The National Criminal Defense College profoundly elevates the practice of criminal defense in the United States, and has for decades. Our goal is to consistently pursue meaningful improvement in the quality of justice for people accused of crimes.


We envision a world in which all individuals who come in contact with the legal system are treated with dignity, respect, and fairness, regardless of wealth, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, or status in any marginalized group.


Pursuing justice by delivering the highest standard of trial skills training, through a diverse faculty, to criminal defense attorneys across the United States to ensure that people accused of crimes are represented by client-centered, trial-focused, and zealous counsel.

Pursuing justice by preparing defense counsel to recognize and confront racism and bias in the criminal legal system.

Pursuing justice by inspiring and empowering a diverse community of criminal defense attorneys to transform the criminal legal system to ensure due process of law, effective assistance of counsel, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures, and equal protection of law for all people.


The Deryl Dantzler Trial Practice Institute is NCDC’s flagship program. It has been conducted annually since 1985 and is presented in two 2-week sessions in the summer. NCDC also conducts Short Programs on Cross-Examination and Forensic Cross-Examination during the Fall and Winter.

Our programs are attended by private criminal defense attorneys, public defenders, federal defenders, and military defense attorneys.   

Upcoming Events


We now accept Visiting Faculty Applications year round. 

“I will never try a criminal case the way I did before attending the NCDC…[It] changed my outlook on the practice of criminal law…made me a better trial lawyer and a better person.”