Apply to the LOSD Certified Instructor Training Program 2016-12-27T13:41:27+00:00

Law of Self Defense Certified Instructor Program

Please note that this program is not intended for everybody!  It will require a significant commitment of time, energy, and resources.  In the context of firearms training it should be thought of as a Professional- or Elite-level certification.  Our core mission is to get this information out to people, and that requires active instructors.  This program is not intended for the casual or hobbyist firearms instructor. If you are wondering what exactly that means, this may not be the program that best fits your current status as an instructor.  And that’s totally fine.

Also, I want to note up front that you do not need to be an attorney to be an LOSD Certified Instructor. In fact, I expect that only a minority of CIs will be attorneys.

If you’re still interested, however, read on OR click below to sign up!

The Law of Self Defense is proud to announce the launch of its

Certified Instructor (CI) program.

The creation of this program is a reflection of the very strong demand across the country for top-quality, plain-English instruction on the actual and practical self-defense law demanded by American gun owners. With this demand now exceeding 100% of internal LOSD resources, we’ve made the the strategic decision to identify, recruit, and train highly qualified and motivated candidates as LOSD Certified Instructors (CIs).



To enable law-abiding armed citizens to make more confident, better-informed self-defense decisions, in the knowledge that they have received a world-class education on the practical application of the self-defense law of their jurisdiction.  In short, to help people understand when to shoot, to complement the firearms training they get elsewhere on how to shoot.


What does becoming a LOSD Certified Instructor do for you?

First, it gives you a graduate/law school-level education in the law of self-defense. An education that is not, to my knowledge, actually available from any graduate or law school.

Second, as a trainer it also provides you with a conditional license to provide educational seminars to the public on self-defense law using the premiere-quality intellectual property and leveraging the internationally-recognized subject matter expertise of “Law of Self Defense.”

Because the law of self-defense is state-specific, LOSD instructor certifications will also be state-specific. We intend to make it a straightforward process, however, to obtain certifications in additional jurisdictions.

What about more concrete benefits? TAKE A LOOK! –>

Prior to each seminar scheduled by a LOSD Certified Instructor, Law of Self Defense will provide a comprehensive, fully updated, and state-specific set of LOSD Seminar presentation slides, as well as an opportunity for one-to-one review of those slides between the Certified Instructor and Attorney Branca.
LOSD also provides Certified Instructors with the exclusive and serialized “certificates of completion” for seminar graduates. These certificates are appropriately customized for each instructor, seminar, and student.

These serialized certificates assure students that they are in fact participating in an officially approved LOSD Seminar. In this way they can be sure of the quality of instruction they receive. They can also be confident that they are in fact eligible for the benefits that accrue to LOSD Seminar graduates (for example, all graduates are entitled to a free legal consultation with Attorney Branca if they are involved in a self-defense event).

Law of Self Defense Online Training Courses are state-specific online, on-demand instructional courses on self-defense law. These are currently offered to the public at $150 for a 60-day license. LOSD Certified Instructor/Candidates will receive unlimited access to the online training course for the jurisdiction(s) for which they are certified for as long as they remain certified.

Certified Instructors/Candidates will also be provided access to exclusive “instructor-only” instructional content delivered in the same online, on-demand format. Indeed, we envision much of the necessary self-defense law instruction for the CI program to take place in this way, supplemented by real-time teleconference/phone communication, instructor/candidate-only email channels, and live, in-person engagements.

If you’ve enjoyed our Youtube videos, you’ll have some idea of the content we have in mind. Except instead of being delivered to a general audience over Youtube it will be shared exclusively and directly with LOSD Certified Instructors/Candidates.

LOSD Instructors are also entitled to purchase copies of the seminal text, “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” at the best-available price, typically half of the current retail price. While in the past this has been generally available to any volume purchaser, with the launch of the CI program it is intended these future discount opportunities for individuals will be restricted to LOSD Certified Instructors.
LOSD also provides all backend logistic support for each seminar presented by a LOSD Certified Instructor, including a registration page specific to that seminar and co-branded with the instructor, a seminar-specific electronic brochure (suitable for mass printing), and support for Continuing Legal Education certification by that state’s accrediting authority. The seminar-specific registration page handles all online registration, including initial registration, collection of payment, distribution of tickets, and so forth.
LOSD also provides regular ongoing subject matter expertise, alerting Certified Instructors to new precedent-setting self-defense court decisions in their jurisdictions of expertise, as well as relevant changes in self-defense statutory language and jury instructions. This includes Seminar “After Action” Legal Research Reports, described in more detail below.
LOSD will also provide and maintain ongoing quality assurance and quality control processes throughout the Certified Instructor program, ensuring that all CIs are operating at the highest levels of quality and delivering substantive value to seminar attendees. This will include periodic informal and formal instruction and evaluation by LOSD staff, LOSD-mediated surveys of seminar attendees, and other methods.

