DPD offers Public Defense 101 Training to administrative staff 

Pictured: DPD attorney and trainer Adrien Leavitt speaks with a participant during the training.

Several employees at the Department of Public Defense (DPD) took advantage of the department’s first Public Defense 101 trainings in December, an opportunity for administrative staff to learn the nuts and bolts of public defense. Two 90-minute sessions were held, one for staff in Seattle and another for staff in Kent, led by three members of DPD’s management team – Katherine Hurley, Tara Urs, and Adrien Leavitt. The three attorneys discussed many aspects of public defense as it is practiced in King County – from how the department is set up, to the types of cases DPD handles, to caseload standards – as well as answered questions and facilitated discussions.

The trainings were designed in coordination with Debra Baker from the Department of Human Resources. After a recent meeting with administrative staff, Debra reported to DPD leadership that several employees wanted a training of this type. Tara Urs, who is coordinating training at DPD on an interim basis, said both sessions were successful and additional ones will likely take place later this year.  

“People were engaged. They asked great questions. And it seemed helpful,” she said. “It’s important that everyone feels a connection to the mission of public defense, and this is one way to make sure our administrative staff feels both connected and respected.”