Trial practice institute
2018 Sessions: June 17–30 & July 15–28

“This experience has changed my life. The quality of the programming and instruction are incomparable, and I learned more here than I thought possible.”

Each two-week session is limited to 104 participants, who are divided into small groups according to trial experience. The least experienced groups normally have no jury trials. It is not unusual for members of the most experienced group to have tried 75 or more jury cases.

Topics covered in the group exercises include client interviews, jury selection, direct and cross examination, impeachment and closing arguments, among others. Each participant performs daily assignments under the supervision of a member of the nationally recognized faculty. Faculty members rotate daily, and video is provided in every room.

Small group exercises are supplemented by faculty lectures and demonstrations. Professional actors from Laughing Matters are used in the roles of clients and witnesses.

What They're Saying about the TPI

"Not only have my skills been increased vastly, but I have also discovered a family of dedicated people to whom I can turn for help within the field.... It is rare that a person gets to learn so much from such enlightened people."
"You folks not only taught skills, but you have imparted great confidence. I can't thank you enough."
"I will never try a criminal case the way I did before attending the NCDC...[It] changed my outlook on the practice of criminal law...made me a better trial lawyer and a better person."


What you need to know
about the summer session


Tuition for 2017 is $2,000.00 per person. A $50 registration fee, which will be applied to tuition, is non-refundable and must accompany any application. Tuition is payable upon receipt of invoice, and must be paid in advance unless other arrangements are made.  Meals provided from tuition include: scheduled social events (1 or 2 dinners), and lunches on weekdays. The hotel will provide breakfast. Participants are on their own for all other meals.


A limited number of scholarships are available to cover all or part of tuition of those whose financial circumstances would otherwise prevent their attendance. Scholarship decisions should be completed no later than the end of April. Please be sure to complete the scholarship request on the application form. Please note: all financial aid recipients will share a room with another participant (no single rooms).


The admissions process for both sessions will begin in April. Successful applicants receive letters and forms to be returned by the applicant. Upon NCDC's receipt of that confirming form, a registration will be considered firm.


Applications will exceed enrollment by a substantial number. You are encouraged to apply early. Initial acceptances will be made from Application Forms received by April 1. Late applications and those not selected will be placed on a waiting list. Members of National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and those who represent indigent clients in criminal matters will be given priority. Because of the defense orientation of this program, those who regularly prosecute cases in any court are referred instead to the National College for District Attorneys (NCDA).

NOTE: We will still be accepting applications for the waiting list until the start of the sessions. Every year, people are admitted from the waiting list, so it's not as bad as it may sound. Flexibility is a plus.

Continuing Legal Education Credits

NCDC applies for CLE accreditation for this program in states where participants request credit. NCDC programs are approved in most jurisdictions. Where a state charges for credits, charges are passed along to participants requesting credit from that state.


Double: $775.00 (shared with another participant)
Single: $1,550.00 (limited availability)
All participants stay at a hotel in Macon. The after-hours contact with other participants and faculty is an essential part of the College experience. Hotel reservations must be made through the College, NOT directly to the hotel. Scholarship recipients will share rooms with other participants. Several group social events are planned throughout the session.

We will be at the Holiday Inn Macon North, which was built in 2010, and has an indoor pool, restaurant, bar, and many other nice features. We will still have "the Cave" for everyone!


NCDC recognizes that many of our participants have special needs diets. We try to accommodate those needs wherever we can. But we cannot do this without your help. Please fill out the Special Diet Form and submit it to us with your application. As always, we want you to enjoy your NCDC experience without worrying about what your next meal will consist of. If you do not submit this form, we will not be able to accommodate you when you arrive.


Cancellations will be accepted until June 1 for the June session and July 1 for the July session. Fees (less registration fee) will be refunded for cancellation received before the above dates. After those dates, full tuition will be charged if the space cannot be filled from the waiting list.

Macon, Georgia

Macon, Georgia, has a population of about 240,000 (metropolitan area) and is located 75 miles south of the Atlanta airport on Interstate 75. The city features many locations of historical and architectural interest. Macon has the usual complement of night spots and several good restaurants. The Mercer Law School, where classes are held, is located in Macon's In-Town Historical District.

Flying into Macon is possibly impractical or inconvenient, since nearly all flights into the city require a stopover and plane change to a commuter carrier in Atlanta, and the Macon airport is inconveniently located.

Limousine service from the Atlanta airport to Macon is available through several shuttle services. Many participants have found it convenient to rent cars at the Atlanta airport. You can find links to travel websites here.

Once enrolled, participants are expected to attend the entire program.

As many instructors are needed for the sessions and lectures associated with the Trial Practice Institute, please refer to our list of faculty members for names of potential instructors.