We are committed to working diligently with all CIs to bring them to the necessary level of quality, and to keep them there. Our goal is for every Certified Instructor to succeed, and for every person taught by an LOSD CI to be able to make more confident and better-informed self-defense decisions through greater awareness of the practical dynamics of self-defense law in their jurisdiction. The more of you succeed, and to the greater degree, the more thoroughly we accomplish our mission (and the more financially rewarded we both are).

That said, CIs who despite our best efforts consistently do not meet the LOSD defined quality standards will be de-certified. This is essential to preserve the value of the LOSD CI program and the integrity of what we offer the public.

First, the LOSD CI program does not make anybody into a lawyer. LOSD Seminars are academic instructional events, not forums for providing legal advice. Indeed, we prohibit LOSD CI instructors from providing legal advice of any sort while functioning in the role of an LOSD Certified Instructor, even if they are themselves lawyers. Certified Instructors who are attorneys may provide legal advice at their discretion the moment they are through wearing their LOSD CI hat for the day, but not while acting as an LOSD CI. This wall between LOSD educational instruction and the provision of legal advice is absolute.

Second, the LOSD CI program is not intended to merely provide another training certificate to hang on the wall. It is intended solely for people who are actively engaged in the self-defense training of the law-abiding public. Indeed, the cost of being LOSD Certified (discussed in more detail below, in “The Economics”) will likely be prohibitive for the individual who does not regularly instruct students. For those that do instruct regularly, however, we believe the opportunities for revenue generation are compelling.


First, the CI must submit their planned LOSD Seminar for initial approval by LOSD staff. This submission can only be made by a fully Certified Instructor, and only for jurisdictions in which the instructor is certified. (We do plan to make it relatively easy to be certified in successive jurisdictions.)

LOSD Staff will also approve the specific date and time of the planned seminar. Here we seek only to ensure that simultaneous seminars are not scheduled in close proximity for the same time period. We don’t want folks stepping on each others’ toes.

Second, assuming the date and location are approved, the CI will be sent a link to a draft online registration page for the event, and provided an opportunity to suggest modifications to that page. In addition to the date and location, this page will also include pricing information and options (e.g., pre-order the presentation slides, pre-order an autographed book,etc.), as well as a description of the content to be provided in the seminar. Other materials will also be included, as circumstances warrant.
Third, the registration page will be made live, and both the CI and LOSD will begin to market the event. All registration for the event, including payments, confirmations, ticket delivery, and so forth, will be handled by LOSD. All persons registering for a CI-taught LOSD Seminar must do so through the LOSD registration page for that event. Official certificates for completion will not be prepared for students who are not in our system. (Alternative payment accommodations can be made for students who wish to pay by check, etc.)

CIs will be informed of registrations for their seminars on an ongoing basis. In this way they are kept informed on the state of the seminar as it advances to its scheduled date.

Important: It is the ultimate responsibility of the CI to ensure an adequate number of students. LOSD does not guarantee any particular number of students to a given seminar. Those of you who are experienced instructors know that this is often “where the rubber meets the road.” If you don’t already know this form experience, you may not be a good candidate to be a LOSD Certified instructor.

The CI must also arrange for their own meeting space, and whatever else may be physically required for an effective seminar (e.g., adequate seating, an LCD projector, a computer, etc.). LOSD provides only educational materials and back-end logistics support, not physical plant or equipment.
A week or two prior to the seminar the CI will also be sent a thoroughly update version of the LOSD Seminar slides, specific to the jurisdiction(s) to be covered in the seminar, and carefully vetted by LOSD staff to ensure they are as current and accurate as possible.
In the days immediately prior to the seminar the CI will be sent the necessary serialized certificates of completions for each student on the roster. This will allow the CI to distribute these certificates to those students immediately upon the successful completion of the seminar. Official LOSD Seminar certificates can only be prepared by LOSD. (Students who register at the last minute will necessarily have their serialized certificates mailed to them.)
On the day of the seminar the LOSD CI distribute to the students any books, presentation slides, or other materials that have been previously arranged. The CI will then deliver the LSOD Seminar in the manner in which he has been taught by LOSD, and using the materials provided by LOSD. At the conclusion of the seminar he will distribute the serialized certificates of completion to each student who, in the CIs view, has successfully completed the seminar. He will also report final attendance of the students to LOSD staff.
We also foresee, and strongly encourage, LOSD Certified Instructors to supplement their LOSD seminars with their own subject-matter expertise. For example, the LOSD seminar could be followed by an optional non-LOSD add-on class involving blue-gun/SIRT/live fire/etc. self-defense scenarios.

