None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody — a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns — bent down and helped us pick up our boots.
— Justice Thurgood Marshall, United States Supreme Court

At AACTLA, the pursuit of equal justice is built upon a foundation of mentorship. Our specific objectives are simple: 1) nurture the growth of aspiring law students in the field of criminal defense, and 2) provide unlimited support to new attorneys (0-5 years in practice) in the field of indigent defense. 

AACTLA understands that in order to improve the practice of criminal defense, practitioners must have the resources and guidance to successfully advocate within the criminal justice system.  AACTLA's mentorship program is designed to create a meaningful connection between mentors and mentees to foster a relationship based upon a shared passion for criminal defense and the belief that hard work will bring us closer to justice.

Experienced attorneys offer knowledge and insight into the unique and rewarding world of criminal defense.  Mentees bring their infectious energy and enthusiasm for this work.  

Law students in the mentorship program will have access to AACTLA’s entire network of experienced attorneys, without being limited to one mentor.  New attorneys will be offered periodic brainstorming sessions for cases, given assistance in preparation for litigation (i.e. tips on cross examining a difficult witness and other trial skills), and provided with general support during this exciting period of growth and learning.

If you are interested in the AACTLA mentorship program, either as a mentor or mentee, please email us at