law faculty

Faculty

Faculty

The Gideon’s Promise faculty is comprised of distinguished attorneys who donate their time and resources to mentor and instruct our community of public defenders in the integration of our values and curriculum.

The Gideon’ s Promise faculty consists of current and former public defenders who volunteer to teach Summer and Winter Training Institute(s), serve as mentors in our Core 101 Program and as ambassadors for the organization in the legal, corporate, grantor and non-profit communities. Our current faculty includes the following attorneys:

Primary Faculty

We are fortunate to have great lawyers willing to donate their time and energy as teachers and mentors for our community. For that we are thankful as our faculty is our most valuable resource. Motivation to elevate the standard of representation for their clients

At the heart of our effort to build a generation of public defenders to collectively transform the way our criminal justice system treats low income people accused of crimes is our Primary Faculty. While there are many training programs available to public defenders that teach various trial skills and recent developments in the law, Gideon’s Promise uses a model that also teaches values essential to public defense and strategies to resist systemic pressures to abandon those values. While training is essential to our mission, it is not an end.

The Gideon's Promise Community

The Gideon’s Promise Faculty

The Gideon’s Promise faculty is comprised of distinguished attorneys who donate their time and resources to mentor and instruct our community of public defenders in the integration of our values and curriculum. The Gideon’s Promise faculty consists of current and former public defenders who volunteer to teach Summer and Winter Training Institute(s), serve as mentors in our Core 101 Program and as ambassadors for the organization in the legal, corporate, grantor and non-profit communities. **Directors of curriculum development

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Jenny Andrews*


California


Faculty since 2014

Landon Antelman


Arizona


Alumni Class of 2014

Cathy Bennett*


Alaska


Faculty since 2008

Carmen Brooks


Colorado


Alumni Class of 2012

Mark Loudon-Brown


Georgia


Faculty since 2018

Samantha Buckingham


California


Faculty since 2012

Yasmin Cader


California


Faculty since 2018

Violeta Chapin*


Colorado


Faculty since 2010

Chris Flood


New York


Faculty since 2010

Melanie Foote*


Kentucky


Faculty since 2017

Devin Franklin


Georgia


Alumni Class of 2010

Patrice Fulcher*


Maryland


Faculty since 2007

Shawna Geiger


Colorado


Faculty since 2012

LaMer Kyle Griffiths


Oklahoma


Faculty since 2017

Patrick Hakes


Tennessee


Alumni Class of 2011

Jacinta Hall


Tennessee


Alumni Class of 2008

Brandi Harden


Washington D.C.


Faculty since 2007

Kenneth Hardin


Texas


Alumni Class of 2012

Atteeyah Hollie


Georgia


Alumni Class of 2010

Ray Ibarra


Kentucky


Alumni Class of 2011

David Klaus*


California


Faculty since 2018

Aisha McWeay


Oklahoma


Alumni Class of 2010

Sean Maher*


New York


Faculty since 2007

William Montross*


Washington D.C.


Faculty since 2009

Maisie Osteen


South Carolina


Alumni Class of 2014

Chanta’ Parker


Michigan


Alumni Class of 2008

David Patton*


New York


Faculty since 2008

Heather Pinckney


Washington D.C.


Faculty since 2007

Jennifer Sellitti


New Jersey



Faculty since 2017

Jeff Sherr


Kentucky


Faculty since 2007

Georgia Sims


Tennessee


Alumni Class of 2011

David Singleton


Ohio


Faculty since 2008

Lori James-Townes*


Maryland


Faculty since 2012

Collette Tvedt


Colorado


Faculty since 2015

Dehlia Umunna*


Massachusetts


Faculty since 2007

Andre Vitale


New York


Faculty since 2012

Sara Whitaker


West Virginia


Alumni Class of 2012

Glover Wright


Tennessee


Alumni Class of 2013

The Impact of Mass Incarceration

A boy from the bottom 10% of the income distribution is 20x more likely to end up in prison in his thirties than a boy from the top 10%.[1]

In 2019, the state of New York spent $18.2 billion on the carceral system, compared to just $6.2 billion on mental health services, public health, youth programs and services, elder services, and recreation.[2]

