About Us

The New York State Defenders Association, a not-for-profit, membership organization, has been providing support to New York's public defense community since 1967. Its mission is to improve the quality and scope of publicly supported legal representation to low income people.

The Public Defense Backup Center

Since 1981, under contract with the State of New York, NYSDA has operated the Public Defense Backup Center in Albany. The Backup Center is a legal support center providing public defense lawyers statewide with legal research and consultation, publications and training.

The Backup Center works to strengthen the public defense system and to improve the quality of defense representation. The legal support services provided by the Backup Center to appointed counsel also reduce their research costs, particularly when the defense attorneys are inexperienced or isolated from colleagues and law library facilities.

Under its contract with the State, NYSDA is called upon to "review, assess and analyze the public defense system" and to make specific recommendations to the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. In this capacity, NYSDA provides technical assistance to state and local governments to improve the delivery of public defense services while reducing costs.

To CONTACT US or send a request for information or assistance to the Backup Center, click here.