Lisa Steinberg Lawlor serves as Chief Assistant Public Defender for the Appellate Division of the Law Office of the Public Defender. Ms. Lawlor found her passion for indigent criminal defense by volunteering, and later interning, at the Law Office of the Public Defender while still a law student. While in school, her skills and affinity for criminal defense were recognized by awards for excellence in Criminal Law, Trial Advocacy and Moot Court Society. In 1989, Ms. Lawlor received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Florida Atlantic University and later decided to attend law school. In 1994, Ms. Lawlor received her Juris Doctorate from Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad Law Center. Practicing law in the private sector provided valuable experience, insight and growth, but no experience ever matched the dynamic environment of being a public defender.
Ms. Lawlor is an experienced trial attorney, lead attorney, supervisor of felony trial divisions and appellate attorney. She has been a guest speaker in trial advocacy and appellate advocacy classes where she enjoys sharing lessons on how to be an effective and dynamic courtroom presence. Ms. Lawlor enjoys volunteering as well. She feels strongly that opportunities for children in the community are vital to their growth, to a healthy society, and to preventing childhood involvement in the criminal justice system. She supports the Fort Lauderdale Children’s Ballet Theater and Children’s Opportunity Group, for which she is a past president and multi-year board member.
A defendant convicted of a criminal offense has a constitutional right to representation on direct appeal. The Broward County Law Office of the Public Defender – Appellate Division monitors record preparation for misdemeanor, juvenile, felony and capital cases, and prepares and files briefs with the Fourth District Court of Appeal on direct appeal misdemeanor cases. Juvenile, felony and capital appeals are designated to the West Palm Beach Public Defender’s Office for briefing.
Our appellate attorneys handle a wide variety of cases and issues, including extraordinary writs, extradition, contempt cases, evidentiary hearings on motions for post-conviction relief, motions for post-conviction DNA testing, Jimmy Ryce proceedings, and also provide training and litigation support for trial division attorneys.