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Criminal Defense Lawyer 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 project 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.


NACDL - National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Founded in 1958, NACDL is the largest organization for criminal defense lawyers fighting to preserve fairness within America's criminal justice system. The organization has more than 10,000 direct members including criminal defense attorneys in private practice, public defenders in state or federal court, U.S. military defense counsel, law professors and judges. Continue reading

AACDL - Arkansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Reorganized in 1999, the Arkansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (AACDL) works to ensure fairness and due process for persons accused of crimes. The AACDL advocates for criminal justice reform through its legislation influence and works to better the practice of criminal defense attorneys in Arkansas through providing continuing legal education(CLEs), networking opportunities, and referral services. Continue reading

AACJ - Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice

Formed in 1986, The Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice (AACJ) is an organization supporting the practice of both private criminal defense attorneys and public defenders throughout the Grand Canyon State. The AACJ seeks to improve the practice of Arizona criminal defense lawyers by providing training and networking opportunities. The AACJ also serves as an advocate for a positive criminal justice reform. Continue reading

ACDL-NJ - Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey

The Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey (ACDL-NJ) was established in 1985. Through support, CLE seminars, and networking opportunities, the ACDL-NJ helps criminal defense attorneys improve their practice to better serve the criminal justice system in New Jersey. Membership is available to criminal defense lawyers in New Jersey in both public practice and in the private sector. The attorneys in the organization practice in the courts at the local, state and federal level. Continue reading

ACDLA - Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

The Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (ACDLA) was formed in 1981. ACDLA serves as the unified voice of the state’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 in the state of Alabama. The ACDLA also lobbies and supports efforts for a fair criminal justice system through dedicated member influence. Continue reading

AKACDL - Alaska Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

The Alaska Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (AKACDL) in Anchorage, AK, is a preeminent association for those working in the criminal defense profession in Alaska. The AKACDL was established in 2009 and is composed of many of the top criminal defense attorneys in the state of Alaska. Members include both attorneys in private practice and those that work for the public defender's office. The AKACDL is an official Affiliate Member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Continue reading

CACJ - California Attorneys for Criminal Justice

The California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ) was formed in 1973 and is the country's largest statewide organization of criminal defense lawyers . The CACJ works to defend the rights and due process of the accused while providing quality continuing legal education to its members. Since strengthening its presence in the California State Capitol, CACJ provides the criminal defense bar with a more unified voice on legislative matters. Continue reading

CCDB - Colorado Criminal Defense Bar

The Colorado Criminal Defense Bar (CCDB) was founded in 1979. The CCDB is a group of criminal defense attorneys, private investigators, and experts who are dedicated to protecting the rights of the accused. The CCDB provides support and training to criminal defense attorneys through their Continuing Legal Education (CLEs), networking opportunities, and more. It also works to reform the criminal justice system by giving its members a more unified voice. Continue reading

CCDLA - Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

Founded in 1988, the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (CCDLA) is the only statewide criminal defense lawyer's organization. Its mission centers around the defense of persons accused of criminal and motor vehicle offenses throughout the state. Headquartered in Waterbury, Connecticut, CCDLA's includes criminal defense attorneys from both private practices and public defender offices. Continue reading

CDAM - Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan

Formed in 1976, the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan (CDAM) was established by criminal defense lawyers to enhance the representation of indigent defendants and others accused of crimes. By providing training and educational resources to its members, the CDAM strives to better its practice. Members of CDAM come from both private practices and the public sector and have a range of experience from new to well-seasoned. Continue reading

DACDL - Delaware Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

The Delaware Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (DACDL) is a non-profit organization supporting the practice of criminal defense attorneys in the state of Delaware. It serves the criminal defense bar by offering qualify Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminars, publications, networking opportunities, and mentoring programs. Its members include public defenders and private criminal defense attorneys. Find the top criminal defense attorneys in Delaware through its membership directory. Continue reading


FACDL - Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

The Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL) was founded in 1988. Since its creation, FACDL has continued to promote excellence in the practice of criminal law and protect the rights of the accused. Its members includes public and private criminal justice attorneys serving the needs of the criminal defense bar in Florida. The FACDL offers attorneys listings for criminal defense attorneys on their website. Continue reading

