Statement of Qualifications from Bonnie Hoffman

Bonnie HoffmanBonnie Hoffman 

Position Seeking: Secretary

For over 18 years I have served as a state public defender in Loudoun County, Virginia. My practice includes representing adults and juveniles on misdemeanor and felony matters from arraignment through direct appeal.

Two years after embarking on my career as a public defender I joined NACDL, eager to be a part of an organization that would not only advocate systemically to protect the fundamental rights of those accused, but one that would help me to become a better advocate for the clients I was representing in court every day. In the years that followed I have grown from being a member and seminar attendee to a part of our leadership.

In 2009 I joined the Board of Directors and am currently in my second term. I have been a part of the organization’s operational functions, serving on the Budget, Audit and Nominating Committees; have worked with the Programs Department, including co-chairing the 2013 Mid-Winter Meeting in Washington D.C.; and am an active member of the Forensic Sciences Committee and Women’s Initiative.

Throughout my tenure on the Board, I have been on the Indigent Defense Committee, including serving two years as its Co-Chair. This past Fall I was selected to lead NACDL’s Task Force on Federal Indigent Defense.

This Task Force is undertaking a review of the current state of the Criminal Justice Act including the repercussions of sequestration and the potential reforms needed to maintain a vital, strong and effective indigent defense bar in our federal courts.

I am currently a Board Representative to the Executive Committee and serve on the Task Force on the Future of NACDL. These responsibilities that have helped me appreciate the organizations strengths and weaknesses and assisted me in developing ideas and strategies that will allow NACDL to continue to be a leader and powerful voice in the criminal justice system. 

In August, 2013, I received the Robert C. Heeney Award, the first active state public defender to be so honored.

I am an integral part of numerous state and county criminal justice-related groups addressing issues from eyewitness identification, to discovery reform; juvenile justice to re-entry. In addition to my commitments in the legal profession, I have helped found and lead several community organizations including Loudoun’s “Beat the Odds” ® Scholarship Program, which awards scholarships to youths who have overcome challenges such as homelessness, physical abuse and involvement in the juvenile justice system and Give 10 for 10, a community engagement organization, whose motto is “It’s not about how much you have, it’s about what you do with it.” I currently serve as the President of the Eastern Women’s Baseball Conference, an all-women’s baseball league in the Baltimore-Washington Metro area.

I am seeking to become the next Secretary of NACDL and bring several key attributes to the position including diligence, creativity, and leadership. During my time in the organization I have been involved with a broad variety of efforts from operational to policy and advocacy. In the coming years I see some of the challenges we face to maintain a connection with the broad criminal defense community we serve and continuing to increase the diversity of our membership—both in its demographics and practice areas.

As we continue to be a respected leader on policy and legal issues, we must also remain true to our core responsibilities--being a resource and ally to the attorneys practicing daily in courtrooms large and small across the country. As a front-line defender, I believe I am uniquely poised to ensure NACDL remains an organization for all who stand up beside and stand up for those accused.

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