Criminal Defense Lawyers Associations

Criminal laws are constantly evolving. New technology and changing social attitudes lead to new statutes and regulations. The United States Supreme Court and other high courts make rulings that profoundly impact constitutional rights. These rights are closely connected with the investigation and prosecution of individuals suspected of committing a crime.

To keep up with the constant evolution of criminal law, lawyers who represent the accused can join professional organizations for criminal defense attorneys. These organizations provide access to publications, invitations to quality continuing legal education (CLE) seminars and networking opportunities. These organizations often allow the attorneys to present a more unified voice to legislative bodies on issues that impact the profession.

Lawyer Legion is an independent media resource not affiliated with any legal associations. The logo for each of these groups is displayed simply as a visual indicator to help users identify each group. Below you will find a list of some of the most well-known criminal defense lawyers associations in the United States.


National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

www.nacdl.org

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) is committed to preserving fairness within America's criminal justice system by protecting the rights of Americans and promoting due process around the world. With more than 12,000 national members and 90 affiliate organizations at a local, state and international level, the NACDL family has over 40,000 members... Read more »


Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

www.acdla.org

Formed in 1981, the Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (ACDLA) serves as the unified voice of Alabama's criminal defense community. Its primary mission is to promote excellence in the practice of criminal law and to protect the rights of the accused. Members in good standing of the Alabama State Bar who are... Read more »


Alaska Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Alaska Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

www.akacdl.org

The Alaska Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (AKACDL) in Anchorage, AK, is the preeminent association for those working in the criminal defense profession in Alaska. This non-profit professional organization was established in 2009. Today, AKACDL has grown to more than 160 members including many of the top criminal defense attorneys in the state... Read more »


Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice

Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice

www.aacj.org

The Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice (AACJ) was formed in 1986. Today the organization has grown to nearly 500 members who are private attorneys and public defenders practicing law throughout Arizona. The principal office is located in Chandler, Arizona, in Maricopa County... Read more »


National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Arkansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

www.aacdl.com

The Arkansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (AACDL) is a local affiliate of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). AACDL works to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crimes. AACDL was reorganized in 1999 and today has nearly 300 members... Read more »


California Attorneys for Criminal Justice

California Attorneys for Criminal Justice

www.cacj.org

The California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ) was formed in 1973. Today, it has grown to over 2,000 members representing many of the top criminal defense lawyers in California. The CACJ is the country's largest statewide organization of its kind. The CACJ works to defend the rights of the accused, provides quality continuing legal education courses, preserves due process, and... Read more »


California DUI Lawyers Association

California DUI Lawyers Association

www.california-dui-lawyers.org

The California DUI Lawyers Association (CDLA) was founded in 1989. As an affiliate of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), attorneys in CDLA promote the rights of the accused and a fair criminal justice system. Many of the top California DUI Lawyers belong to this organization... Read more »


Colorado Criminal Defense Bar

Colorado Criminal Defense Bar

www.ccdb.org

The Colorado Criminal Defense Bar (CCDB) was founded on founded May 8, 1979. The CCDB is a group of criminal defense attorneys, private investigators, and experts who are dedicated to protecting the rights of the accused and is opposed to the death penalty. The CCDB provides support and training to criminal defense... Read more »


Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

www.ccdla.com

The Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (CCDLA) was founded in 1988. Today its membership includes more than 350 criminal defense attorneys from both private practices and the public defender's offices throughout the state of Connecticut. As an affiliate member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), the... Read more »


Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

www.facdl.org

Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers The Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Inc., (FACDL) is a not for profit corporation formed in 1988. Since its formation FACDL has continued to promote excellence in the practice of criminal law and protect the rights of the accused. Affiliate organizations are located in Broward County, Miami, Central Florida, Pinellas County, Hillsborough County and Palm Beach County, FL. FACDL is the leading... Read more »


Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

www.gacdl.org

The Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (GACDL) was founded in 1974. With over 1,700 members throughout the State of Georgia, GACDL is the third largest statewide criminal defense association in the United States. As an affiliate of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), GACDL advocates for the rights of... Read more »


Idaho Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Idaho Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

www.idacdl.org

The Idaho Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (IDACDL) is a nonprofit organization for criminal defense attorneys practicing in Idaho. IDACDL works to improve the quality of criminal defense legal services by providing attorneys with training through continuing legal education (CLE) seminars. IDACDL also influences the Idaho legislature on... Read more »


Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

www.iacdl.net

The Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers was founded in 1986. IACDL is not-for profit organization dedicated to defending the rights of all persons as guaranteed by the United States Constitution. Members of IACDL include private criminal defense lawyers and public defenders throughout the State of Illinois... Read more »


Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

www.kacdl.net

Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (KACDL) was established in 1986 to counteract problems with the drafting of Kentucky's Truth-in-Sentencing law. Since that time, KACDL has continued to provide legislators with a complete picture of how new laws impact the administration of criminal justice in Kentucky... Read more »


Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

www.lacdl.org

The Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Inc. (LACDL) is a non-profit corporation formed in 1985. In 2010 the original LACDL combined with the Louisiana Public Defenders Association. Today the group has grown to more than 500 members with a full-time staff.... Read more »


Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

www.mainemacdl.org

The Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL) was established in 1992 to give support and training to criminal defense attorneys practicing in the state of Maine. On the first Friday in June each year the organization host an annual meeting and legal seminar. At the annual meeting, MACDL presents two awards, the President's Award and... Read more »


Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys’ Association

Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys’ Association

www.mcdaa.org

The Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys' Association (MCDAA) was formed to promote the study of criminal defense law, provide information to assist attorneys, support the fair administration of criminal justice, maintain the independence of criminal defense attorneys, to provide networking opportunities to its members... Read more »


Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

www.macdl.com

Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL) was founded in 1980. Since then its membership has grown to more than 1,000 criminal defense attorneys defending individuals charged with criminal offenses in both state and federal courts. MACDL provides the criminal defense bar with support, information, and... Read more »


Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan

Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan

www.cdamonline.org

The Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan (CDAM) was formed in 1976 by criminal defense lawyers from across the state. One of the primary goals of the organization is to enhance the quality of representation of indigent defendants. The organization also provides training and educational resources to its members... Read more »


Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

www.macdl.us

The Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL) is a not for profit corporation with offices in Minneapolis, MN. MACDL is the leading statewide association exclusively serving the comprehensive needs of the criminal defense bar... Read more »


Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

www.macdl.net

The Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL) is a not for profit corporation formed in 1978. Since its creation, MACDL has continued to promote excellence in the practice of criminal law and protect the rights of the accused.... Read more »


Montana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Montana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

www.mtacdl.org

The Montana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MTACDL) was established in 1997. As an affiliate of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), MTACDL provides training and other resources to private practitioners, full-time public defenders, court-appointed attorneys and tribal court advocates... Read more »


New Hampshire Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

New Hampshire Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

www.nhacdl.org

The New Hampshire Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NHACDL) is a voluntary, professional association of the criminal defense attorneys in New Hampshire. NHACDL is the only statewide organization devoted to criminal defense. More than 300 members belong to this group including both private attorneys and public defenders... Read more »


Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey

Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey

www.acdlnj.org

The Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey (ACDL-NJ) was established in 1985. Since then it has grown to more than 400 members. As an affiliate of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), ACDL-NJ was established "to respond to the continuing problems confronting criminal defense lawyers... Read more »


New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

www.nmcdla.org

The New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (NMCDLA) is a voluntary professional association with more than 500 members. Member in NMCDLA include criminal defense attorneys in private practice and at the public defenders' office, law school students. paralegals and legal assistants and other criminal defense team members... Read more »


New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

www.nysacdl.org

The New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NYSACDL) was formed in 1986 by a group of defense attorneys. The NYSACDL is a statewide organization for both private criminal defense attorneys and public defenders. The NYSACDL is an affiliate of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)... Read more »


Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

www.oacdl.org

The Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (OACDL) was created to provide a more cohesive and credible voice for criminal defense attorneys practicing in the state of Ohio. Members of OACDL include both private attorneys and public defenders. The most seasoned attorneys and those new to the profession have a chance to network and... Read more »


Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

www.ocdlaoklahoma.com

The Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (OCDLA) was formed in 1976 by a small group of attorneys working in Oklahoma City. The organization is Oklahoma's largest organization devoted exclusively to helping attorneys practicing criminal defense... Read more »


Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

www.ocdla.org

The Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (OCDLA) was founded in 1979. Since then the group has grown to include criminal defense attorneys across the state who enjoy the benefits of a unified and credible voice to advocate for their profession. The OCDLA's website is one of the best in its class and has become a great resource for its members... Read more »


Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

www.pacdl.org

The Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (PACDL) was established in 1988 to provide a more credible and cohesive voice for attorneys in Pennsylvania practicing criminal defense. Today the organization has more than 600 members. Members include attorneys admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar who are actively engaged in the defense of... Read more »


Rhode Island Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Rhode Island Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

www.riacdl.org

The Rhode Island Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (RIACDL) in Providence, Rhode Island, was created to give the criminal defense bar a unified voice and improve the profession. Members include attorneys admitted to the Rhode Island Bar who are actively and substantially engaged in the practice of criminal defense throughout the state... Read more »


South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

www.scacdl.org

The South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers was founded in 1992. Members of the organization practice criminal defense in both federal and state court and include private attorneys and public defenders. The organization advocates for the profession and sponsors Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminars throughout the year... Read more »


Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

www.tacdl.com

The Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (TACDL) was formed in 1973 to provide a unified and credible voice for those who defend people accused of criminal offenses. Today the organization has more than 800 members engaged in defending those accused of crimes in state and federal court throughout Tennessee... Read more »


Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

www.tcdla.com

The Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCDLA) has a proud history that began when the organization was chartered on August 12, 1971. Today the organization has more than 2,800 members which including private attorneys, public defenders and other legal professionals from across the state of Texas. The TCDLA provides... Read more »


Vermont Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Vermont Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

www.vtacdl.com

The Vermont Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (VTACDL) provides state-wide support, training and networking opportunities to attorneys who defend those accused of crimes in state and federal court. The organization advocates for the proper administration of criminal justice by presenting a unified and credible voice... Read more »


Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

www.vacdl.org

The Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (VACDL) in Richmond, VA, can trace its roots back to 1992. It was originally called the Virginia College of Criminal Defense Attorneys. In 2002, it changed its name to the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers... Read more »


Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

www.wacdl.org

The Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (WACDL) was established in 1987 to improve the quality and administration of criminal justice in the state of Washington. Today, the group has grown to nearly 1,100 members include private criminal defense attorneys and public defenders. The WACDL is governed by an elected board of governors and employs... Read more »


Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

www.wacdl.com

The Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, also known as WACDL, Inc., has more than 400 members who are private attorneys and public defenders practicing criminal law across the state. As an affiliate of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), the WACDL provides support and training to criminal defense... Read more »


American Board of Criminal Lawyers

American Board of Criminal Lawyers

www.abcl.us

The American Board of Criminal Lawyers (ABCL) was founded in 1978 in San Francisco, California, as an exclusive honorary society for criminal defense lawyers. Since its beginnings in San Francisco, the ABCL has... Read more »


Organizations for DUI Defense

National College for DUI Defense®, Inc. (NCDD) - The largest non-profit, professional organization of attorneys focused specifically on defending DUI and DUI-related criminal charges. The purpose of the group is to provide education, training, and recognition to this specialized area of criminal defense.

DUI Defense Lawyers Association (DUIDLA) - The DUI Defense Lawyers Association (known as "DUIDLA") is a new non-profit organization incorporated in June of 2014. The DUIDLA was created to promote excellence in aggressively defending those charged with DUI or DWI related crimes across the United States.


Other Resources for Criminal Justice Organizations

List of Associations for Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Visit the National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) to find a list of criminal defense lawyers associations throughout the United States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Criminal Trial Lawyers Association (CTLA) - As one of 19 specialty association of the National Trial Lawyers ("The NTL"), the Criminal Trial Lawyers Association (“CTLA”) provides educational and networking opportunities, CLE seminars, publications, and online resources to its members.

Association of Federal Defense Attorneys - The AFDA is an online community of attorneys who practice criminal defense in the federal courtrooms throughout the United States. The AFDA helps to facilitate communication and networking within the federal criminal defense bar throughout the United States.  AFDA is entirely member-supported with $175 annual dues or $300 dues for two years.

National Association for Public Defense - The National Association for Public Defense is singularly devoted to effective public defense. NAPD is a non-profit 501(c)6 organization, as approved by the Internal Revenue Service. Recognizing that the United States needs a clear and focused voice advocating for the right to counsel, appropriately resourced and independent indigent defense systems generally, the organization fights to protect the liberty of its citizens. The organization promotes the policies and ideals of strong and effective public defense services through its members including public defenders practicing across the country.


This article was last updated on Thursday, September 22, 2016.