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.
The Trial Practice Institute is NCDC’s flagship program. It has been conducted annually since 1985 and is presented in two two-week sessions in the summer. NCDC also conducts Short Programs on Cross-Examination and Forensic Cross-Examination during the Fall and Winter. Our programs are attended by private criminal defense attorneys, public defenders, federal defenders, and military defense attorneys.
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.