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Ehlers, Scott

Director of Public Defense Improvement

Scott Ehlers

As TIDC’s Director of Public Defense Improvement, Scott conducts policy monitoring of county indigent defense practices; conducts trainings for judges, court personnel, and attorneys; authors publications; and provides technical assistance to the counties.

Prior to joining the TIDC staff, Scott was in private practice, primarily representing indigent misdemeanor defendants in Travis County and conducting case reviews for the Texas DNA Mixture Review Project. From 2011 to 2015, Scott was the Legal and Policy Advisor for the Harris County Public Defender's Office (HCPDO) and served as the office's legislative liaison to the Texas legislature and executive agencies, conducted legal research and writing for the appellate and felony trial divisions, and served as the program manager for the Future Appointed Counsel Training Program. Prior to joining the HCPDO, Scott was the Senior Policy Advisor on criminal justice matters to state Senator Rodney Ellis from 2008 to 2011. He joined Sen. Ellis' office after serving as the State Legislative Affairs Director for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) from 2004 to 2008.

Scott has authored numerous published reports and articles for TIDC, the HCPDO, the Justice Policy Institute in Washington, DC, and NACDL. Scott is a member of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCDLA), and serves on TCDLA's Indigent Defense Client Committee and the Corrections & Parole Committee. He was appointed to serve on the Legal Services to the Poor in Criminal Matters Committee of the State Bar of Texas from 2015 to 2017, and reappointed for 2017 to 2020. He is licensed to practice law in Texas, earning his J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center. He earned his Master's degree in Justice, Law, & Society from American University in Washington, DC, and his Bachelor's degree in Government and Economics from the University of Texas at Austin.

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