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Benefits of membership

The Board of Directors of the Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (“UACDL”) invites all Utah attorneys who engage in any criminal defense law to join the organization in an effort to improve the practice of criminal defense law and to reform the Utah criminal justice system. UACDL is the only criminal defense lawyer association in Utah that is devoted to Utah law. UACDL is an affiliate of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (“NACDL”) and shares the same mission of defending and protecting criminal defendants’ fundamental constitutional rights. UACDL members receive valuable services that enhance members’ ability to defend their clients and to protect fundamental constitutional liberties. Members also benefit from the collective resources of 500 criminal defense lawyers and their supporters throughout the State of Utah who freely exchange ideas, share information and pleadings, and support the fight for constitutional rights. 
 
For over 20 years, UACDL has protected criminal defendants’ constitutional rights and sought adequate defense resources for criminal defense lawyers.   As UACDL has grown to over 500 attorney members in recent years, its ability to influence the Legislature, the courts, and policy makers has increased commensurately. The organization has become an effective player at the Utah Legislature, holds seats on major policy making commissions and study committees, and is now regularly consulted on criminal law and policy issues. UACDL’s increased influence has also allowed it to file amicus briefs in important court cases and to fight for criminal defendants’ constitutional rights. In each of these instances, UACDL has provided defense attorneys a collective voice that they otherwise may not have had. 
 
Despite UACDL’s improved effectiveness, powerful, well-funded forces oppose the organization’s mission. Utah prosecutors receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in public money annually to lobby the Legislature and train their colleagues. Candidates for public office routinely invoke tough on crime policies in support of their election to office. And, recent revelations in the press about official spying on American citizens serves as a sobering reminder of the power of the government to infringe on personal privacy and circumvent essential constitutional protections. Membership in UACDL will ensure that the organization serves as a strong check on such practices.
 
UACDL members receive the following benefits to assist them in fighting these forces and to improve their own legal skills:
 
  • Up to six hours of free CLE per year through evening seminars held throughout the state;
  • Discounts on seminars that feature national and local experts that address Utah specific issues and emerging legal topics;
  • Access to UACDL’s members-only sections of its website, including a vast brief bank, profiles of judges, prosecutors, and police officers, and expert profiles and court contact information;
  • Registration in UACDL’s members-only email forums where members can post legal questions, share documents, and exchange ideas about criminal law issues;
  • A voice at the Utah Legislature through UACDL’s legislative committee.
To join UACDL, click here. Membership will not only improve attorneys’ legal skills but also ensure fairness and constitutional protections for all persons.   If you would like more information about UACDL, please send an email to director@uacdl.org.