Darrow Defense College

Course Structure

Each day, the Darrow College begins with group work on participantsí personal cases. Small group sessions are designed to provide feedback and encouragement, while brainstorming the theory of a case and doing actual case preparation for the capital trial. These sessions are followed by vocation-specific lectures and demonstrations for smaller groups, or plenary sessions for all participants. Evenings are unscheduled, allowing participants to explore all that Chicago has to offer.


All participants, faculty and staff of the Darrow College are required to sign confidentiality agreements before the week begins. Case details do not to leave the Darrow College. Participants have reported that the collegial atmosphere of the small group workshops is greatly effective for strategizing difficult capital cases. In the sometimes isolated world of death penalty defense, joining colleagues who understand the stress of representing a client facing death is a reaffirming experience.

The Center for Justice in Capital Cases