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

October 20, 2016 Public Defender Post Conviction Relief Training
October 21, 2016 Public Defender Appellate Training
May 11, 2017 New Juvenile Contract Attorney Training
May 12, 2017 New Criminal Contract Attorney Training
July 28, 2017 Motions to Suppress SPD Advanced Training
September 14, 2017 New Juvenile Contract Attorney Training
September 15, 2017 New Criminal Contract Attorney Training
September 27, 28, 29, 2017 Public Defender Trial Skills Training
October 25, 2017 A Client-Centered Approach to Noncitizen Representation - Des Moines
November 1, 2017 A Client-Centered Approach to Noncitizen Representation - Iowa City
November 29, 2017 Post Conviction Relief Training
November 30, 2017 Appellate Training


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.

January 20, 2017 Understanding the Child Welfare Act (ICWA) (Felicia Bertin Rocha)
February 17, 2017 Effective Cross Examination (Aaron Hawbaker)
March 17, 2017 The Cost of Justice: Economic Justice in the Courts (Alex Kornya)
April 21, 2017 Arriving at the Theory of the Case (Jerry Foxhoven)
May 19, 2017 Defenses (Susan Flander)
June 16, 2017 Human Trafficking in Iowa (Roxann Ryan)
July 14, 2017 The Guilty Plea Problem (Erica Nichols Cook/Brian Farrell)
July 19, 2017 A Client-Centered Approach to Non-Citizen Representation (Allison McCarthy/Julia Zalenski)
August 9, 2017 A Client-Centered Approach to Non-Citizen Representation (Allison McCarthy/Julia Zalenski)
August 18, 2017 Cost of Justice - Reasonable Ability to Pay (Alex Kornya)
September 22, 2017 Juvenile Court and Transitioning to Adulthood (Brent Pattison)
October 27, 2017 Impaired Lawyers (Hugh Grady)
November 17, 2017 Legislative Update (Kurt Swaim)
December 15, 2017 What's Hot in 2017 - Ethical Issues to Remember if You Like Practicing Law (Mark Smith)
January 19, 2018 Defending Arson and Related Charges with Science (Erica Nichols Cook)
February 16, 2018 Compassion Fatigue in the Legal Profession (Rachel Regenold)
March 30, 2018 Legal Issues in the Use of Technology in the Courtroom (Bradley Bender)


Other Upcoming Opportunities

November 6, 2015 Iowa Children's Justice Parental Substance Abuse Issues in Child Welfare for Legal Professionals
Spring 2015 ISBA Juvenile Law Seminar
Spring 2015 ISBA Criminal Law Seminar
June 2015 Public Defender Association Criminal Law Seminar
September 2015 IAJ Criminal Law Seminar
June 21, 22, 23, 2017 Public Defender Association Seminar

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)