Defender Trial School

This course is cosponsored by the Office of Indigent Defense Services.

Participants will use their own cases to develop a cohesive theory of defense at trial and apply that theory through all stages of a criminal trial, including voir dire, opening and closing arguments, and direct and cross-examination. The Guide for Participants, located below, explains the type of case to bring and the few steps to take to prepare for the program. 

This program is open to public defenders and private attorneys who perform a significant amount of appointed criminal work.

For information about other public defense education courses, visit our Public Defense Education site.

2023 Defender Trial School, will be held Monday, July 10 through Friday, July 14, at the UNC School of Government.



Additional information



The program will offer approximately 29 hours of general CLE credit and qualifies for NC State Bar criminal law specialization credit.


This program is comprised of plenary sessions and intensive small group workshops. Due to the interactive nature of the program, participants are expected to attend all sessions


This program differs from others that you may have attended. Unlike other programs, you need to attend all of the sessions. Although you will be working from a hypothetical case in the plenary sessions, you will spend most of your time in small groups working on your own cases.  


General29.00 hrs
Total29.00 hrs
There currently are no scheduled offerings of this course.
For all registration questions, resetting passwords, or login issues please contact:

Dale Zuckert

Assistant Registrar
For questions regarding course details, including location, schedule, materials, and continuing education credits, please contact:

Kayla Fowler

Project Manager, Courts Group
Albert Coates Professor of Public Law and Government; Director, Public Defense Education