Goal & Mission
The goal is to ensure that those accused of crimes who are most vulnerable have the same access to criminal justice as everyone else.
It is our mission to inspire, mobilize and train legal professionals to provide the highest quality defense representation to people unable to afford an attorney. SPDTC lawyers, alumni, trainers, and partners are changing the culture of indigent defense, in the South and eventually across the country, ultimately ensuring that every person has access to justice.
SPDTC is designed to fill a void in training currently available to young public defenders. It takes into consideration a big-picture view of what public defenders need to better represent their clients. Rather than being limited to trial skills or discrete legal topics, SPDTC offers a comprehensive curriculum designed specifically for public defenders.
Training is designed to be interactive, making use of exercises requiring role play and simulation. With an average student to faculty member ratio of three to one, participants receive an extraordinary amount of individual attention in small group settings. SPDTC offers a faculty of both current and former public defenders from around the country. These lawyers are all committed to the improvement of indigent defense representation and have been responsible for raising the standard of practice in jurisdictions nationwide.