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 AttorneyTraining September 29, 2022  Wallace State Office Building

Criminal New Attorney Training

September 30, 2022   Wallace State Office Building
 Appellate Training  

 September 21, 2022   Drake Legal Clinic

 PCR Basic Training

 PCR Advanced Training

 September 22, 2022    Drake Legal Clinic

 September 23, 2022    Drake Legal Clinic

Criminal Trial Skills Training

  October 19, 20 and 21, 2022       Ramada Tropics 


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.

Sept. 1, 2022



Special Education Law and Juvenile Justice


Sept. 16, 2022


 Race and Voir Dire with Michael P. Heiskell


Sept., 2022 


 Model Court/ SPD     TBA 


Oct. 2022    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)