NAPD Standing Committees:

  • Amicus: NAPD’s Amicus Committee supports critical issues facing public defenders, assigned counsel, and their clients before the state and federal courts by filing amicus briefs at the request of counsel and approval of the Committee. H. Louis Sirkin, one of the nation’s preeminent First Amendment and criminal defense attorney and Of Counsel with Santen & Hughes, and Emily Hughes, Professor and Bouma Fellow in Law at the University of Iowa College of Law, co-chair the Committee. Members seek opportunities for amicus contribution and participate in brief writing as needed.
  • Education: 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.
  • System Builders: NAPD, through its Systems Builders Committee, works to strengthen the quality of public defense delivery systems throughout the country. The Systems Builders Committee is comprised of current and retired defender leaders, public defender board and/or commission members, and system advocates representing a range of experiences and perspectives on public defense issues. We assist leaders who are building excellent, client-centered public defense programs, through training, consultation, collaboration, and on-site technical assistance.
  • Workloads: The Workload Committee’s mission is to ensure, to the extent practicable, that every defender organization in the nation can reliably demonstrate the appropriate level of resources it needs to ensure that each one of its lawyers can provide reasonably effective assistance of counsel to each of their clients under prevailing professional norms. The Workload Committee is currently co-chaired by Bob Boruchowitz (Seattle University Law School, public defender prior) and Kawan Clinton (Legal Aid Society, NY). NAPD has organized two Workloads Conferences –  Kentucky in 2014 and in Missouri in 2017 – specifically designed to support the efforts of public defense leaders to end excessive workloads through various strategies. It is currently developing its third Workloads Institute for Spring 2024.

NAPD also supports online meet-ups for professionals within public defense that are designed to foster networking and build community. They include:

  • Communications Specialists (meets as needed)
  • DEIJ Advocates (meets monthly)
  • Investigators (meets weekly)
  • Investigator Supervisors (meets monthly)
  • Social Workers (meets bi monthly)
  • Racial Justice (meets monthly)
  • Rural Defender Leaders (meets every other month)
  • Trainers (meets weekly)
  • Virtual Town Hall (meets monthly)
  • Wellness Group (meets weekly)

Check our website to register or request to be added to the invite list by emailing us HERE