Public defense – and all – lawyers need to know about changes in statutes, rules and procedures, and caselaw in their area of practice. They also need to know about developments in a variety of fields that can affect clients' circumstances and cases. For public defense lawyers, these fields include the broad range of potential forensic evidence, social science discoveries, policy changes regarding how criminal and family law matters are resolved, and more. Lawyers also need training that helps them develop, hone, and maintain their legal skills, their capacity to address each new client's case with vigor, and their ability to identify and manage personal and structural barriers to providing quality representation.
NYSDA is accredited by the NYS Continuing Legal Education Board to provide continuing legal education training credit, which lawyers licensed in New York must obtain as a requirement for practicing law.
The week-long Defender Institute Basic Trial Skills Program (BTSP) annually shows new public defense lawyers the effectiveness of client-centered representation as well as effective techniques for use at every stage of a trial. Regional training events and the statewide annual conference provide opportunities for lawyers to learn a variety of information from respected experts on a range of topics. And focused sessions addressing vital changes provide needed updates locally as well as regionally and statewide.
Registration for upcoming NYSDA training and a Training Calendar are available here.
Because public defense affects, and is affected by, clients and communities as well as lawyers, NYSDA also presents or cosponsors periodic Community Legal Education and other educational events.