Meet Dawn Deaner, Public Defender


Dawn Deaner is the Metropolitan Public Defender for Nashville-Davidson County, a position she has held since 2008.  Before that, Dawn spent 11 years as an Assistant Public Defender in Nashville, and a year at the Metropolitan Department of Law. She also taught Trial Advocacy at Vanderbilt University Law School for many years. In addition to membership in several legal organizations, Dawn serves on the Family Reconciliation Center Board, the Mayor’s Criminal Justice Steering Committee, and the Davidson County Community Corrections Advisory Board.  She was recently elected to the Executive and Steering Committees of the National Association for Public Defense.  She is a member of the 2015 Leadership Nashville Class, the 2009 Tennessee Bar Association Leadership Law Class, and the Harry Phillips American Inn of Court.  In 2011, the TBA honored Dawn with its Ashley T. Wiltshire Public Service Attorney of the Year award, and in 2012, Gideon’s Promise recognized Dawn’s work to improve indigent defense in the South with its Stephen B. Bright Award.  Dawn earned a B.A. in English from Columbia College in 1993, and her J.D. from George Washington University Law School in 1996.