Trial Practice Institute Scholarship Sponsors

We are truly indebted to the generous organizations listed below that currently sponsor scholarships for participants in their states and throughout the country.

Because providing hands-on intensive training in small groups with nationally recognized faculty and professional actors is expensive, participants often need assistance to afford the $2500 tuition and $775 lodging expenses.  Each summer 208 lawyers (split into two two-week sessions) attend the NCDC Trial Practice Institute in Macon.  Approximately one third of the participants in the Trial Practice Institute are state and county level public defenders.

 Although we are extremely grateful for the outstanding financial support for participants from the organizations who are already supporting us, the need still significantly outstrips the availability of funds and sometimes prevents talented lawyers from being able to participate.  It is heartbreaking when we have to say no to an applicant eager to better their trial skills due to lack of funding.  We hope to find additional scholarship sponsors, especially from state organizations who have not yet established a scholarship, so that we may one day be able to meet 100% of the financial need presented by accepted applicants. 

Current National Level Scholarships

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers:  NACDL selects multiple members through a competitive application process to receive tuition assistance in varying amounts up to full tuition costs.  (Total of $20,000 in 2018)

American College of Trial Lawyers Foundation:  The charitable arm of the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers provides a grant of $20,000 to NCDC to fund scholarships for recipients chosen by NCDC who need assistance to afford the Trial Practice Institute.  (Total of $20,000 in 2018).

Dean Deryl Dantzler Scholarship:  Created in 2016 to honor NCDC’s Founder and Dean Emeritus Professor Deryl Dantzler.  It is funded by donations from NCDC’s stellar faculty members who already donate their time in the summer to teach and then turnaround and give generously to help fund participants who might not otherwise be able to attend the Trial Practice Institute.  This year donations totaled over $11,000.

Current Scholarships from State Groups and Organizations

Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association:  Scholarship funds donated by the Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and awarded to an ACDLA member for full tuition and housing expenses.

The Al Horne Scholarship from the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (honoring the late Al Horn, a founding member of GACDL):  This scholarship is awarded in varying amounts to 4-5  GACDL members each year.  $1000 to $2500 Grants (Total $6000 in 2018)

Kansas Association of Criminal Defense LawyersScholarship for two TPI participants from Kansas chosen by the organization to receive full tuition and housing expenses.  (Total $6550 in 2018)

Camille Gravel Scholarship from the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers:  Scholarship founded in honor of the late political and legal giant Camille Gravel out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana for full tuition and housing expenses to a LACDL lawyer. 

Committee for Public Counsel for lawyers providing indigent defense in Massachusetts.  This organization funds multiple participants from Massachusetts who provide indigent defense and provides full tuition and housing expenses.

Fiedler Fund of Nebraska (in honor of the late Don Fiedler):  Four participants are selected each year and fully funded for all expenses (tuition, housing and travel) to attend the Trial Practice Institute.   (Approx. $17,000 per year!)

The Washoe County Group of Nevada awards two public defenders in Washoe County, Nevada full tuition and housing expenses.

Nevada Attorneys for Criminal Justice awards full tuition and housing funds to one Nevada attorney.

The New Mexico Group,  sponsors full tuition and housing expenses for a New Mexico participant through private donations.

Friends to the Indigent in Cincinnati, Ohio, is a privately funded scholarship started by Trial Practice Institute alumni in Cincinnati, Ohio who found the experience so impactful that they wanted to “pay it forward” for others to attend from the Cincinnati area.  The scholarship is awarded to both private and public defense counsel.  Private defense counsel are not only provided with tuition and housing, but also receive a $2000 stipend to offset lost earnings during the program!  (Total awards of $13,825 in 2018)

Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association:  Provides $500 tuition credit to two member participants.

Tarman Dauphin County Bar Foundation of Pennsylvania:  Awards full tuition and housing expenses to a Pennsylvania lawyer.

Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyers Association William Reilly Scholarship:  Two Rhode Island lawyers are selected to attend the Trial Practice Institute with full expenses for tuition and housing.  (Total of $6550 in 2018.)

The Alexandria Group:  This is a privately funded scholarship consisting of donations from individuals committed to financing the Trial Practice Institute experience for lawyers from Virginia who would not otherwise be able to attend.

Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers:  Full tuition and housing expenses awarded to a WACDL member.

Federal Defenders of Eastern Washington & Idaho:  This office sends two of their own and also sponsors a CJA Panel Attorney and public defender from their jurisdiction for full tuition and housing expenses.  (Total of $6550 in 2018)

Eigel Memorial Fund of Wisconsin:  An attorney from Wisconsin is awarded full tuition and housing expenses funded by private donations.  Tom Eigel was an attorney at the Wisconsin State Public Defender Milwaukee trial office who died in a tragic car accident in the early 1990's.  A scholarship fund was started in his name to fund lawyers in the Wisconsin Public Defender to attend NCDC.