On August 11, 1958, a number of lawyers got together in Chicago, Illinois for a conference. Once the conference was over, these lawyers went to the Drake Hotel and talked. They decided that the criminal defense bar needed a group to represent them and their ideals.
What later would be called the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) was born. Their first President was prominent Chicago criminal defense lawyer Charlie Bellows. One of the members of their very first Board of Directors was prominent criminal defense and civil rights lawyer (and later on, prominent jurist) (Honorable) George Leighton.
I have been a member of NACDL for over 21 years. I attended my first meeting in Chicago in 1999 and have attended dozens of others since. One of the best decisions I made in my career was to be involved in this group of dedicated lawyers (and other people) who are not just great lawyers, but are also passionate advocates for the 6th Amendment Right to Counsel.
I am proud to be among these people. I am proud to call these people my friends. These contacts and friendships have helped to make me the lawyer I am today.
We live in interesting times where the Right to Counsel is of the utmost importance for the accused in our society. NACDL is going to be there to help ensure that that Right has meaning. I will be there with them.
Happy 60th Anniversary NACDL!! #ILoveNACDL