Partners for Justice offers customizable training for public defense leadership, attorneys, social workers, advocates, navigators, investigators, and other staff and allies on how to transition to client-led, collaborative practices—both as individual practitioners and as an office.



There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to expanded public defender services, so PFJ does not use a one-size-fits-all learning solution, but rather tailor our offerings to the unique context and needs of our partners.

PFJ is the only organization that specializes in training non-attorney advocates to support holistic or collaborative defense.

In addition to developing a one-of-a-kind curriculum for wraparound support services, case management, and advocacy inside public defense, PFJ has delivered a number of programs around the US.

Training programs delivered across the US:


Overviews and interactive seminars on the core principles of collaborative defense, and tactical, adaptable steps any defender can take to start practicing collaborative defense in the near term


Deep dive sessions on what it is to be a client led defender or defense agency, with a focus on the client’s experience and how to increase defender effectiveness and job satisfaction by better understanding and prioritizing a client’s stated goals


Vision Workshops with defense leadership and staff to hone and create—or re-create—their mission, vision, and values as a community-rooted, client led public defender


Collaborative, interdisciplinary training on how to better utilize language and mitigation to secure stronger outcomes both inside and outside the courtroom, and enhance team members’ persuasive writing abilities


Specialized courses on issue-spotting beyond the criminal case, bringing a defender team up to speed on the full scope of enmeshed penalties their clients may be facing—and how to address them


Collaborative defense intensive: our annual convening and training focused on the core skills of case navigation and client-led advocacy, including the legal ethics of interdisciplinary practice, working with clients in crisis, client interviewing, oral advocacy, public benefits, community resource-mapping, building external partnerships, and how to practice more effectively as an interdisciplinary team


Communications-focused training on how we better convey the incredible power and value of public defense, including specialized sessions on public defense messaging to drive resources, fundraise, and spur governmental investment