lefstein chaired the ABA Section of Criminal Justice.  In Indiana, Professor Lefstein served seventeen years as chairman of the state’s Public Defender Commission to which he was appointed by Indiana Governors.

Tim Young, Ohio State Public Defender an d NAPD Steering Committee Chair, said, ““Having Norm Lefstein join the National Association for Public Defense as a Special Advisor is such a tremendous opportunity and honor for us.  Norm continues to lead the national discussion and policy development in the area of public defense.  His work and his voice have been instrumental in reform efforts across the nation to try and improve one of our most basic rights, the right to counsel.”