Training Opportunities


The Office of the State Public Defender seeks to ensure that all indigent persons in Iowa are provided high quality legal representation in criminal, juvenile, and other eligible proceedings in the most efficient and fiscally responsible manner.  To further this mission, the State Public Defender organizes various training opportunities for public defenders and other court-appointed attorneys.

Attorneys new to indigent defense are strongly encouraged, and in certain instances are required, to attend the one-day New Contract Attorney Trainings for criminal and juvenile law prior to or immediately after contracting with the State Public Defender.  These trainings provide practical, specific advice to help you get started in representing clients in criminal or juvenile court and also introduce attorneys to the indigent defense claims process.  Each one-day new contract attorney training is held twice each year shortly after the spring and fall bar admission ceremonies.


Upcoming SPD In-Person Training Opportunities


Juvenile New Attorney Training September 21, 2023  Wallace State Office Building

Criminal New Attorney Training

September 22, 2023   Wallace State Office Building

Appellate Training

PCR Training

July 20, 2023 Cartwright Hall, Drake University

July 21, 2023 Cartwright Hall, Drake University

Statewide Criminal Skills Training

June 2, 2023 - Davenport Public Library (Eastern Avenue)

June 15, 2023 - Waterloo Public Library

July 7, 2023 - Morningside Library (Sioux City)

July 14, 2023 - Iowa City Public Library

July 27, 2023 - Ottumwa Public Library

August 4, 2023 - Mason City Public Library

August 17, 2023 - Council Bluffs Public Library

September 8, 2023 - Newton Public Library

Criminal Trial Skills Training

  October 18, 19 and 20, 2023  


Upcoming SPD Live Training Webinars 

The State Public Defender will be hosting an ongoing series of Live Webinar CLEs over the lunch hour from Noon to 1:00 p.m.   These CLEs, which are open only to indigent defense contract attorneys and public defenders can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection and will feature a variety of basic and advanced topics relevant to indigent defense practice.  You must register in advance to attend by clicking the link below for each webinar.  If you have suggestions for future topics or presenters, or are interested in presenting yourself, please contact the SPD Training Coordinator.

May 16, 2023



Authentic Engagement with Youth and Parents in Juvenile Court/ Cohen Juv. Practice Series


May 19, 2023


 Legal Writing/ SPD Criminal


June 15, 2023  


 Cohen Juv. Practice Series/     TBA 


June 16, 2023  (12-1:00)  SPD Criminal/  TBA                                           

Other Upcoming Opportunities



SPD On-Demand Webinars

The SPD now offers On-Demand webinars featuring our Live Webcasts. There is no charge to attend an on-demand webinar. Note that there may be short technical difficulties that were taped during the original broadcasts.

To receive CLE credit you must:

1.    Register by entering your first name, last name and email address. DO NOT register by using social media or any other available Login.

2.    Answer “yes” to the disclaimer advising that you must watch the entire webinar to receive CLE credit.

3.    Complete the webinar until the page comes up telling you it is over then “leave webinar” or the webinar ends.

4.    The CLE Activity Number appears in the description of each webinar.

5.    You should receive a certificate of completion approximately 1 day after attending- a link will appear at the bottom of an email thanking you for attending.

Available Juvenile On-Demand Webinars


Available Criminal On-Demand Webinars

 ****The Office of the State Public Defender extends its thanks to the Polk County Bar Association for permission to post the on-demand webinar entitled "Race and Jury Trials." Members of the PCBA have access to many CLE opportunities throughout the year.****

Additional juvenile training opportunities are compiled by the Iowa Children's Justice Initiative.  On-demand juvenile CLE opportunities hosted by Iowa Children's Justice are also available on iLearn.

SPD Training Coordinator

For more information about training opportunities or to notify our office about opportunities that may be of interest to the indigent defense community in Iowa, you may contact the training coordinator for the Office of the State Public Defender:

Rebecca J. Hanson
Assistant State Public Defender
Office of the State Public Defender
321 E. 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
(515) 242-6158
(515) 281-7289 (fax)