Brett Willis

Senior Assistant Public Defender Hall County Public Defender
Home PO Box 390 Gainesville GA
Photo of Brett Willis


Brett Willis has been a Georgia Public Defender in Hall County since 2005. He is a member of the inaugural class of Gideon’s Promise. At present, Brett serves as an instructor for: the National Criminal Defense College, the Harvard Law School, Gideon’s Promise, and GACDL’s Bill Daniel Program.

He is the author of Georgia’s only practice guide on defending against the charge of failure to register as a sexual offender. In 2008, Brett successfully challenged the constitutionality of the sex offender registration law as applied to homeless persons in Santos v. State, 284 Ga. 514 (2008).

In 2010, Brett was selected as one of ten Georgia lawyers under forty “On the Rise” in a review by The Fulton County Daily Report. In 2011, he was recognized for securing a dismissal for a woman accused of poisoning her husband with arsenic; the case had been slated to appear on TruTV. In 2013, he was featured in the HBO documentary Gideon’s Army. Also in 2013, he was awarded the prestigious Foot Soldier award by Gideon’s Promise. In 2014 Brett was named the Georgia Assistant Public Defender of the Year. He earned his J.D. from the University of Georgia (2003) and his Master of Laws from New York University (2004).”


Recent Teaching History