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Public Defense Training Academy



Mission Statement

The Mission of the University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM) Public Defense Training Academy is to ensure that a competent defense along with a support system of services are provided for those accused of crimes and unable to afford legal counsel.

Vision Statement

To become the foundation of criminal defense training across the United States.

About Us

The changing nature of public defense continues to evolve, adapt, and develop. Therefore, Louisiana is making the effort to improve its justice system. On May 31, 2022, Governor John Bel Edwards signed into law Senate Bill 206 which calls for the Louisiana Public Defender Board (LPDB) to contract with the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM) to develop, produce, and train public defenders across the state.

ULM will be required to consult with the legal experts and by using their specific skills and interest in public defense, they will ‘fill-in’ the gaps for between clients and their respective lawyers by hosting training sessions.

ULM along with the State of Louisiana have chosen to focus on five broad categories for these trainings:

PDTA Schedule

Training Session Date Time

Grant Writing: Laying the Foundation (Zoom) 

March 15th, 2023 

1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. 

Obtaining Records (Zoom) 

March 22nd, 2023 

2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. 

Motions (ULM)  

March 24th, 2023 

8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 

Grant Writing: Building the Narrative (Zoom) 

April 5th, 2023 

1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. 

Sexual Assault Cases (ULM) 

April 18th, 2023 

8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 

Grant Writing: Evaluating and Reporting on Grant Funded Projects (Zoom) 

April 19th, 2023 

1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. 

Substance Use Impact Criminal Defense (Zoom) 

May 10th, 2023 

2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. 

Argument (ULM) 

May 16th, 2023 

8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 

Report Writing for the Court (Zoom) 

May 17th, 2023 

2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. 


Contact: Office of Innovation and Research | Sandel Hall | 318-342-1410


Hanser, Robert

Principal Investigator

Strauss Hall 216

(318) 342-1443



Hawkins, Ashley

Project Manager

Sandel 308

(318) 342-1410



Noel, Bob

Lead Counsel





Sutherlin, John

Compliance Officer

Sandel 308

(318) 342-1413



Thameling, Carl


Walker 2-125

(318) 342-3184



Harris, Courtney

Public Administration

Strauss Hall



Hersey, Leigh

Public Administration

Strauss Hall 166

(318) 342-1332



Horne, Anissa

Social Work

Strauss Hall 229

(318) 342-1129



Saulsberry, Pamela

Social Work

Sandel Hall 200

(318) 342-1445