GACDL - Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

The Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (GACDL) was founded in 1974. The GACDL advocates for the rights of the accused, adequate funding for the defense of the indigent, and a fair criminal justice system. GACDL is the third largest statewide criminal defense association in the United States and an affiliate of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). Membership is only open to criminal defense attorneys in Georgia. Continue reading

HACDL - Hawaii Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

The Hawaii Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (HACDL) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the practice of criminal defense attorneys in the state of Hawaii. Members of the HACDL include both public defenders and private attorneys practicing in state and federal court. The HACDL enhances the legal training of criminal defense attorneys and provides a unified voice for its members. The HACDL is an affiliate organization of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). Continue reading

IACDL - Idaho Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

The Idaho Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (IACDL) is a non profit organization for criminal defense attorneys practicing in Idaho. IACDL works to improve the quality of criminal defense legal services through training and advocacy for important criminal justice issues. Its members have access to continuing legal education (CLEs), networking opportunities, and support to enhance their practice. Continue reading

IACDL - Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

The Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers was founded in 1986. The IADCL seeks to preserve the adversarial system of justice, promote study and research and to educate the public and attorneys. In addition to be a professional organization for criminal defense attorneys in Illinois, the IADCL provides attorneys with networking opportunities and the public with attorneys listings for criminal defense. Continue reading

IACDL - Iowa Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

The Iowa Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (IACDL) seeks to enhance the practice of criminal defense lawyers in Iowa and promote legal education for lawyers and the public. The IACDL was established in 1992 in Des Moines, Iowa. Members of the IACDL include private criminal defense attorneys and public defenders practicing in both state and federal court. Law school students can also join the organization as student members. Continue reading

KACDL - Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Founded in 1988, the Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (KACDL) includes many of the top criminal defense attorneys in Kansas. Its mission is to support the criminal defense bar and fight for the rights of accused citizens. Through training and advocacy they are able to influence legislation and practice in favor of a better criminal justice system. The KACDL is an affiliate organization of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). Continue reading

KACDL - Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Since its formation in 1986, the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (KACDL) has influenced the legislative administration of criminal justice in Kentucky. KACDL regularly provides legislators with a more complete picture of how new laws impact the administration of criminal justice in Kentucky. The KACDL has expanded to include networking, advocacy and educational opportunities for Kentucky criminal defense lawyers through their membership. Continue reading

LACDL - Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

The Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (LACDL), founded in 1985 promotes excellence in the practice of criminal law, lobbies the legislature, and protects the rights of the accused. LACDL is the leading statewide association serving the comprehensive needs of the criminal defense bar. Louisiana criminal defense lawyers who join LACDL enjoy a sense of community, networking opportunities, publications focused on criminal justice issues and discounts on quality CLE seminars. Continue reading

MACDL - Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

The Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL) was established in 1992 to increase the fair administration of criminal justice and defense of individuals accused of criminal acts. The MACDL provides training to members and criminal defense attorneys in the Maine criminal justice system. Members must be Maine criminal defense attorneys actively engaged in the fair administration of criminal justice and the defense of individuals accused of criminal acts. Continue reading

MACDL - Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

The Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL) was founded in 1980 to uphold the standards of the criminal justice system. Its members provide the criminal defense bar with support, information, and a strong, credible voice in the pursuit of justice. Membership in the MACDL provides attorneys with Continuing Legal Education (CLEs), networking opportunities, and an enriched experience as a practicing criminal defense attorney in Massachusetts. Continue reading

MACDL - Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

The Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL) is the leading statewide association exclusively serving the comprehensive needs of the criminal defense bar. Since its creation, the MACDL has continued to promote excellence in the practice of criminal law and protect the rights of the accused. Members including attorneys in the private sector and public defenders. Members represent individuals accused of crimes in both the state and federal courts throughout the state. Continue reading

MACDL - Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Formed in 1978, the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL) is the leading statewide association exclusively serving the comprehensive needs of the criminal defense bar. Since its creation, MACDL has continued to promote excellence in the practice of criminal law and protect the rights of the accused. The MACDL provides education opportunities for members and an attorneys listings for criminal defense clients. Continue reading

