Court Watching

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

ABA Court Watching

ABA SCLAID and CRSJ have coordinated on a number of court watching efforts. These efforts have focused on misdemeanor and other low-level criminal and civil infraction courts.

Learn More - Courts

Public Defense Summit

This year's Summit focused on misdemeanor courts combined with the role that public defenders should play in effectively representing misdemeanor defendants and ensuring that the procedures in these courts protect those who are not entitled to counsel.

Learn More - Summit

Events, Meetings & CLE

SCLAID regularly hosts, sponsors or co-sponsors a variety of events on topics relating to public defense or of interest to the public defense community. This page features upcoming events, meetings and CLE, as well as past events available on video.

Learn More - Events

Katrina 15th Anniversary Programs: From Katrina to COVID

To mark the 15th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defense (SCLAID) together with the Deason Criminal Justice Reform Center at SMU Law School, the ABA Criminal Justice Section and the ABA Section on Civil Rights and Social Justice present webinars on the impact of crisis on two key components of the criminal justice system: Jails and Prisons, and Public Defense. The programs will consider what happens to people trapped in the criminal justice system during times of extreme systemic stress and whether or not such times of crisis can be catalysts for reform. Please join us for these free (non-CLE) programs.

Learn More - Katrina Programs

COVID-19 Resources

Across the country, civil and criminal justice system stakeholders are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in a variety of ways that directly impact access to justice. Below are websites, court orders, news items, legislation, and other resources that have been compiled by SCLAID and presented here for the benefit of the access to justice community. Note that changes are occurring rapidly and all websites provided below likely will be updated accordingly. Many of the other resources (including court orders, courtroom signage, government-issued guidance, emergency legislation, etc.) were shared by members of the access to justice community specifically to provide examples of how various state and local justice systems are responding to the pandemic. This page will be updated as new information is shared and/or discovered, so please be sure to check back frequently

Learn More - Covid-19 Resources