Photos L to R: At home in Santa Barbara; presenting on lawyer well-being at Harvard Law School; with Dave Klaus and Gideon’s Promise at the Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama.
Be Sustained is brought to you by Jenny Andrews, a California public defender for over twenty years.
A child of counterculture, raised off the grid by back-to-the-land hippies on the Lost
Coast in Northern California, Jenny Andrews is a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard Law School.
She started her career as a public defender in Oakland, California in 1996, but left after seven years,
after experiencing burnout and moral injury, and didn’t practice law for three years. She returned to
public defense work in 2007, and continued working as a public defender in Sonoma County and Santa
Barbara County until 2022, in a wide variety of positions, including: Forensic Resource Counsel, Felony
Team Leader, Director of Training and Senior Deputy. For 23 years, she worked on the front lines of
criminal trial courts and has consistently litigated cases, including misdemeanor, felony, juvenile, civil
commitment (mentally disordered offender and sexually violent predator), mental competency,
homicide, and multi-jurisdiction (and multi-jury) trials. She has carried specialized caseloads of complex,
forensic and capital litigation. In 2022, she became the Director of Training at the Indigent Defense
Improvement Division of the Office of the State Public Defender, a new statewide effort to support and
train indigent defenders in California. She teaches on the faculty of Gideon’s Promise, the National
Association for Public Defense, the National Criminal Defense College, the Trial Advocacy Workshop at
Harvard Law School, and the California Public Defenders Association. She has taught in public defense
training programs in New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Mississippi, Louisiana,
Kentucky, Kansas, Tennessee, and Georgia, and in public defense offices throughout California. She has
designed and presented training for public defenders working at all levels, from intern to leadership and
from basic trial skills to capital litigation, as well as in specialized areas such as challenging forensic
evidence and sustaining well-being. She has conceptualized and launched a Felony Team Unit, a Pre
Arraignment Unit, and Be Well Wednesday, a weekly wellness meet-up with experiential practices for
public defenders. In 2018, she launched BeSustained.org, a training and resource hub to support the
well-being of public defenders. She has been a certified yoga teacher since 2004 and is a longtime
student of yoga and mindfulness practices. She believes in advocating for systemic support of public
defenders, building spaces for public defenders to support each other, and prioritizing personal
practices that support our well-being. Her personal wellness practices include sailing, hiking, yoga, and
tending a rural apple farm. Her systemic wellness practices include Be Well Wednesdays, creating and
teaching NAPD’s online courses Sustaining and Supporting Well-Being in Public Defense, and speaking,
engaging, and writing often on the topic of supporting well-being for public defenders.