New Indigent Defense Fellowship Partners with Law Schools to Train Entry-Level Southern Public Defenders

by Ashley Matthews, PSJD Fellow

Gideon’s Promise, an innovative program that supports and trains public defenders across the South, has partnered with the Department of Justice to initiate the Law School Partnership Project.

This new program will give law schools an opportunity to join Gideon’s Promise and southern public defender offices by contributing to the training and support of their graduates for up to one year, or help Gideon’s Promise identify sponsors for their graduates. Gideon’s Promise places the law graduate in a southern public defender office and provides three years of invaluable training and mentorship.

The public defender office will guarantee permanent, full-time employment within the graduate’s first year of the program. (I put that in bold because it is AWESOME, especially in today’s shaky legal job market.)

The right to counsel is a basic human and civil right, but it continues to have difficulties being implemented within the American criminal justice system. As public defenders continue to face crushing caseloads and funding crises, programs like this are greatly needed to ensure the enforcement of our constitutional rights and fulfill the promise of equal justice.

Check out this Information Packet from Gideon’s Promise for more information. If you have questions, contact Jonathan Rapping at jon@gideonspromise.org or Ilham Askia at ilham@gideonspromise.org.

 

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