MCDAA - Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys' Association

The Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys' Association (MCDAA) was formed to promote the study and research of criminal defense law, encourage the education of criminal defense attorneys, and promote the fair administration of criminal justice. Membership in the MCDAA includes networking opportunities, seminars, Continuing Legal Education (CLEs), and more. Find a criminal defense attorney in Maryland through their membership directory. Continue reading

MTACDL - Montana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

The Montana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MTACDL) was established in 1997 and supports private practitioners, full time public defenders, court appointed attorneys, and tribal court advocates in Montana. Its members are to uphold the practice of law and advocate for the rights of the accused. Members must certify that they are criminal defense attorneys in Montana who are not currently employed as a prosecutor in any local, state, tribal, or federal office. Continue reading

NACJ - Nevada Attorneys for Criminal Justice

The Nevada Attorneys for Criminal Justice (NACJ) was established in 1989. NACJ seeks to protect federal and state constitutional rights and to improve the quality and administration of justice for those accused of crimes. NACJ supports criminal justice attorneys in Nevada by providing continuing education, fostering community engagement, and encouraging zealous advocacy. NACJ includes criminal defense attorneys in Nevada practicing in both state and federal court. Continue reading

NCAJ - North Carolina Advocates for Justice

The North Carolina Advocates for Justice (NCAJ) is an organization supporting the rights of those injured by the wrongdoing of others, workers, the disabled, those with family problems, consumers, those in debt, and those accused of a crime. Founded in 1962, the NCAJ continues enhancing the practice of attorneys to better serve the cases of clients. The NCAJ is an affiliate organization of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). Continue reading

NCDAA - Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorneys Association

The Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorneys Association (NCDAA) was established in 1985 to promote the proper and fair administration of criminal justice in the state of Nebraska. The Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorneys Association (NCDAA) serves the needs of criminal defense attorneys through conducting numerous CLE seminars, providing networking opportunities, publishing a newsletter, and maintaining a brief bank. Continue reading

NDACDL - North Dakota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

The North Dakota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NDACDL) was founded to unite state and federal public defenders and private criminal defense lawyers in North Dakota to learn from one another and to act as a cohesive whole on issues of common concern. In 2010, the NDACDL was incorporated as a nonprofit corporation. Membership in the NDACDL gives the criminal defense bar a more unified voice before the North Dakota legislature. NDACDL has several Official Licensed Lobbyists. Continue reading

NHACDL - New Hampshire Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

The New Hampshire Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NHACDL) supports criminal defense lawyers practicing in New Hampshire and oversees pending legislation and a lobbying presence in Concord, New Hampshire. The NHACDL sponsors CLE courses and training programs for criminal defense lawyers. The NHACDL promotes the effective assistance of counsel in criminal cases and advocates for a fair criminal justice system. Continue reading

NMCDLA - New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

The New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (NMCDLA) helps attorneys devoted to criminal justice to advance their practice. The NMCDLA advocates for for system change in the criminal justice system through partnering with coalitions and other collaborations for criminal justice reform. NMCDLA offers membership to criminal defense attorneys in private and public practice, law school students, paralegals, legal assistants, and other criminal defense team members. Continue reading

NYSACDL - New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

The New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NYSACDL) was formed in 1986 by a group of New York defense attorneys. NYSACDL is dedicated to creating a strong, well-trained set of criminal defense lawyers to protect the rights of those accused of crimes in New York. The NYSACDL offers a criminal defense membership program involving Continuing Legal Education (CLEs), networking events, and more. Continue reading

OACDL - Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

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. Membership in the OACDL is available to all attorneys in good standing who have an interest in criminal defense. The OACDL offers members CLE courses, seminars, news, networking events, and more. Find an Ohio criminal defense lawyer through their membership directory. Continue reading

OCDLA - Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (OCDLA) was formed in 1976 to provide training and support to Oklahoma's criminal defense bar. Through its esteemed membership program, the OCDLA continues supporting the defense of accused individuals in the state. In addition to serving the defense bar by offering educational and networking opportunities, the organization also lobbies the Oklahoma Legislature on criminal justice issues. Continue reading

OCDLA - Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

The Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (OCDLA) is both a professional organization for Oregon criminal defense lawyers and an advocacy group seeking appropriate criminal justice reforms in the Oregon Legislature. The Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (OCDLA) was founded in 1979. The OCDLA is an affiliate of the National Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. Find an Oregon criminal defense lawyer through their membership directory. Continue reading

