NAPD’s work is guided by its Committees and Groups, which meet regularly to respond to current issues in public defense and develop training, policy statements, technical assistance projects, and other tools to support public defenders.


NAPD trains thousands of public defenders across the country every year through virtual and in-person conferences, courses, and webinars. Our signature annual events include:

  • Rise, Resist, Represent National Conference (for all defenders) (March around Gideon Anniversary)
  • We the Defenders Conference (for investigators, paralegals, and core Staff)
  • Clarence Darrow/David Baldus Death Penalty College (for capital defense attorneys, mitigation specialists, and investigators) (May/June each year)
  • Team Mitigation Institute (for non-capital defense teams)
  • Women’s Conference
  • Racial Justice Conference
  • Leadership Institute
  • Transforming Public Defense: Redefining Our Culture, Sustaining Ourselves, Centering Our Clients

See our calendar of upcoming Events and access hundreds of hours of past programs on MyGideon.

Technical Assistance

NAPD evaluates and consults with public defense systems to improve their quality of representation. Current projects include:

  • Michigan State Appellate Defender Office
  • Michigan Kent County
  • Michigan Muskegon County

Reports are available our Resources page.

Special Projects

NAPD partners with other organizations to develop research and tools for public defenders. Current projects include:

Tools are available on our Resources page.


NAPD promotes policies to improve public defense systems through public statements, targeted outreach, and national coalition-building. Statements and other policy guidance are available on our Resources page.