These would of course involve application of the tactical expertise of the trainer leading the exercise. They would also provide an opportunity for application of the legal principles covered during the LOSD seminar. Run the exercise, review the tactical choices, then explore the legal dynamics of those choices.

We strongly believe that this training combination provides the best possible means of simultaneously ingraining both tactical and legal expertise into the self-defense strategies of law-abiding armed students. In effect, this combination results in a training product that is greater than the sum of the individual parts.

It is likely that over the course of a seminar some questions will be asked that the Certified Instructor is unable to answer. This is normal. Attorney Branca gets questions in seminars that he is unable to answer. In those cases he follows up the seminar with the necessary legal research and gets an answer back to the seminar attendees.

In the case of a seminar taught by a Certified Instructor, the CI will make a note of any questions asked during the seminar which they are unable to answer. These will be aggregated and sent to LOSD HQ. There we will follow up by doing the necessary legal research, writing out substantive responses, and returning these to the CI and the attendees as a Seminar “After Action” Follow-up. There is no additional cost to the CI or seminar attendees for this service.

These reports thus serve both to address the questions of a particular seminar, as well as to continue the ongoing education of the Certified Instructor.


So, how what would the process for a Law of Self Defense Seminar look like from the perspective of a typical Certified Instructor?



So, what do the economics of being a LOSD Certified Instructor look like?

LOSD CIs are permitted to charge whatever price they wish for attendance at an LOSD Seminar that they are teaching. In the recent past LOSD registration fees have ranged from $100 to $200/person.

A typical LOSD Seminar might consist of anywhere between 20 to 40 students.

As a hypothetical, if we assume 30 students paying an average registration fee of $150/person, the seminar will have grossed $4,500.

LOSD retains from the seminar revenue a fee for each official serialized certificate of completion in the amount of 33% of the student’s paid registration or $35, whichever is greater. For purposes of our hypothetical of a 30-student seminar paying an average of $150/person, let us assume that this amounts to $1,500.
The remainder of the seminar gross revenue after deduction of the certificate fee, is paid out to the Certified Instructor.

For purposes of our hypothetical, this amounts to $3,000 ($4,500 – $1,500). For a CI conducting a seminar of this type every other month, this would amount to $18,000 per year in their share of LOSD Seminar revenue.

From this amount the CI must pay any third-party expenses they may have incurred in presenting the seminar (e.g., meeting space, marketing costs, etc.).

Obviously, for an actual seminar with different registration fee price levels and a different number of students, the revenue numbers would vary accordingly. (LOSD does not guarantee any particular outcome, for the obvious reason that this is too greatly dependent upon an individual CIs initiative and efficiency.)

CIs are encouraged to supplement their seminar revenue by selling students autographed copies of “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition” at the list price of $20/book, having acquired these books at the CI discount of $10/book. CIs will be credited with sales of all books pre-ordered by students as part of the registration process that are delivered to the students at the seminar site (pre-ordering the book for delivery at the seminar is offered as an option at registration).

For example, a firearms instructor might supplement the LOSD Seminar by having the class run through various hypothetical, or simulated, or even live fire exercises illustrating various self-defense law principles covered in the LOSD Seminar, for an additional fee. Such additional fees would be retained entirely by the instructor.

In addition, CIs are encouraged to supplement LOSD Seminars with additional instruction falling within their own area of expertise, provided to students either before or after the LOSD Seminar

For example, a LOSD Certified Instructor could, immediately before or after the LOSD Seminar, run the students through tactical exercises in which the principles of self-defense law can be explored in a pragmatic and memorable manner. Revenues generated through such add-on training would be retained entirely by the instructor.


It is our expectation that a typical certification process will take 8 to 12 weeks from start to certification, after which the CI would be free to begin teaching LOSD certified seminars, under the terms and conditions agreed to.

We do, however, anticipate that this first 2015 training cycle may take considerably longer than future cycles, as we are develop the training program with this initial “Plank Owner” cadre. Accordingly, we anticipate that candidates enrolled in this first training cycle should expect to be certified to teach their own Law of Self Defense Seminars no later than January 2016.

The certification process will involve a regular exchange of relevant legal material between LOSD staff and the CI candidate, as well as regular personal communication, by both email and telephone, with Attorney Andrew F. Branca.

A mandatory requirement for certification will be that the CI candidate themselves have participated as a student of a LOSD Seminar given by Attorney Branca. You must be an LOSD graduate of an Attorney Branca taught seminar before you can finalize certification as an LOSD CI. (It’s fine if the seminar from which you graduated covered a different jurisdiction than the one in which you want to be certified.)

Many of you are already LOSD Seminar graduates, of course, and you need not attend again. If you have not yet attended an LOSD Seminar I urge you to look at our upcoming schedule: There is an LOSD Seminar scheduled somewhere in the country just about every weekend between now and the end of January.

