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Criminal Defending Conference

Event Type
University of Illinois College of Law
Dec 3, 2020 - Dec 4, 2020   All Day
Margareth Etienne
Originating Calendar
College of Law - All Other Events Calendar

Criminal Defending Conference

December 3, 12 pm

December 4, 8:30 am


Registration information will be forthcoming
(All sessions will take place on Zoom)


The tradition of criminal defending has deep historical roots in the United States, preceding our constitutional recognition of the right to counsel. John Adams’s defense of the Boston Tea Party instigators was an early example of this. This founding figure and second president of the United States, often revered as the nation’s first public defender, was undoubtedly asked the same question that criminal defense lawyers are universally met with today: “How do you defend those people?”


Common explanations include the importance of the constitutional rights of the accused, the failings of our criminal justice system and or the need for individuals to “have their day in court.” But the work of defense lawyers raises many more questions worthy of exploration. 


This Conference takes the “how” question head on, shifting the emphasis appropriately to: How do criminal defense attorneys defend? Criminal law scholars, many of whom have practiced as criminal lawyers will be brought together to help explore the unique role of defenders and advance theories on defending. The conference aspires to be the inaugural assembly of a recurring scholarly conversation among academics who think seriously about the world of criminal defense.


Conference Organizer

Margareth Etienne
University of Illinois



Deborah N. Archer


Morgan Cloud
Emory University


Russell D. Covey
Georgia State University


Andrea L. Dennis
University of Georgia


Margareth Etienne
University of Illinois


Brandon L. Garret
Duke University


Jona Goldschmidt
Loyola University Chicago


Todd Haugh
Indiana University


Stephen E. Henderson
University of Oklahoma


César García Hernández
University of Denver


Youngjae Lee
Fordham University


Thomas K. Maher
Duke University


Judith P. Miller
University of Chicago


Alexandra Natapoff
Harvard University


Jonathan Rapping
Gideon’s Promise/Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School


Natasha Silas
National Criminal Defense College


Christopher Slobogin
Vanderbilt University


Abbe Smith
Georgetown University



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