Since its founding in 1988, the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (PACDL) has provided education, resources and more to the Pennsylvania criminal defense bar. Our members are dedicated to ensuring our vision of equal justice under law is the guiding principle of the criminal justice system. PACDL is the premier network of leading defense attorneys in the region with a mission to educate, advocate and inspire by providing support for criminal defense lawyers, promoting effective competence, leveling the playing field, and protecting freedoms. The association moves into 2024 with a strengthened focus on future excellence by providing members with more continuing legal education opportunities, resources, leadership, and networking than ever before.

Why Choose PACDL

From premium, relevant education experiences that develop fundamental defense skills to influential advocacy before state policymakers on issues that are vital to protecting the fairness of the criminal justice system and the rights of the accused, the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers offers an overabundance of benefits to our members. As a member, you’ll receive discounted course offerings and access to an Amicus Brief Bank containing criminal defense arguments, relevant to your own, challenging cases.  You also have the opportunity to engage in leadership opportunies and enhance your leadership skills by participating in a variety of committees.
Make our network, your network, by reaching more than over 850 criminal defense attorneys sharing years of legal experience through trainings, a collaborative Listserv and social media groups. In fact, PACDL’s Lawyers Assistance Strike Force offers incomparable guidance with a subpoena, a contempt citation or a motion to disqualify you from a case arising from your representation. 
Benefit from PACDL’s effective advocacy on Capitol Hill or in Pennsylvania’s appellate courts regarding across-the-board systemic and policy changes. Learn fresh, innovative content and information through For the Defense, a quarterly digital magazine, focused on timely issues in the criminal defense profession. Enhance your success and accelerate your leadership skills by leading Association projects. With PACDL, the possibilities are endless.


Why We Succeed

Since inception, the founders, leaders and members of the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers demonstrated an untiring commitment to quality by creating and preserving member value. The Association embodies public, private and court-appointed criminal defense attorneys and promotes collaboration across the most comprehensive continuum possible.
This commitment to excellence and thought leadership continues today. Supported by PACDL, our members are leaders of the criminal defense community with a particular focus on success. PACDL’s value-driven commitment to excellence, integrity, collaboration and fellowship generates the framework of the Association’s culture.  it is at the core of every action, internally and externally every day. Join us!