Membership Criteria

To qualify for membership in the NYCDL a lawyer must:

  1. be an experienced attorney who has practiced law for more than 10 years (i.e. at least 10 years out of law school) and have significant experience in the field of criminal law,
  2.  have spent the past three years either in private practice or as a public defender,
  3. if the applicant has spent the past three years in private practice, a substantial component of the applicant’s practice in the preceding three years should be criminal defense,
  4. be a member of the bar of the State of New York or of the United States District Court for the Southern or Eastern District of New York,
  5. have a reputation for having a high level of professional competence, integrity, and ethics, and
  6. be nominated by a member of the NYCDL.

Application Process:

  1. A proposed new member must be nominated by a letter written by a current member. The nominating letter must:
    a. discuss the nominee’s qualifications and experience in criminal defense, including whether a substantial component of the applicant’s practice in the preceding three years has been in criminal defense,
    b. indicate whether the nominating member is aware of any ethics or integrity issues concerning the nominee, and
    c. provide the names of two other attorneys who can act as references. These other attorneys should be NYCDL members but if the nominee does not know two other current NYCDL members then other attorneys or judges are also acceptable as references.
  2. The nominating letter, along with the nominee’s resume or web biography, should be sent to the Membership Committee Chair, Jillian Berman, [email protected].
  3. The membership committee will review the nominee’s qualifications and consult with references and others who know the nominee. If the nominee satisfies the membership criteria, the membership committee will send the nominee an application.
  4. The nominee must fill out the application and return it to [email protected] so that the membership committee can review any new, previously unknown information. The application will then be forwarded to the Board, which will vote on membership.
  5. When a person is admitted the Treasurer will send out a welcoming letter and dues notice. The new member will be added to the web site when the dues have been received.