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August 23, 2023

Principle 7: Experience, Training and Supervision

A Public Defense Provider's plan for the assignment of lawyers should ensure that the experience, training, and supervision of the lawyer matches the complexity of the case. Public Defense Providers should regularly supervise and systematically evaluate their lawyers to ensure the delivery of effective and competent representation free from discrimination or bias. In conducting evaluations, national, state, and local standards, including ethical obligations, should be considered. Lawyers and staff should be required to attend continuing education programs or other training to enhance their knowledge and skills. Public Defense Providers should provide training at no cost to attorneys, as well as to other staff.

Public Defense Providers should ensure that attorneys and other staff have the necessary training, skills, knowledge, and awareness to effectively represent clients affected by poverty, racism, and other forms of discrimination in a culturally competent manner. Public defense counsel should be specifically trained in raising legal challenges based on racial and other forms of discrimination. Public defense counsel and other staff should also be trained to recognize biases within a diverse workplace.