The ABCL has experienced dramatic growth and its membership consists of highly regarded criminal defense practitioners, not only in the United States of America, but also Canada and Europe.

The camaraderie and fellowship provided by the American Board of Criminal Lawyers is the highest professional honor for the successful, ethical performance of its members, forged by hard work and dedication to criminal defense.

Standards of Acceptance

The standards for acceptance to ABCL include successful major felony trial experience and exceptional recommendations from distinguished jurists and current Fellows attesting to each of the candidate’s high ethics as well as their litigation skills in the area of criminal defense. Fellows meet periodically to exchange ideas through informal discussions in a professional and confidential atmosphere. This roundtable forum provides a valuable opportunity for even the most experienced criminal defense lawyer to learn and adopt the strategies of other nationally renowned practitioners.

Statement of Purpose

The American Board of Criminal Lawyers (ABCL) was founded in June 1978 by San Francisco attorney Nathan Cohn. The primary concern of the ABCL is the preservation and the free exercise of fundamental freedoms for all those accused of criminal conduct. Over the years, ABCL Fellows have become regularly involved in high profile criminal cases throughout the country, where the principles of the Organization and the collective experience of the Fellows have made a worthwhile contribution.