Capital Area Private Defender Service

Message from CAPDS: 

First, thank you for your interest in serving the residents of Travis County through the defense of our most vulnerable citizens. 

The Review Committee will evaluate applications and make final determinations on acceptance of qualified attorneys for each panel. Any determination of the Review Committee regarding acceptance, removal, or level on the panels is final, binding, and conclusive. The Review Committee will collect more information in this application process than Travis County or CAPDS has previously, and hopes to work with each of you to determine the best fit for the panels.

While our standards create a floor for participation, meeting the requirements does not guarantee placement on any panel. Approval is entirely at the sound discretion of the Review Committee. We encourage applicants to fully complete their applications and submit any additional information they believe is relevant to special skills, experience, and qualifications. The review committee will consider characteristics including but not limited to the following:

​·    Recency, complexity, and quality of trial work;
·    Demonstrated competence and knowledge of criminal law, criminal procedure, and skill as a criminal law practitioner;
·    Years actively engaged in the practice of criminal law including complexity of matters handled;
·    Adherence to the rules of professional conduct, ethical and honest communication, and reputation for integrity and fair dealings;
·    Demonstrated commitment to indigent defense;
·    Demonstrated ability to conduct effective hearings;
·    Demonstrated ability to persuade and effectively advocate to juries, judges, and prosecutors
·    Certification as a criminal law specialist;
·    Diligence in educating oneself;
·    Punctuality, preparation, and efficiency;
·    Congeniality with peers and compassion for clients;
·    Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with judges, attorneys, staff, and clients;
·    Demonstrated competency in dealing with mentally ill clients, immigration consequences, and collateral consequence of criminal cases

​While this list is not exhaustive, it is intended to demonstrate our commitment to evaluation of the criminal representation experience. We strongly believe that only those attorneys dedicated to effective and competent representation should be included on our panels. Our mission is more than simply picking attorneys for panels. We are here to provide support, resources, education, mentorship, training, and expertise for those willing to take on the challenge of representing indigent clients. We look forward to counting you as part of our team to improve the delivery of indigent defense for all.

Bradley Hargis
​Executive Director