Your Profession Comes First

Are you ready to take your legal career to the next level? Joining PACDL is the perfect way to do just that! Whether you are a seasoned professional or just starting your journey in criminal defense law, the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers offers a wealth of resources, support, and opportunities to help you thrive in your defense practice.

The Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is Pennsylvania's premier criminal defense association specially designed to enhance your law practice.  From high-quality, relevant training experiences that develop fundamental skills to persuasive advocacy before state policymakers on issues that are vital to protecting the rights of the accused and are meaningful to operating a successful criminal defense firm, PACDL works to enhance your law practice.  A practice that you built on passion and drive.  We are excited to personally invite you to share our vision of equal justice under law and apply for membership with PACDL.

Why Join Our Association?
  • Networking: Connect with a diverse community of experienced criminal defense attorneys from all corners of the practice field. Forge valuable relationships, share insights, and learn from the best.
  • Professional Development: Access exclusive resources, legal updates, and continuing education opportunities that will keep you at the forefront of legal field.
  • Advocacy: Be part of a powerful collective voice advocating for criminal justice reform and the rights of the accused. Make a real impact on the legal system.
  • Support: Enjoy the camaraderie of a community that understands the unique challenges you face as a criminal defense attorney. Find mentorship and guidance when you need it most.
Benefits of Membership
  • A Lawyers Assistance Strike Force that represents you at no cost when you are threatened in your legal representation of a client, such as contempt citations or motions to disqualify.
  • An amicus brief bank found on our website for your professional reference. Apply this useful tool to cases in which you are currently working.
  • The quarterly digital magazine, For the Defense, providing thought-provoking articles.
  • An invaluable criminal defense ListServ where you can source defense experts, raise procedural and substantive law questions, and gather guidance and intel from other top tier professionals.
  • Discounted criminal defense-focused CLE programs.
  • Legislative and rule advocacy.  
  • Networking opportunities with other criminal defense professionals.
  • Exposure and other sponsorship or marketing opportunities for your firm.
  • Access to our social networking groups with our everyday news as distributed via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
  • Leadership and professional development opportunities through volunteering including committee involvement, authorship in For the Defense or speaking opportunities. 
Joining is Easy! 
‚ÄčFilling out a membership application has never been simpler.Here's how.
1. Visit PACDL's homepage
2. Click on the Membership tab.
3. Click on the online application form, complete it and provide your payment information.
4. Submit your application electronically.
5. If you prefer to handwrite and mail-in your application, here is the link to the membership brochure.

That is it! You are on your way to becoming a valued member of PACDL.

If  yo
u have questions about creating your userid, password, updating your member profile or publishing your contact information on PACDL's membership directory, go to the FAQs listed on the About tab on the navigational bar.
"I joined PACDL in 1997 upon starting law school and have found the benefits from membership to be incredibly rewarding. PACDL has provided me with excellent training as a criminal defense lawyer, but also a sense of belonging to an association whose members are among the best and the brightest in our field. I was fortunate to have mentors who helped me become involved in PACDL’s various committees as a young lawyer and over time I have been fortunate to serve on the board, in executive positions and even as the president of PACDL from 2009 to 2011. The group is not just about offering CLE and other educational opportunities, it is about getting to know your colleagues and finding strength in our numbers when faced with the challenges of representing the unpopular and disenfranchised in our society. I can say, without hesitation or reservation, that joining PACDL will be the best decision you can make as a criminal defense attorney in Pennsylvania."
- Mike Engle, Stradley Ronon, Philadelphia