NATIONAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE COLLEGE FACULTY

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Tara Allen

Roger Williams School of Law

Tara I. Allen is an Associate Professor of Law at Roger Williams University School of Law where she teaches Evidence, Criminal Procedure, Criminal Law, and Trial Advocacy.  She was an Assistant Federal Public Defender, first with the Eastern District of California, then the Western District of Pennsylvania and, most recently, the District of Rhode Island. Prior to joining the Federal Defenders organization, Tara was a supervising staff attorney for the U.S.…Read More
Work 10 Metacom Avenue Bristol RI 02809 TPI Attendance: July, 2005
Biography

Tara I. Allen is an Associate Professor of Law at Roger Williams University School of Law where she teaches Evidence, Criminal Procedure, Criminal Law, and Trial Advocacy.  She was an Assistant Federal Public Defender, first with the Eastern District of California, then the Western District of Pennsylvania and, most recently, the District of Rhode Island. Prior to joining the Federal Defenders organization, Tara was a supervising staff attorney for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco and a law clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York City. She also served as a judicial intern in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts under Chief Magistrate Judge Joyce London Alexander.

Tara taught Legal Writing & Research and Moot Court at University of California Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, CA, and Appellate Advocacy at University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, CA.

Tara is a visiting faculty member at NCDC Trial Practice Institute (NCDC) and a 2005 alumna of the program. She is on the faculty of the Federal Criminal Justice Act Trial Skills Academy (TSA), administered by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, and has served as a panelist and presenter for numerous legal skills trainings and workshops.

Tara received her JD from Northeastern University School Law in Boston, MA and her BA from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT.

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Karen Smolar

Training Director, Committee for Public Counsel Services

Karen has served as a devoted faculty member of NCDC since the year after attending as a Participant in 2007. After working as a public defender and then in private practice as a criminal trial attorney, she was a public defender in NYC at The Bronx Defenders from 2000 to 2018 as a staff attorney, supervisor, team leader and finally as the Trial Chief and the Director of Homicides.…Read More
Work Cranston RI TPI Attendance: June, 2007
Biography

Karen has served as a devoted faculty member of NCDC since the year after attending as a Participant in 2007. After working as a public defender and then in private practice as a criminal trial attorney, she was a public defender in NYC at The Bronx Defenders from 2000 to 2018 as a staff attorney, supervisor, team leader and finally as the Trial Chief and the Director of Homicides. She is now the Legal Training Director at the Committee for Public Counsel Services in Massachusetts. While at the Bronx Defenders, Karen created The Defenders’ Academy, an innovative trial skills program for public and private attorneys across the nation, which focuses on the intersection between trial skills and performance work.

Karen has been an adjunct professor at St. John’s School of Law teaching Trial Advocacy and at Seton Hall Law School teaching Persuasion and Advocacy. She has lectured on various topics for the NACDL and the New York State Defenders Association. She has also been a guest trainer at various state-wide public defender programs across the nation. Karen graduated from Brooklyn Law School, where she was an Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Fellow and holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University. Her interest in performance work stems from her lifelong love for music, dance and sports. She lives in Rhode Island with her husband Jeff and her two children.