Professional Development

Our programs impart essential skills and knowledge to new public defenders and experienced attorneys in Georgia.

Our legal training approach

The GPDC is committed to creating and maintaining the best public defender system in the United States. Consistent with this commitment is the vision to ensure that Georgia’s public defenders are the best trained advocates for indigent defendants in the country. GPDC is actively working to enhance its training program to meet two specific goals:
  • 1. Attract the highest quality applicants to the Georgia public defender system
  • 2. Create a population of lawyers who will exemplify the values and standards we set for our public defender system

We offer a variety of training opportunities throughout the year for our public defenders and are open on a space-available basis to other members of the legal community.

Newly licensed public defenders participate in an initial, two-phase intensive training designed to introduce the public defender to the fundamentals of pre-trial practice and trial skills. Our programs for experienced attorneys cover the gamut of current legal practice that our public defenders need, such as updates on forensic science, juvenile delinquency, appellate practice, and DUI.
In addition to onsite training, we offer several webinars throughout the year to ensure that public defenders can access quality training, notwithstanding their busy schedules.

Contact Professional Development

Trish McCann Bertram
Professional Development Director

Upcoming trainings

Thursday, April 28 & Thursday, May 5, 2022

NCDD: Gideon Behind the Wheel – The Basics of Defending a DUI Case

Two webinars totaling 8.5 hours. Offered free to public defenders nationwide and NCDD members.

Click here for more information and to register.

Wednesday, May 4, 12:15 PM

New Webinar! Indigency Verification for All Staff

Presented by CPD Donna Seagraves
1 General CLE Credit.

Check your GPDC email for the latest Professional Development Update and registration link.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Juvenile Defender Seminar

Georgia Public Defender Council invites you to attend the fifth program in our 2022 monthly training series: The Juvenile Defender Seminar.

The seminar will be held Monday, May 16, in the training room of the Augusta Circuit Public Defender, 902 Greene Street, Augusta GA 30901. The program will take place from 9:00 AM to 2:30 PM. This program will be held in-person and broadcast via zoom.

This seminar is designed for all levels of defenders representing youth in juvenile court. 

Topics will include: 
— Introduction to Youth Defense & the Role of the Youth Defender
— The Georgia Juvenile Court Process & The Role of the Youth Defender at Every Stage, presented by Randee Waldman
— Planning for Disposition: Community Services
— Planning for Disposition: DJJ Services and Programs, presented by DJJ Staff

CLE credit is pending approval (4 credits, including one ethics and one trial skills). GPDC will report your CLE credit to the State Bar of Georgia after the program. CLE fees will be paid for all live (in-person and zoom) program attendees.

Registration is open through 5:00 PM, May 12. Check your GPDC email for the latest Professional Development Update and registration link.

This program is open to all GPDC public defenders, alternate public defenders, and assigned counsel in private practice. We will send registration confirmations and final program details to registrants on Friday, May 13

June 20 -22; Lake Blackshear Conference Center

GPDC Investigator Conference 2022

Georgia Public Defender Council invites you to attend the 2022 Investigator Conference June 21 – 23 at the Lake Blackshear Conference Center & Resort in Cordele, Georgia.  

The Criminal Defense Investigation Council (CDITC) will present The Component Method© of Criminal Defense Investigation and Case Management over two half-days and one full day. We will begin with lunch on Tuesday, June 21, and conclude with lunch on Thursday, June 23.

Participants who successfully complete training and the online test will be qualified to apply for the nationally recognized Board Certified Criminal Defense Investigator (CCDI) designation. The program will provide participants with the opportunity to enhance their base of knowledge and skillset relative to the discipline of criminal defense and due process investigation. 

Registration is open from May 10 to May 27. County and State employee investigators are invited to attend. Register early to secure your spot.  We will reserve at least one spot for every circuit. If you are placed on a waiting list, you will be notified. Registrations will be confirmed by June 1.  

See the News & Updates SharePoint for Registration Information, or contact

September 19-21

Save the Date! GPDC Administrative Professionals Conference 2022

GPDC will host an administrative professionals conference September 19-21 at Lake Blackshear Resort in Cordele, GA.

Additional Information and Registration Details Coming Soon!

Wednesdays, 3:10 – 4 PM ET

NAPD: Be Well Wednesdays

  • Everyone working in public defense is invited. Drop-in for any session. Stay for all or part of the session. Always free. 
  • No registration required. Zoom Link  Meeting ID: 301 833 3193, Passcode: BeWellPD 

NAPD Public Service Loan Forgiveness Webinar Series (On-Demand, No CLE)

Part 1: PSFL Basics – video, materials
Part 2: The New Limited PSLF Waiver – video, materials
Part 3: Managing Repayment – video, materials
Part 4: Loan Forgiveness Q & A – video, materials

Copyright © 2022 Georgia Public Defender Council. All Rights Reserved.