Dear Friends,

It is with mixed emotions that we inform our NCDC community that after 33 amazing years, NCDC’s partnership with the Mercer University School of Law has come to an end.  We are, however, excited to announce that we have already secured a host for the 2019 Trial Practice Institute as many of you already know.

Last month the Dean of Mercer’s law school, Cathy Cox, informed us that their building is badly in need of renovations and that summertime is the only opportunity to do this work. The Dean also echoed our own concerns that the Trial Practice Institute has outgrown the available rooms at the law school. Dean Cox expressed affection for the long and fruitful partnership that Mercer has had with the National Criminal Defense College and she wished us well for our journey into the future. We remain grateful to Mercer for our 33 year partnership and for Mercer’s important role in the life of our beloved NCDC.

 While we were not expecting this turn of events, we wasted no time looking for a location to host the 2019 Trial Practice Institute (TPI).  After much thoughtful reflection, we reached out to Roger Williams University Law School where there is a vibrant community of NCDC supporters housed in a beautiful law school facility.  A site visit that included many meetings with Dean Michael Yelnosky and his welcoming staff convinced us that RWU Law in Bristol, RI is an ideal place to host TPI 2019.   Bristol is stunningly beautiful and Dean Yelnosky’s team is excited to partner with us.  We are also relieved that we will not have to raise tuition as a result of this step. TPI 2019 tuition will continue to be offered at the 2018 rate.

We have yet to determine whether we will alternate the hosting of TPI with another law school in another part of the country.  That decision will require more thought and exploration.  We can tell you that after being on site at RWU, we are thrilled to bring TPI to Bristol where we feel enthusiastically embraced by folks who share our values.  

Dean Michael Yelnosky, RWU Law

Dean Michael Yelnosky, RWU Law

In fact, Dean Yelnosky had this to say:

“We are honored to be hosting the 2019 NCDC Trial Practice Institute at RWU Law.  I know many NCDC alumni who praise the NCDC faculty for changing the way they practice and increasing the quality of the representation they provide to their clients.  At RWU Law we believe in the transformative power of education and we look forward to having the expert NCDC in Bristol.”

We should all remember that Mercer (and Macon) became part of NCDC’s story, primarily through Mercer’s connection to Dean Emeritus Deryl Dantzler (our founder) and her three-decade-long professorship there. Like Dean Dantzler and our immediate predecessor, Laura Hogue, we are fiercely committed to NCDC’s future and to ensuring that all of the ingredients of NCDC’s “magic” remain part of its future. We must also remember that NCDC is more than a place -- it is a community.  We firmly believe that our collective commitment to elevating and honoring this noble profession is strong enough to navigate this change.  We are determined to continue the work that we do so powerfully -  inspiring, growing and supporting defenders everywhere.

 In recent years, NCDC’s logo has featured both a flame and a pen.  As we go forward, let us welcome the opportunity to write the story of NCDC’s future and together ensure that NCDC’s spirit is a flame that will never be extinguished.

Visit our Facebook Page to see the announcement.

 Natasha Perdew Silas and Karen Smolar, Deans

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Our mission

The National Criminal Defense College (NCDC or the College) is the preeminent hands-on trial skills training program developed exclusively for criminal defense lawyers in the United States. The mission of the College is to empower passionate and committed lawyers to become the most formidable client-centered courtroom advocates they can be in their fight to defend those accused of crimes. Participants are taught time-tested and highly effective courtroom techniques through lectures, demonstrations, and small group exercises. These techniques were developed, pioneered, and honed by NCDC’s own remarkable faculty. Professional actors playing true-to-life witnesses challenge participants to begin mastering the skills taught at the College and also provide guidance on the performance aspects of trial advocacy.  NCDC graduates consistently describe their time at the College as transformative.  The National Criminal Defense College is all about pushing the bounds of criminal defense advocacy forward in today's courtrooms.

Click link below for the 2018 NCDC Annual Report.

our programs

Each year, the NCDC presents two sessions of the summer Trial Practice Institute on the campus of Mercer Law School in Macon, Georgia.  In addition to the summer Trial Practice Institutes in Macon, Georgia,  NCDC conducts Short Programs on specialized topics at other times of the year and in other locales.   

Our History

The National Criminal Defense College (NCDC) was formed in 1985 to continue the important work which had been performed by the National College for Criminal Defense in Houston after that organization closed its doors in 1983. 

Our founder, Professor Deryl Dantzler, was the College's first and longest serving Dean. 

Rosie Flanigan, who retired in 2017, was the College's first Executive Director.  She served us well and true for thirty years.  


Educate / Elevate / Empower

The National Criminal Defense College is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation in Macon, Georgia that conducts seminars and training sessions for Criminal Defense Lawyers. We do not perform legal services.