Even though almost everyone concedes that the caseload crisis in Missouri is real, the dire state budget situation makes a significant infusion of new resources virtually impossible. So if Missouri, like most other states, is truly broke, then realistically can the state find the funds needed to fix its broken indigent defense system? That was the question at the heart of the Symposium. The Symposium presenters and commentators, most of whom had worked at some point in their career as a public defender, brought a wealth of experience to the discussion. While the presentations and comments made that day, together with the articles that follow in this Symposium issue, do not provide any quick fix or easy solution, they do offer some important lessons for lawmakers to consider as states struggle to improve the plight of indigent defenders and their clients.

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