Appellate Defenders, Inc. (ADI) is a non-profit law firm that recruits and develops an extensive panel of attorneys for appointment in the California Courts of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District. Such attorneys represent indigent parties in criminal, delinquency, dependency, and some mental health cases. Most appointed appellate counsel (also called a panel attorney) are self-employed or employed by small law firms.

For more information about ADI, check out our website.

Benefits of Panel Attorney Work

  • Flexibility in schedule and number of cases accepted.
  • Personal fulfillment in advocating for clients who would otherwise not have a voice in the legal system.
  • Honing your legal writing, analytic, and oral argument skills with feedback from experienced attorneys in your selected area of law.

Applying to the Panel

ADI regularly accepts applications for both our criminal and dependency panels.

We value quality applicants who have a demonstrated dedication to indigent defense work, strong writing skills, and a willingness to be a zealous advocate for clients. Factors considered in evaluating an applicant are as follows:

  • Demonstrated interest in indigent criminal, juvenile delinquency, juvenile dependency, or mental health defense.
  • Promising writing, research, and analytical skills demonstrated through submission of two writing samples.
  • Prior experience in criminal, juvenile delinquency, or mental health law.

Interested applicants are invited to apply for admission to our criminal and/or dependency panels. Application and submission information is available here.

For More Information About Panel Attorney Work

A brief introduction to ADI’s panel work: ADI's Guidebook.

Advocacy group for appellate attorneys: California Appellate Defense Counsel

*The material found on this website is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered to be legal advice and is not guaranteed to be complete or up to date. Use of this website is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between the user and Appellate Defenders, Inc. (ADI) or any of the firm's attorneys. Readers should not rely upon or act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. See full disclaimer.