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.

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 2018 is $2,500.00 per person. A $50 application fee, which will be applied to tuition, is non-refundable and must accompany any application.  March 30th is the application deadline.    Tuition is due for admitted participants on May 18, 2018 for the June Session and on June 15, 2018 for July Session. 


A limited number of scholarships are available from various sources to cover all or part of tuition of those whose financial circumstances would otherwise prevent their attendance. Since 2016, NCDC Faculty have contributed money to fund a scholarship honoring NCDC's Founding Dean and Dean Emeritus Deryl Dantzler.  There is a scholarship request on the application form itself which will be used to make decisions on the Dantzler Scholarship.  Scholarships from other organizations, such as NACDL,  may require additional submissions.  (See the information below about NACDL Scholarships.)  NCDC 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 scholarship recipients will share a room with another participant (no single rooms).

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) offers scholarship assistance for public defense providers (public defenders, contract attorneys and members of the private bar handling court appointed cases) through a competitive application process. Information about NACDL’s scholarship program as well as a link to the application can be found at: (Scroll down towards the bottom of the page to find the scholarship information.)


We will  begin to make admissions decisions in March.  All decisions should be complete by May 1st.  Successful applicants receive notification and a link to forms to be returned by the applicant. Upon NCDC's receipt of the confirmation form, a registration will be considered firm.  Please note that those who are applying for an NACDL Scholarship should submit the NACDL Scholarship Application without waiting for an admission decision from the College.  See the language in the section above and follow the link above for more information.


Applications will exceed enrollment by a substantial number. You are encouraged to apply early. Initial acceptances will be made from Application Forms received by March 30th. 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. If you are the head of an office that wants to send multiple attorneys to TPI, you are welcome to submit an Office Application.  Please note that each individual attorney will still have to submit his or her own individual Application as well so that we will have the information needed to make each admission decision and consider the attorney for proper group placement.

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. People are admitted from the waiting list each year, 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.


All participants will stay at the Macon Marriott City Center.  The after-hours contact with other participants and faculty is an essential part of the College experience. NCDC will make your hotel reservations. Scholarship recipients must share rooms with other participants. Several group social events are planned throughout the session.

Cost for Shared Doubles: approximately $775.00 for each occupant
Cost for Singles: approximately $1,550.00 (limited availability)

Macon Marriott City Center is located at 240 Coliseum Drive, Macon, Georgia.  You may call the hotel directly at 478-621-5300 for your reservations.  


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.  NCDC recognizes that many of our participants have special diet needs. We try to accommodate those needs wherever we can. But we cannot do this without your help.   There will be a place on the confirmation form for you to indicate dietary needs.  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 May 18, 2018 for the June session and June 15, 2018 for the July session. We are willing to issue refunds less application fees for cancellations received by the dates indicated above.  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 directly into Macon is impractical/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.