Capital Area Private Defender Service

CAPDS IS currently acceptING new applications from some attorneys 

The next scheduled application period for all attorneys will be in late 2024; however, CAPDS is accepting applications from attorneys who qualify for our Quick Start admission.  Please review the options below and choose the best application method for you.

Option One for New or Returning Attorneys - Rolling Decisions with Quick Start

In order to be eligible for our Quick Start program, an attorney must qualify for a felony panel, be experienced with defense practice in Travis County, and be available to accept assignments prior to orientation. Decisions will be made on a rolling basis.  The quick start option is also available to former panel attorneys wishing to return to the panel.  The quick start option will be offered based on the number of available quick start spots and the applications received. Those attorneys qualifying for a mental health panel or Spanish speakers may be given priority.

Attorneys approved for the Quick Start option will receive a personalized orientation and review portions of our general orientation before accepting any assignments.  Training will include virtual and in-person components.  

Attorneys interested in determining if Quick Start is right for them should fill out this interest form.  CAPDS will contact you to discuss your interest and, if you qualify, will provide you with more information on applying to our panel.

Option Two for New or returning attorneys - Regular Admission

All attorneys new to CAPDS who are not accepted for Quick Start must apply during our annual application period.  We expect to open general applications in late 2024, and you can check our website for more information on that process later in the year.

Those accepted through the general application process must attend the week-long CAPDS orientation. Our 2025 orientation will take place in person. If accepted to the CAPDS panel, you must attend all sessions to begin accepting assignments.

You can sign up here to receive more information when our general application process opens.

Application Information

You should carefully review the panel standards to determine which level you qualify to apply to.  Applicants must meet all requirements to apply for the CAPDS panel regardless of their method of admission.  You can view the standards here.

All applicants must complete our CLE requirements before accepting assignments.  You can view those requirements here.

For those interested in joining our panels and who do not meet these standards may apply to the mentoring program.  Our next mentoring program application period will be during our general application period in late 2024.

All new applicants must take a basic criminal law competency exam.  Those completing an application will be contacted regarding sitting for the exam.