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National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)

About the NACDL


  • Founded: 1958
  • President: Nina J. Ginsberg
  • Website: www.nacdl.org
  • Executive Director: Norman L. Reimer
  • Members: 7000+

Mission and History

Founded in 1958, NACDL encourages due process for the least among us who may be accused of wrongdoing, compassion for witnesses and victims of crimes, and just punishment for the guilty. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) encourages, at all levels of government, a rational and humane criminal justice policy for the United States of America.

NACDL is designed specifically to support criminal defense lawyers at all levels, to expand their professional potential, as well as continue the progressive movement for the security of justice. The organization bases its efforts on three underlying principals:

  1. Ensure justice and due process for persons accused of a crime;
  2. Foster the integrity, independence and expertise of the criminal defense profession; and
  3. Promote the proper and fair administration of criminal justice.

As the foremost legal fraternity on criminal defense, NACDL provides members with some of the most acclaimed resources in the legal industry. NACDL provides cutting-edge CLE courses, supplies study materials to members who wish to expand their knowledge and skills in criminal law and makes available extensive publications covering dozens of topics, including hard-to-find government publications. These resources are often essential to the success of a criminal law practice.




Board of Directors

Nina Jean Ginsberg
Alexandria, VA
Christopher Wayne Adams
President Elect
Charleston, SC
Martin Antonio Sabelli
First Vice President
San Francisco, CA

Past Presidents

Drew Findling
Atlanta, GA
Rick Jones
Rick Jones
New York, NY
Barry J Pollack
Washington, DC

Recipients of the Robert C. Heeney Memorial Award

NACDL's most prestigious award, the Robert C. Heeney Memorial Award is awarded to one criminal defense attorney per year, who best exemplifies the goals and values of NACDL and the legal profession in general. The annual award was established in 1981 in honor of the late Robert C. Heeney of Rockville, MD, NACDL's 18th President.

Christopher A Wellborn
Rock Hill, SC
Drew Findling
Atlanta, GA
George Henry Newman
Philadelphia, PA

NACDL Members Active on Lawyer Legion

William C. Head
William C. Head, PC
Atlanta, GA
View Profile · Visit Website
Kevin Bennett
The Law Office of Kevin Bennett
Austin, TX
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Brian Joslyn
Joslyn Law Firm
Columbus, OH
View Profile · Visit Website
David B Sloane
Law Offices of David Sloane
Fort Worth, TX
View Profile · Visit Website
Steven F Groce
Groce & DeArmon, P.C.
Springfield, MO
View Profile · Visit Website
Lawrence Abram Kohn
Kohn & Yager LLC
Atlanta, GA
View Profile · Visit Website

Contact the NACDL

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
1660 L St. NW 12th Floor
Washington, 20036
Office: (202) 872-8600
Fax: (202) 872-8690

Affiliate Organizations

Affiliated organizations are recognized as such because their mission, goals, and structure mirror those of NACDL, and they are like-minded in their pursuit of ensuring justice and due process for persons accused of crime, improving the integrity, independence and expertise of the criminal defense profession, and promoting the proper and fair administration of criminal justice. Criminal defense professionals utilize state-level organizations to aid their practice. International affiliates span the globe including those in Africa, Australia, Canada, Europe and Asia. The following is a list of state-level affiliate organizations in the United States:

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More About the NACDL

Recent Policy Achievements of NACDL

NACDL works to influence policy as it affects the practice of criminal law. This non-profit organization is well known for its work in public defense, white-collar policy and anti-death penalty activity. The most recent and important policy achievements of NACDL include:

  • efforts to reform state and federal discovery laws seeking the secret discovery manual of the Department of Justice;
  • work with the recent Clemency Project, the new First Amendment Strike Force, and the Mass Defense Project;
  • efforts to make sure federal statutes have an adequate criminal intent requirement
  • the report on the policies that should govern police-worn body cameras; and
  • several reports about struggling public defense systems in South Carolina, Indiana, and Louisiana.

These policy achievements help the criminal defense bar provide an effective voice for justice and due process for those accused of a crime.

Membership in NACDL

A membership with NACDL allows lawyers to have access to an abundant amount of resources including news of interest to the profession and continuing legal education (CLE) opportunities.

