Training for Attorneys & Judges

The Department of Forensic Science began offering training for Virginia criminal attorneys and judges in 2018. The courses are designed to help attorneys and judges who use and evaluate testing in their cases to have the background to understand the methods and practices of the discipline.  

The first offering, a day-long DNA training was held in 2018 and again in 2019. A training on the DUI/DUID discipline, which was a half-day training, was held in 2019. In 2021, DFS provided virtual half-day training on Controlled Substances.

Upcoming Training in 2023

DNA Training for Attorneys and Judges – Applications Due July 14, 2023

This course is being offered by the Department of Forensic Science to criminal attorneys and judges in Virginia.  It will provide an opportunity to learn about the science of Forensic Biology testing in an in-person interactive environment. Scientists will share their knowledge to help give you a better understanding of what they do and the results they produce. Topics include body fluid and male DNA screening, DNA testing practices, DNA statistics and report writing.  Attendees will develop an understanding of basic DNA interpretations and quality assurance practices as well as the strengths and limitations of Forensic Biology testing.  There is no registration fee for the training, and no CLE credits will be given. 

The training will be offered from 8:30 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. as follows:

  • Friday, September 29, 2023 – Central Laboratory (Richmond)
  • Friday, October 6, 2023 – Western Laboratory (Roanoke)
  • Friday, October 20, 2023 – Eastern Laboratory (Norfolk)
  • Friday, November 3, 2023 – Northern Laboratory (Manassas)

A limited number of applicants will be accepted to each training offered. To ensure consideration, applications must be submitted by July 14, 2023. You will receive a confirmation email within three working days after your application has been received. Applicants will be notified by July 21, 2023, whether they have been accepted. In completing this application, please do not include any information that you consider confidential personal identifying information. 

Prosecutors and private defense attorneys should apply for the training using this application.

Public Defenders must apply through the Indigent Defense Commission (please contact Alison Powers at for more information). 

Judges must apply through the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia (please contact Dr. Caroline Kirkpatrick at for more information).

If you have any questions about this application, please contact Kelly Shelton at 804-588-4033.