The NCDC Trial Practice Institute 2019 just got cooler!

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The National Criminal Defense College is thrilled to announce that the 2019 Trial Practice Institute will be hosted at the Roger Williams University Law School in Bristol, Rhode Island! We are bringing the transformative magic from Macon, Georgia to Bristol, Rhode Island for the first time ever.

“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, divided into 13 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 2019 is $2,500.00 per person. Applications will be available January 15, 2019.   Tuition will be due for admitted participants on May 1, 2019. 


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.



Participants will stay at the Baypoint Residence and Conference Center in dormitory style accommodations close to the Roger Williams University School of Law at $95.00 per night. Those who wish to share double rooms can do so to save costs.


Meals provided from tuition include: scheduled social events (1 or 2 dinners) and lunches on weekdays. Continental breakfast will be provided at the Baypoint Residence and Conference Center. 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 application 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 may not be able to accommodate you when you arrive.


Cancellations will be accepted until May 15, 2019. Refunds may not be available after that date. Substitutions will not be allowed unless approved by NCDC.

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.