Why Belong to NACDL?


When you belong to NACDL, you take a step toward enhancing your own career through the networking, peer support, and educational tools NACDL provides.

As a member of NACDL, you are part of a network of criminal justice lawyers and advocates who value fairness, reforming flaws and inequities in the criminal justice system, and redressing systemic racism.  

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Here are some of the reasons NACDL members are among America's most knowledgeable, best-connected criminal defense lawyers:

  • Connect, learn & strategize with other members on our discussion groups at NACDLConnect! Search past communications as well as participate in current discussions.
  • Get issues of The Champion  - read it on paper, online, or on your phone! Members can search archived issues online. What a great resource! 
  • Your membership pays for itself with discounts from our NACDL Affinity partners
  • Updated and Reorganized NACDL Resource Center featuring the Engage and Exchange discussion series, case-based tools, forensics resources, an expert database, and postconviction materials.
  • NEW Mentoring Program Mentor For A Moment provides personalized, 1-on-1 advice from accomplished defense attorneys for guidance and support for your cases.
  • Support the profession through NACDL's advocacy work in the legislatures and in the courts. 
  • The Daily Criminal Justice Briefing is a digest of criminal justice articles from journals and media outlets, in your email inbox every day. 
  • Discounts on NACDL's top-notch, defense-only, CLE events.
  • Discounts on NACDL educational products, including resource manuals and trial guides that cover a wide variety of topics and specialty areas.
  • If you are threatened in any way for providing legal representation to a client - if you're subpoenaed, cited for contempt, hit with a bar grievance or a motion to disqualify you from a case the NACDL Strike Force will review your case, at no cost.
  • NACDL has partnered with Association Health Programs (AHP) to offer NACDL members a variety of health insurance programs.
  • Build your network of contacts, sharpen your leadership skills, and maximize your membership investment by joining an NACDL Committee, Task Force, or discussion group.
  • Receive litigation assistance in cases raising new Fourth Amendment concerns through NACDL's Fourth Amendment Center. 
  • Share your knowledge and practical tips by writing an article for The Champion.
  • Support NACDL as it leads the way through its Amicus Curiae program.
Membership Categories Dues 
Regular Member - Criminal defense attorneys in private practice, admitted to the bar more than six years. $349
Public Defender - Full-time attorney at government Public Defender office or legal services nonprofit. Does not include assigned counsel or contract work.  $145
New Lawyer - Private attorneys in their first six years of practice, based on date of first admission to the bar. $209
Law Professor - Professors employed full time on the faculties of accredited law schools. $219
Military - Full-time, active duty military lawyers engaged primarily in criminal defense. $219
Judge - Full-time members of the judiciary $219
Associate Members - Persons who are not criminal defense lawyers, but whose work supports the criminal defense profession, including non-lawyers who support the goals and objectives of NACDL.  $219
International - Criminal Defense Lawyers who hold passports from countries other than the United States and Canada. International members do not receive a print version of The Champion®. You can access the online magazine here. Print copies can be requested, but shipping charges will apply. $209
Law Student - Students in an accredited law school working toward a J.D. degree. Membership is FREE. Click here for more information.  
Life Member* - One-time contribution or 5 yearly installments of $1,300 each. Expanded online profile. $6,500
Presidents Club * - Donor Member, with an expanded online profile $769
Sustaining Member * - Donor Member, with an expanded online profile $539


For your protection, we cannot accept credit card information by email. Please Note:  Annual Dues may be deductible as an ordinary and necessary business expense for federal income tax purposes. NACDL estimates that 1.6% of your total membership dues are allocable to lobbying activities of the Association and therefore not deductible for income tax purposes as ordinary and necessary business expense. $90 of annual dues applies to a one-year subscription to The Champion. Contributions to the NACDL Foundation for Criminal Justice are fully tax-deductible. 

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