PACDL - Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

The Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (PACDL) was established in 1988. The PACDL is a member organization open to Pennsylvania criminal defense attorneys who are actively engaged in the defense of criminal cases in both state and federal court. The organization also accepts law students who are enrolled in law school. The PACDL is active engaged in ensuring equal justice is found under the law. Continue reading

PRACDL - Puerto Rico Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Founded in 1991, the Puerto Rico Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (PRACDL) is an organization dedicated to providing a platform for criminal defense lawyers practicing out of Puerto Rico. The PRACDL is an affiliate of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). Many of the top criminal defense lawyers in Puerto Rico are members of the PRACDL including attorneys in private practice and public defenders practice in state or federal court. Continue reading

RIACDL - Rhode Island Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

The Rhode Island Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (RIACDL) unites private criminal defense attorneys with public defenders to promote progressive legislative changes and sponsor quality continuing education seminars. Many of the top criminal defense attorneys in Rhode Island belong to this respected non-profit organization. RIACDL is an affiliate organization of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). Continue reading

SCACDL - South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

The South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (SCACDL) was founded in 1992. The SCACDL is committed to the fair administration of criminal justice and the defense of individuals accused of crime in South Carolina. Members of the organization include private attorneys and public defenders in both federal and state courts. The SCACDL advocates for the profession of criminal defense and sponsors Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminars throughout the year. Continue reading

SDACDL - South Dakota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

The South Dakota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyer (SDACDL) serves the needs of the criminal defense bar in South Dakota. The SDACDL provides a unified of voices within the criminal defense community to communicate, collaborate, exchange information, and enhance the practice of criminal defense in the state. The SDACDL is an affiliate organization of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). Continue reading

TACDL - Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

The Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (TACDL) provides a unified and credible voice for those who defend people accused of criminal offenses. Since 1973, the TACDL has provided support for Tennessee criminal defense lawyers through different networking and training opportunities. The TACDL is an affiliate organization of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACD). Continue reading

TCDLA - Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

Since formed in 1971, the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCDLA) has supported the practice of criminal defense in the state of Texas. Members include private attorneys, public defenders and other legal professionals from across the state of Texas. The TCDLA provides training, networking opportunities, and a platform to enhance the criminal defense experience for lawyers. The TCDLA is an affiliate organization of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). Continue reading

UACDL - Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

For more than 20 years, the Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (UACDL) has worked to improve the profession of criminal defense and reform the Utah criminal justice system. Today the UACDL consists of the top criminal defense attorneys in Utah. Any attorney admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Utah who is actively engaged in the defense of criminal cases can apply for membership. The UACDL is an affiliate of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). Continue reading

VACDL - Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

The Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (VACDL) in Richmond, VA, was established in 1992 as the Virginia College of Criminal Defense Attorneys. In 2002, it changed its name to the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The VACDL has become a growing platform for criminal defense lawyers serving the accused in the state of Virginia. It is affiliated with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). Continue reading

VTACDL - Vermont Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

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 courts. The organization advocates for the proper administration of criminal justice by presenting a unified and credible voice. It is an affiliate of the National Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (NACDL). Continue reading

WACDL - Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

The Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (WACDL), established in 1987, improves the practice of defending those accused of crimes. WACDL members enjoy CLE seminars, an attorneys listings directory on the WACDL website, networking opportunities to enhance their work, and other member exclusive perks. The WACDL is an affiliate of the National Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (NACDL). Continue reading

Wisconsin (WACDL)

The Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (WACDL) is committed to enhancing the criminal defense practice in the state of Wisconsin. As an affiliate of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), the WACDL provides support and training to criminal defense attorneys statewide and promotes the proper administration of criminal justice. Members must be committed to serve individuals accused of crime. Continue reading

WTLA - Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association

The WTLA is a statewide professional organization of attorneys practicing law in Wyoming who advocate for equal rights in the civil and criminal justice systems. The Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association (WTLA) is made up of both civil and criminal law practitioners. The organization is made up of over 400 members and hosts CLE events throughout the year while providing educational resources to Wyoming attorneys. Continue reading

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