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WACDL Membership Eligibility

WACDL membership is for criminal defense lawyers and associated professionals; read more about membership restrictions here.

The following individuals are eligible for membership in WACDL:

  • Any attorney who is a member of any state bar.
  • Any law student is eligible for non-voting membership as a law student member.
  • Any professional person who is involved with the criminal justice system but is not an attorney is eligible for non-voting membership as an Associate of Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.


The following are not eligible for membership in WACDL:

  • Persons who perform a prosecutorial function or persons employed in the offices of prosecutors, including, but not limited to, United States Attorneys, City Attorneys, District Attorneys or Attorneys General;
  • any persons who perform any law enforcement investigation of criminal cases including, but not limited to, those employed in law enforcement, including police officers, sheriffs, correctional officers and probation officers;
  • any person engaged in a full-time judicial function, including any full-time judge, commissioner or referee.
As an associate member, I cannot say enough about what WACDL has done for me and my career in criminal defense as a paralegal and an investigator. There simply are not enough places for paralegals and investigators to learn about criminal defense in order to keep current with laws, explore new topics, and network with like-minded professionals. The local associations for paralegals and investigators are aimed primarily at private practice in civil law, and as such, the activities are not usually relevant to criminal law, especially not public defense. Meeting people through WACDL is probably much of the reason I have been able to find such interesting work over the years. Networking through WACDL does not feel like work, it feels like fun as we are always mixing in great social activities and it is very relaxed and natural. One of the proudest moments in my career was being asked to chair the summer Support Staff CLE, knowing that I could be a part of helping others to discover the potential benefits available to WACDL associate members.
– Catlin Gibson