NDLI Multimedia

Check back regularly. Over the coming months, NDLI will be adding videos, webcasts, podcasts and other multimedia information addressing the Leadership and Management needs of all who work in public defense.

"Don't stop fighting" -- The last words of a client to his lawyer

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Louisiana Public Defender Jean Faria tells the story of her last capital case and more importantly of the final letter she received from her client.  His words to her, received after his execution, are what causes her every day to say "I am not giving up until my last breath."

U.S. District Judge John Kane keynotes NLADA Annual Conference 2009: "Never give up!"

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"Never give up!" is the advice given to those who "daily pick up the banner of fairness and equality, and just plain decency, for the most unfortunate in our society" by U.S. District Judge John Kane, providing the keynote address at NLADA's 2009 Annual Conference.

What We Do

NDLI ensures that all public defense leaders have access to the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and tools they need to garner sufficient resources, provide the highest quality and constitutionally effective representation to clients, and establish themselves as visible and equal partners in the improvement of their criminal justice systems. In coordination with the Research and Evaluation division, NDLI plays a central role in public defense system reform efforts, providing coalition-building, communications, training, and strategic planning expertise to reform advocates in the field.

Why Leadership Matters

The hallmark professional obligation of all criminal defense lawyers is zealous, high-quality representation of each client. Providing effective client-centered advocacy is the core mission of every individual defender and defender organization. Yet public defense systems throughout the country face powerful forces that threaten their ability and the ability of individual public defense attorneys to provide this constitutionally required representation.

History of NDLI

At the opening of the twenty-first century, NLADA recognized that strong leadership in public defense is an essential element for building and maintaining effective public defense systems capable of providing high-quality effective representation to clients. Yet there was no national program in existence capable of providing the leadership skills in indigent defense that were direly needed throughout the country.

NDLI Spotlight

Check back regularly. NDLI will be highlighting individuals who are true leaders in the defense community, organizations that have developed effective solutions to management needs in public defense, leadership efforts that yield results, and more.

When your client is a veteran, there are significant social service resources potentially available to aid you in effectively representing your client.  The Louisiana Public Defender Board, working with their state Department of Veterans Affairs, recently developed "A Resource for Public Defenders Representing U.S. Veteran Clients."  This resource guide contains...

It has often seemed that the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has focused primarily on addressing issues of criminal justice from the vantage point of law enforement, prosecution, and corrections, but perhaps that is beginning to change.  NIJ held its annual conference on June 14-16, 2010 in Arlington, Virginia.  As the research, development and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, their goal is to provide objective,...

Chief public defenders from throughout the country will be meeting in Washington D.C. on April 14 - 16, 2010.  The American Council of Chief Defenders (ACCD) is a national community of public defense leaders who are dedicated to securing fair justice systems and ensuring high quality legal representation for people facing loss of life, freedom or family.  Together they: provide tools, strategies, mutual support, training and information to chief defenders; speak as...

The U.S. Department of Justice is launching its Access to Justice initiative, according to a National Public Radio "Morning Edition" story on Friday, February 26, 2010, and confirmed by a Justice spokesperson.  You can listen to the NPR story here.  The primary focus of the initiative will be to improve indigent defense, enhance delivery of legal services to the poor and...