WHY PUBLIC DEFENSE?

Use your legal training to improve life for low-income individuals in vulnerable communities across Georgia.

If you want to use the law to help others, you should consider a career in public defense

There are many reasons people decide to become lawyers. Many seek the excitement and challenge of trying cases in court. Some people want to help others. Some want to uphold our constitutional rights. Some want to make a difference.

There are some people who become lawyers for all these reasons and more. They are Georgia Public Defenders.

In the landmark 1963 case Gideon v. Wainwright, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a fundamental and essential prerequisite to a fair criminal justice system is the constitutional right to be defended by competent and effective lawyers. The Court stated:

“Reason and reflection require us to recognize that in our adversary system of criminal justice, any person haled into court, who is too poor to hire a lawyer, cannot be assured a fair trial unless counsel is provided for him. This seems to us to be an obvious truth.”

Georgia’s public defenders uphold the United States Constitution’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel by representing those charged with a crime who cannot afford an attorney. More than 400 assistant public defenders across 44 judicial circuits provide representation in criminal and juvenile delinquency cases.

Many choose a career as attorneys and as public defenders because they want to make a difference. Others choose this career for the extensive courtroom experience it offers. 

Nearly all public defenders choose this path because they want to see the Constitution in action. They know that protecting the constitutional rights of each individual who comes into contact with the court system protects the rights of every American.

The GPDC recruits entry-level and experienced trial attorneys

A career as a public defender with GPDC offers attorneys at all experience levels the ability to realize these goals in a community of committed, inspiring lawyers who are also some of the best legal minds in the State of Georgia and the nation. Our work is challenging but it is extremely rewarding and extraordinarily crucial.

Together, we make a difference in Georgia one person at a time.

Our public defenders have the opportunity to combine their dedication to the representation of indigent clients with zealous litigation skills to provide exceptional representation. Public defenders strive to be the most learned attorney in the courtroom —  excellent communicators, dynamic in their advocacy, professional in their relationships with clients and their interaction with the courts. Our attorneys have the benefit of immediate exposure to litigation and the ability to work in a fast-paced, team-oriented environment.

To support our community of attorneys, we offer exceptional training opportunities, career cultivation, and the ability to qualify for the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

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