Capital Area Private Defender Service

Become a Mentee

The mentorship program will begin with a week long intensive training between March 5, 2018 - March 9, 2017.  if accepted, you must attend this training.

  • This application should be completed by attorneys not on the CAPDS panel and who do not meet the minimum qualifications for the misdemeanor panel or CAPDS panel attorneys who do not meet the minimum qualifications for the felony A panel.
  • The CAPDS application process utilizes an online application hosted by Google.  This is the only method to apply.  If you have any problems using this form or viewing this website please contact us at
  • If you close your browser during the application process all work will be lost.
  • The information required to complete the application for non-CAPDS panel members is extensive. The information required to complete the application is extensive. We strongly recommend you download the application worksheet here before beginning.
  • If you are currently on the CAPDS panel, you must complete your retention application and an application to be part of the training program.
  • Interest in becoming a mentor, please read our current posting.Interest in becoming a mentor, please read our current posting.

CAPDS Misdemeanor Mentorship Program

We will accept a limited number of applicants who:

  • Are licensed to practice law in the State of Texas
  • Demonstrate a commitment to indigent defense

Applicants admitted to the program will:

  • Attend a week-long training March 5th to 9th
  • Receive six months of supervision by a CAPDS mentor
  • Meet monthly with the mentorship group
  • Receive a scholarship to a trial training
  • Receive misdemeanor assignments during the program
  • After successful completion of the program, be placed on the misdemeanor panels. (Misdemeanor attorneys are paid a flat fee per case and hourly for work done bonding clients out of jail.)
  • Have access to investigators, experts, second-chair assistance, legal research, motion bank

You may apply to the misdemeanor mentorship program here.

CAPDS Felony Mentorship Program

This year the CAPDS felony mentoring program will focus on the Felony A panel.  We are pleased to announce a new mentoring program designed for attorneys who wish to take on the challenge of representing people charged with First Degree Felonies, but who may not meet the minimum qualifications for the A Panel (two first-chair first-degree jury trials).  

Due to the serious consequences that people faced with first degree charges have, the A Panel Mentoring program will provide more support and guidance to ensure that our learning attorneys receive the highest quality training possible. 

Some key things you should know:

  • The A Panel program will be for two years, however, attorneys will be encouraged to start taking appointments after completing training in March.
  • Office space will be made available to learning attorneys in the USB space, where there will be easy access to colleagues, CAPDS Holistic Defense Staff, the A Panel Mentor, conference rooms for meetings, and regular case conferencing/training in best practices. 
  • While we cannot promise an hourly rate for every case, attorneys will be paid for the work they do consistent with the Fair Defense Plan.  Please talk to CAPDS staff if you have questions about how compensation will work.
  • CAPDS will choose three attorneys to be in the program, and we encourage Spanish speakers and attorneys interested in representing people with a mental health diagnosis to apply.

If you are interested in applying, please review the minimum qualifications here. If you feel that you meet the minimum qualifications, please apply for the mentorship here.

If you are currently on the CAPDS panel, you must complete your retention application and an application to be part of the training program.