Faculty Requirements

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.

Primary Faculty

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. 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 grooming 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.

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

Requirements

  • 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.

Faculty Application

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
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