If you are not yet a graduate of an Attorney Branca taught seminar, and there is no upcoming seminar within reasonable travel distance of your location, the simplest solution would be for you yourself to host such an Attorney Branca taught seminar. If this prospect seems daunting, I urge you to reconsider whether the LOSD Certified Instructor program is a good fit for you. After all, organizing (and, of course, teaching) LOSD Seminars is precisely the mission of LOSD Certified Instructors.

If you have met all other LOSD Certified Instructor training requirements except having graduated a LOSD seminar taught by Attorney Branca, you may identify yourself as a Law of Self Defense Adjunct Instructor, and assist a fully LOSD Certified Instructor in that capacity in conducting LOSD Seminars. Indeed, we encourage you to do so, as it will be excellent experience.

Only a fully Certified Instructor, however, can be the lead instructor on n LOSD Seminar. No LOSD Seminar will receive initial approval unless a fully Certified Instructor has assumed responsibility for leading that class.

The final step prior to certification will be an examination overseen personally by Attorney Branca himself. This examination may be either written or verbal, in person or via electronic communication, or a combination.
The application enrollment fee is $200, with an ongoing monthly certification fee of $100 per month, such that the initial fee is $300.

For the Certified Instructor actively engaged in teaching, this certification fee should be easily recovered from seminar revenue. (Again, LOSD guarantees no particular level of revenue, as this is too greatly dependent on the individual instructor’s initiative and other circumstances entirely beyond our control.)

If, on the other hand, you are not currently an active instructor with a healthy student list, or at least the near-term prospects for acquiring such a student list, you should think carefully before enrolling to become a Law of Self Defense Certified Instructor, as it may take you longer than anticipated to recover your Certification Fee. Alternatively, of course, you can cancel the ongoing certification fee at any time with 30 days notice (after which you will no longer be actively certified).

Certification is valid for a period of 12 months from the date of certification (not the date of enrollment in the certification process) or until you cancel your monthly certification fee, whichever occurs first. At the end of that 12-month period CIs who wish to continue teaching LOSD Seminars will need to be re-certified. Any CI is, of course, free to not re-certify, in which case they will cease to be LOSD Certified Instructors.

It is understood that some people may become LOSD Certified Instructors and then decide that they no longer have an interest in actively instructing on the law of self-defense. These individuals can simply cancel their monthly $100 certification fee with 30 days notice. In effect, they will have paid $300 to enroll in the LOSD Certified Instructor Program, $100/month for the additional 2 months of the program until graduation, receive their graduation certificates, and then end their ongoing monthly payments and simply take their certificates home and cease to continue as active LOSD Certified Instructors.

When a certified individual stops, for whatever reason, acting as an active LOSD Certified Instructor they are permitted to retain the LOSD Certified Instructor they received upon graduation from the program, but must return all LOSD educational materials promptly to LOSD HQ.

Over an 8-12 week period the candidates would receive weekly study packets covering some facet of self-defense law, with appropriately state-specific statutes, jury instructions, and court decisions on the subject.

There would be an opening lecture by Attorney Branca–likely provided online, on-demand, but perhaps sometimes via telephone or video conferencing–and then the candidates would be left to read through the materials over the course of the week.

Questions/clarifications could be submitted to Attorney Branca over the course of the week, with both questions and answered shared among the candidate group (identity of the source of the question can be blinded, for those who are shy).

At the end of the week there would be some form of an examination on the material, most likely done online, which would be graded over the course of the following weekend. A passing score would “check the box” on that module for that candidate. Candidates who did not pass would get continued support on the subject.

The next week would start with a successive study packet covering the next facet of self-defense law, and so on.

In addition to the areas already familiar to many of you through our books and seminars intended for the general public–e.g., Innocence, Imminence, Proportionality, Avoidance, and Reasonableness–the course would also cover in greater depth some of the criminal law and procedures underlying self-defense law, including such sources as law review articles, etc., to provide the candidate with a deep and well-informed understanding of the these legal principles.

To put this in an academic context, we envision this certification process as being roughly the equivalent, in terms of time and effort, of a 2 to 3 credit class in law school. To further put this in a financial context, law schools currently charge $1,500-$2,000 per credit-hour, such that a class substantively similar to the LOSD CI program would cost $3,000 to $6,000 if taken at a law school (if, that is, it were even available at a law school, which to my knowledge it is not).

As we’ve noted, you do not need to be an attorney to be eligible for this program, but you do need to be academically oriented and prepared to study and truly learn the material. It’s our mission to help all LOSD CI candidates achieve that high level of competence.


While the final certification process will be somewhat developed cooperatively with the cadre of enrolled candidates, what is envisioned is something much like a law school seminar taking place over the course of a semester.