The Iowa Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers 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.
Members of the IACDL are committed to the fair administration of criminal justice and the defense of individuals accused of a crime in state or federal court. It also seeks to promote study into criminal law and educate lawyers and the public.
The IACDL holds meetings to bring together criminal defense lawyers in Iowa and provides a forum for continous exhange of information between the top criminal defense attorneys in Iowa. The organization is affiliate of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL).
The John Adams Award is presented to individuals who have spent their career devoted to the Constitutional guarantee that, in criminal prosecutions, the accused is entitled to competent representation. The award is given based on the individual’s commitment to excellence in representing persons charged with crimes and who, by example, fulfill the obligation imposed by the lawyer’s oath,
“I will never reject, from any consideration personal to myself, the cause of the defenseless or the oppressed.”
The award is sponsored by the Drake Law Schools Criminal Defense Program and the Iowa Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
One benefit of being a member of IACDL is access to the multiple continuing legal educaiton (CLE) programs the organization puts on every year. At CLEs, lawyers can learn ongoing trends, changes to law and precedent and new developments in practice management that can improve their ability to represent their clients.
Members can also attend the organization's annual meeting and hear from informative speakers.