The Public Defender Training Institute is an intensive immersion into the world of indigent defense designed to train aspiring public defenders. The Institute kicks off in the fall semester with a three-day intensive retreat at the law school in the fall. During the fall semester, students learn about the role of the public defender, different kinds of public defender work, how public defenders differ from prosecutors and private defense attorneys, how to incorporate social science into their advocacy, how to address race and deal with implicit and explicit racial bias in the system, and how to handle the challenges that public defenders face (including excessive caseloads, secondary trauma, and ethical issues). They also learn effective pre-trial preparation with skills-based training on client interviewing, investigation, taking witness statements, obtaining discovery, storytelling and persuasion, preliminary hearings, and developing a theory of the case.