U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites always use a .gov or .mil domain. Before sharing sensitive information online, make sure you’re on a .gov or .mil site by inspecting your browser’s address (or “location”) bar.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Indigent Defense Meetings

On this page find:

Topical Working Group Meeting on Right to Counsel and Indigent Defense

In March 2015, NIJ hosted a meeting to assess the current state of the indigent defense field and guide the development of a comprehensive research agenda, with particular focus on key issues in indigent defense research. The goals of the meeting were to:

To guide the development of a comprehensive research agenda, this meeting's goals are to:

  • Discuss what is known in four identified topic areas: 
    • Juveniles and access to counsel.
    • Barriers to counsel for adults.
    • Use of data and operational research.
    • Assigned counsel and panel attorney systems.
  • Identify current gaps in the research.
  • Identify future actionable research questions.
  • Begin taking steps to craft a research agenda.

Read the meeting notes and view the slide presentations (pdf, 101 pages).

Expert Working Group: International Perspectives on Indigent Defense

In January 2011, the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Access to Justice Initiative and NIJ convened a working group to discuss the international and domestic practice of criminal indigent defense and the research needed to improve it.

National Symposium on Indigent Defense: Looking Back, Looking Forward, 2000-2010

In 1999, DOJ convened the National Symposium on Indigent Defense, bringing stakeholders together to build partnerships and collaborations that would enhance representation of indigent criminal defendants.

For the National Symposium on Indigent Defense: Looking Back, Looking Forward, 2000-2010, DOJ brought officers of the court, legislators and advocates together to assess how far the country had come since the 1999 symposium and identify critical areas for improvement.

Date Created: July 17, 2019