Pro Bono Attorney Training Materials For Military Sexual Assault

Through our Legal Services Program, Protect Our Defenders connects survivors of military sexual assault seeking legal services to volunteer attorneys who advocate for their needs.

We have created this page to provide background on the military justice system and ensure you have the basic tools necessary to represent survivors of sexual assault during military justice and administrative proceedings.

Videos and materials on this page are designed to serve only as an introduction. Due to the complexity of each individual case, we encourage attorneys currently representing survivors to reach out to POD staff for further consultation. Through our Legal Services Program, POD can provide sample filings, connect attorneys with legal experts, and provide other logistical support. In addition, the field of military justice related to sexual assault is rapidly evolving, and POD staff can provide information on new legal developments that may be relevant to a current case.

For questions or to get involved with the PBN, please contact our CEO, Jennifer Elmore, at

Military Sexual Assault: Representing Survivors (December 1, 2023)

Protect Our Defenders in partnership with Arnold & Porter held a legal training on military justice, victims’ rights and privacy rules, and additional systems that impact survivors. Presenters included Ryan Guilds, Counsel at Arnold & Porter, and Adelaide Kahn-Fowler, Director of Programs & Policy at Protect Our Defenders. You can watch the training and access all hand outs and training materials below:

Download Training Slideshows & Referenced Documents
Other Helpful Links

Follow a step-by-step guide that provides an overview of the military justice system, the benefits to survivors pro bono attorneys can provide, and what actions should be taken, when, and how.

Thanks to the American Bar Endowment (ABE), Protect Our Defenders, with generous contributions from pro bono attorneys at Greater Good Consulting, Arnold & Porter, and Perkins Coie, have created a Pro Bono Attorney Training Manual to provide those who wish to represent survivors of military sexual assault the information necessary to do so.

Download the Manual

Topics Covered:

What is Military Sexual Violence?
Rates of Military Sexual Violence
How Victims Find and Engage POD
The Role of Attorneys in the Military Justice System
Overview of Military Justice System
Legal Authority — “Rules of the Road”
Options for How a Victim Can Report a Sexual Assault
How Policy Changes Have Impacted How Military Sexual Assault Cases Move Forward
Step By Step Actions to Take, Timeline, and Time Commitment
Special Issues
Dealing with Military Judges
Sample Engagement Letter