2019 Black Public Defender Association (BPDA) Conference.
Click here for the Overall Conference evaluation.
Click on the "FEEDBACK SURVEY" button above session descriptions to submit an evaluation form.

Sign up or log in to bookmark your favorites and sync them to your phone or calendar.

Membership Meetings [clear filter]
Thursday, June 6


BPDA Membership Committee
This meeting will focus on the creation of BPDA chapters and membership engagement.


Sylvia Smith

Staff Attorney-Trial Division, The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia

Porsha Venable

Staff Attorney, The Bronx Defenders
Born, raised, and still residing in the Bronx, Porsha-Shaf’on received her J.D. from California Western School of Law and her MSW from New York University School of Social Work. She initially worked at the Bronx Defenders as a forensic social worker. During law school, she returned... Read More →

Thursday June 6, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Chesapeake I-II 3rd Floor


Pathways to Legal Education
Black public defenders have an important role to play as teachers in both professional and academic settings. Yet, for many of us, law teaching may seem out of reach. This workshop explores the various pathways available to public defenders seeking to engage with legal education. This session will explain what law teaching involves and provide advice on how to pursue clinical and other academic opportunities.


Vida Johnson

Associate Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center
Before joining Georgetown University Law Center, Professor Johnson was a supervising attorney in the Trial Division at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS), where she worked for eight years. At PDS, Ms. Johnson was assigned to the most serious cases at the... Read More →

Nicole Smith Futrell

Associate Professor; Co-Director, Defenders Clinic, City University of New York School of Law
Nicole Smith Futrell is an associate professor and co-director of the Defenders Clinic at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law. In the clinic, she and her students handle a variety of defense related cases such as representing clients in state court misdemeanor matters... Read More →

Thursday June 6, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Severn I 2nd Floor


Social Policy and Advocacy Committee
This committee of BPDA is focused on policy reform and advocacy on issues affecting black public defenders. This meeting will focus on developing a plan and strategy on how BPDA can engage the larger criminal justice reform community and how members can volunteer to ensure the success of the work.


Chiquisha Robinson

Prisoner & Reentry Legal Services Manager, The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
Ms. Robinson serves as the Manager of the Prisoner & Reentry Legal Services program in the D.C. Public Defender Services' Community Defender Division. The Community Defender Division (CDD) provides legal advice, social services, and community education and outreach to adults and children... Read More →

Thursday June 6, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Chesapeake III 3rd Floor


Training and Professional Development Committee
This meeting will focus on identifying topics and ideas for future BPDA training.

avatar for Keir Bradford-Grey

Keir Bradford-Grey

Chief Defender, Defender Association of Philadelphia
Keir Bradford-Grey was named chief defender of the Defender Association of Philadelphia in 2015. Previously, she was a trial lawyer at the Defender Association and the Delaware Federal Public Defender’s Office before she was named chief defender for the Montgomery County (PA) Public... Read More →
avatar for Lori James-Townes

Lori James-Townes

Assoc. Clinical Professors, Towson University
Professor James-Townes’s passion is adding value to others. She has focused her attention on personal and professional development. Nothing brings her more joy than working with students and professionals as they take their journey and focus on achieving their full potential. She... Read More →

Thursday June 6, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Potomac 3rd Floor