News Release

Baton Rouge, LA Attorney James Boren Presented with NACDL’s Champion of Justice Award

Washington, DC (March 2, 2023) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) presented criminal defense legend James “Jim” Boren with the Champion of Justice Award at the Association’s 2023 Midwinter Meeting in New Orleans. Champion of Justice Awards are bestowed upon those individuals who – through legislative, journalistic, philanthropic, or humanitarian pursuits – have staunchly preserved or defended the constitutional rights of American citizens and have endeavored to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime. Jim was bestowed the award for over four decades of service to the defense bar and tireless efforts to improve the quality of justice for all persons accused of criminal offenses.

A dedicated NACDL member, Jim has served on NACDL’s Board of Directors and chaired the Public Defense and Death Penalty Committees. He has lectured at NACDL’s trainings and is the author of numerous articles for The Champion magazine.

“Jim Boren is a criminal defense lawyer who breathes life into the US Constitution’s guarantee of the right to effective assistance of counsel by ensuring that the rich and the poor, the powerful and powerless get the most vigorous defense imaginable,” said Cynthia Orr, President of the NACDL Foundation for Criminal Justice. “He works on each case he undertakes with his utmost and always helps others do the same. During his life’s practice, he has selflessly embodied the ideals of what we hope our criminal process can one day afford all accused.”

Jim Boren represents individuals and companies in all types of criminal cases and quasi-criminal matters. From 2002 to 2019, he taught at the Paul M. Hebert School of Law at Louisiana State University, including courses on Advanced Litigation, Capital Punishment, and Wrongful Convictions. Jim is a Charter Member and Past President of the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, a Fellow at the American College of Trial Lawyers, and consults with IPNO, the Mwalimu Center for Justice, and several capital defense organizations in Louisiana. He has held leadership positions at the Louisiana State Bar Association and served on numerous committees and task forces for the Louisiana Legislature, Supreme Court, and Public Defender Board.

“I am very proud to receive this award,” said Jim Boren. “I learned from and was (and still am) inspired by lawyers who represent the poor and particularly those who defend the ‘indefensible’ people accused of capital crimes. I stand on the shoulders of those who tilled these vineyards before me.”

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Jessie Diamond, NACDL Public Affairs and Communications Associate, (202) 465-7647 or

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.

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