Membership in NACDL includes opportunities to connect with peers and colleagues, to learn and expand skills in criminal defense methods, to save with member-only discounts from NACDL sponsors and to influence public policy. Criminal defense attorneys join NACDL because the membership typically provides a far greater value than then cost of the dues year.

NACDL offers membership levels for all types of legal professionals, from law students to new lawyers, military and other members of the legal community. Benefits of membership include a listing in NACDL's Member-to-Member Directory which provides full contact information for all members and is accessible to members only.

The up-to-the-moment NACDL online membership directory is available through the website or through the app for iOS and Android, NACDL Edge.

The NACDL also has a free, public Find-A-Lawyer Directory that makes it easy for prospective clients to find an attorney. It can be linked to your website. As of June of 2015, the directory was getting between 3,000 to 5,000 hits per month according to a recent publication by NACDL.

Another benefit of membership is access to the 2017 NACDL Member Handbook. The number of directories printed is based on pre-orders. The 2017 Member Handbook is available to current members exclusively. The Member Handbook is offered at $21.22, including shipping.

The types of membership categories include:

  • Regular ($329 per year)
  • Law Student ($65 per year)
  • New Lawyer ($185 per year)
  • Associate ($195 per year for allied non-lawyer)
  • Law Professor ($169 per year)
  • International ($185 year)
  • Federal Public Defender ($139 per year)
  • State Public Defender ($139 per year)
  • Sustaining ($479 per year)
  • Judge ($195 per year)
  • Military ($169 per year for active duty)
  • President's Club ($699)
  • Life Member ($6,500 with a one-time contribution or 5 installments over five consecutive years)

Benefits of Membership

The benefits of membership in NACDL include:

Resources for Lawyers

The NACDL Resource Center provides NACDL members have access to information on a wide range of topics and practice areas, such as tools and information for members in the ‘Topics A-Z’ section, opportunities to converse with colleagues in the topic-specific discussion lists, a brief and motion bank, an expert database, updates on major legal developments of interest to the criminal defense bar, and more.

The Champion

Along with the most recent legal news and other publications, members have access to NACDL's renowned journal, The Champion. Published ten times per year, The Champion gives timely, informative articles and interviews written for and by criminal defense lawyers, featuring the latest developments in DUI/DWI, grand jury proceedings, habeas, search and seizure laws, death penalty, the exclusionary rule, federal sentencing guidelines, white-collar crime, and more. Members can also receive access to the Daily Criminal Justice Briefing news service. These publications provide articles commentary pertinent to the criminal justice system for adults and juveniles.

Discounts from NACDL Sponsors

Members may take advantage of numerous amounts of exclusive discounts from NACDL Affinity Partners. Members can redeem discounts on exceptional savings including essential expenses such as insurance, legal research, online databases, NACDL credit cards, and more.

CLE Events

NACDL members can attend CLE events at discounted rates. NACDL offers video and audio recordings of all its CLE seminars at a discounted rate for members at the NACDL Store. CLE events include the Annual Meeting & Seminar, the DUI seminar, and the White Collar seminar. Members also enjoy access to educational materials in webcasts, audio/video programs and manuals.

Other Benefits of Membership

Other benefits of membership in the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys include:

  • opportunities to attend conferences or other symposiums;
  • access to the online Brief and Motion bank;
  • assistance from the NACDL headquarters;
  • opportunities to serve on the NACDL Committees or the Board of Directors;
  • opportunities to write articles for NACDL publications;
  • speaking opportunities at NACDL conferences and trainings seminars;
  • referrals from potential clients to others using the membership directory
  • access to the Life Member or Find-A-Lawyer directories.

Directory of Criminal Defense Lawyers in the United States

Lawyer Legion maintains a national directory of criminal defense lawyers which includes both NACDL members and non-members. To help the public find the best choices when searching for a criminal defense attorney, Lawyer Legion recognizes attorneys for their involvement and leadership within the NACDL and other professional associations. This includes recognition for NACDL Past Presidents, Life Members, and NACDL members who are active on Lawyer Legion and have provided information about their involvement with the NACDL.

Use this directory to find a criminal defense lawyer in your local area. Start by choosing your state from the list below.

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