Over the past several years, a debate has erupted within the world of indigent defense: to what degree is it appropriate or indeed vital for public defenders to be involved in political advocacy? Some contend such advocacy is outside the role and responsibility of public defenders, who should instead focus on defending their clients to the best of their ability. Others assert that involvement on social issues that arguably affect their clients is integral to the public defender’s mission and work.

In this recorded Teleforum former public defenders discuss these questions on the role of public defenders in political advocacy.


  • Maud Maron, Interim Executive Director, Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism
  • Tiffany Roberts, Public Policy Director, Southern Center for Human Rights
  • [Moderator] Matthew Cavedon, Robert Pool Fellow in Law and Religion & Senior Lecturer in Law, Emory University School of Law

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