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

May 7, 2020 - Cancelled Juvenile New Attorney Training at the Wallace State Office Building
May 8, 2020 - Cancelled Criminal New Attorney Training at the Wallace State Office Building
September 24, 2020 New Juvenile Contract Attorney Training at the Wallace State Office Building
September 25, 2020 New Criminal Contract Attorney Training at the Wallace State Office Building
Trial Skills Training 

October 21,22 and 23, 2020 at Ramada Tropics, Des Moines

Appellate Training 


Post Conviction Relief 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.

May 1, 2020

Effective Opening Statements

May 8, 2020

Considerations/Consequences if Criminal Client is on Parole

May 21, 2020  


Other Upcoming Opportunities

March 26, 2020 The Human Need for Belonging: Building a New Way, Together!

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)