Chasing Gideon Lesson Plan: Issues in Public Defense

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Students explore the right to counsel, identify problems in our public criminal defense systems, and suggest and analyze solutions to address these problems.  

This lesson is based on the book CHASING GIDEON: The Elusive Quest for Poor People’s Justice by Karen Houppert, © 2013 by Karen Houppert, published by The New Press. The creation and distribution of this lesson was funded by The New Press. Learn more about Chasing Gideon at

This lesson plan assumes student background knowledge in the basics of the criminal justice system. Like many law-related lessons, this could be enhanced with the participation of a community resource person. You can reach out to your local bar association or to the National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) to ask for help finding a lawyer with experience in public defense. 

Additional details:

  • Format: downloadable Word .docx (You must create an account and "check out" to download free resources. You will not be required to provide payment information.)
  • © 2013 Street Law, Inc. Free for non-commercial educational use. Permissions questions? Email [email protected]

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  • 5
    Chasing Gideon Lesson Plan

    Posted by James Randle on May 17th 2021

    Perfect in everyway