Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

VACDL membership is not open to full or part-time prosecutors.

Membership Benefits

Member benefits are found largely in the support of fellow members who are dedicated to criminal defense work throughout the Commonwealth, and include:

  • Our quarterly newsletter, The Virginia Champion (2018 forward: pdf. file electronic copy ; can opt-in to receive mailed paper copy)
  • A very active member List Serv discussion group (currently hosted via Gaggle, with a log-in separate from; List Serv post frequency can be set to a daily digest (1 summary email each day) or receipt of each individual message
  • A membership directory, with a searchable current member database on the VACDL website (
  • A Member's Only section on, where VACDL stores frequently requested motions, briefs, subpoena information, and other useful documents, in addition to past editions of the Champion.  *VACDL has added an Expert Database, culled from recommendations provided by our members. We will continue to expand the database with new submissions*
  • A mentorship program to assist new practitioners (or those new to criminal defense in Virginia) in obtaining certification to accept court-appointed cases in the Commonwealth, in partnership with the VIDC
  • A Strike Force, ready to assist members facing subpoenas, contempt charges, and other legal or ethical issues that may arise during the course of representing criminal defendants
  • JIRC and Bar Complaint committees available to review, consider and file Bar and JIRC complaints on behalf of VACDL members who may not feel comfortable doing so individually (for fear of personal retribution or other professional ramifications)
  • Other important committees working on the behalf of members, to include Legislative, Amicus, Judicial Appointments, Indigent Defense Representation, and other matters that affect criminal defense lawyers.
  • Excellent legal education seminars (CLEs) which provide training for our members and course credits toward MCLE Department and Virginia State Bar annual requirements. Members receive a discount on tuition and can apply for scholarships.
  • Social events for networking and face-to-face time with peers, including the Annual Meeting in the Fall of each year
  • Discounts on malpractice insurance premiums through our partnership with Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company.
  • Discounts on the LexisNexis Virginia Criminal Laws Annotated publications.
For more information about VACDL membership, please contact our Executive Director, Danielle Payne, at, or join now!

Join VACDL today!

To join by mail, please click the link below for a copy of our membership application:

VACDL Membership Application 2024.pdf

To join online, please see below:

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