Public Defense

The Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants (SCLAID) is working to improve public defense systems nationwide.

Standards and Policies

Ten Guidelines on Court Fines and Fees

These guidelines provide practical direction for government officials, policymakers and others charged with developing, reforming and administering court fines and fees. The guidelines seek to ensure that fines and fees are fairly imposed and administered and that the justice system does not punish people for the "crime" of being poor.

View - Guidelines

Eight Guidelines of Public Defense Related to Excessive Workloads

Essential guidance for the thousands of attorneys who provide indigent criminal defense and suffer from excessive workloads.

Read - Guidelines

Summit on Public Defense

The Summit provides an opportunity for all members of the criminal justice community, as well as leaders of state and local bars, to learn about issues at the forefront of public defense.

View - 2018 Materials

Public Defense News

News and news archives available at Email Malia Brink at with news, jobs, events, or subscription requests.


Find additional indigent criminal defense resources, including links to related ABA groups and committees, publications and standards, and other organizations devoted to improving indigent criminal defense systems.

View - Links