In 2019, the state of New York spent $18.2 billion on the carceral system, compared to just $6.2 billion on mental health services, public health, youth programs and services, elder services, and recreation.[2]

Faculty Training

Under the Gideon’s Promise model, training is one tool used to drive a transformation in public defense. Unlike many training programs that look for excellent trial lawyers to teach discreet topics, we ask our Primary Faculty to make a deep and long-standing commitment to our mission. The Faculty consists of a collection of current and former public defenders who volunteer to serve as teachers, mentors and as ambassadors for the organization. The Primary Faculty members commit to serve as a continuous presence dedicated to the development of the lawyers in our community and the organization as a whole.

Because our theory of change involves nuturing our graduates to serve as trainers and mentors, the greatest influx of new Primary Faculty members comes from public defenders in our partner-offices who have been through our Core 101 Program and are currently members of our Graduate Program. However, we do occasionally invite new Primary Faculty to join us. But, due to both budgetary and logistical constraints, we are limited in the number of Primary Faculty we can support.

Quotations

Testimonials

“Gideon’s Promise has changed my life. I have a renewed purpose. Purpose is an important thing. It’s the yellow brick road in your life.”

Brandon Ball

The Ball Law Firm, PLLC; Pearland, TX; Gideon’s Promise Class of 2013

Faculty Requirements

The following is a list of both requirements and considerations for trainers seeking to join our Primary Faculty:

  • All Primary Faculty are required to have worked as a public defender. This is to ensure that all Primary Faculty members bring an appreciation of the unique challenges that face public defenders, and experience in working to overcome these challenges.
  • All Primary Faculty are required to have attended Track 1 and Track 2 of the Gideon’s Promise Trainer Development Program.

Additional Considerations:

When evaluating any request to invite a potential new member to join our Primary Faculty, in addition to the above requirements, we consider the following factors:

  • Their connection to public defense in general.
  • We give priority to those who currently serve as public defenders, as well as give consideration to the years of experience one has as a public defender. We want to ensure that all of our faculty help promote the message that public defense is for the most committed, most talented, and most compassionate defenders.
    We give priority to those who have practiced in the jurisdictions where our lawyers practice. Priority is given to Gideon’s Promise graduates, as well as senior lawyers in Gideon’s Promise partner offices.
    We give priority to those who demonstrate a strong commitment to, and a practice consistent with, the client-centered values that form the foundation of our model.
  • We give priority to those who have experience teaching and mentoring public defenders in one-on-one and small-group settings. We are looking for faculty members who can teach from the Gideon’s Promise curriculum and serve as part of a team that is committed to helping our lawyers internalize the values that underscore these goals through coaching and mentoring.
  • We give priority to those who have experience teaching and mentoring public defenders in one-on-one and small-group settings. We are looking for faculty members who can teach from the Gideon’s Promise curriculum and serve as part of a team that is committed to helping our lawyers internalize the values that underscore these goals through coaching and mentoring.
  • We give priority to those who have demonstrated a commitment to Gideon’s Promise through the support they have provided the organization and its lawyers in the past. Serving as an ambassador for this movement is expected of every Primary Faculty member. Above and beyond serving as teachers and mentors, we look to Primary Faculty to help with outreach and build support for our mission.
  • We consider the ability of a Primary Faculty member to cover the cost of participating in Summer and/or Winter Training Institute. While we do cover expenses for most of our Primary Faculty, there are some members who are able to cover their own travel, lodging and meals. Because the greatest limitation on the number of faculty we can bring to our Training Institutes is budgetary, the ability to cover these expenses helps.

About Us

A Change is Coming

We defend our most vulnerable communities from the effects of mass incarceration — keeping families together with dignity.

Our Mission

To transform the criminal justice system by building a movement of public defenders who provide equal justice for marginalized communities.

Our Vision 

We envision a nation where every person has access to zealous, outstanding representation necessary to ensure “equal justice for all” in the criminal justice arena.

Protecting This Promise

You don't have to be a public defender to protect the promise of zealous counsel for all. Your monthly contribution--no matter the amount--will directly impact the fate of a defendant who didn't know they needed you.