MARK F. HOULDIN JOINS NLADA AS DEFENDER COUNSEL
Former Assistant Defender for Defender Association of Philadelphia
WASHINGTON, DC, August 16, 2012 — The National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) is pleased to announce the selection of Mark F. Houldin as defender counsel in the Defender Legal Services Department. In this capacity, Houldin is responsible for assisting NLADA in advancing policy issues of import to the indigent defense community and advancing the equal justice agenda through the development and dissemination of research and information.
“NLADA is extremely pleased to have Mark join the Defender Legal Services team at NLADA,” said Ed Burnette, NLADA vice president for Defender Legal Services. “As NLADA continues its march toward ensuring that every state and territory in this country has a fair and balanced criminal justice system, Mark’s experience as assistant defender in Philadelphia will be a valuable asset in tying together a state-based advocacy effort.”
Houldin’s most recent professional experience includes significant litigation experience in felony and misdemeanor trials. He served as Acting Assistant Supervisor for the Juvenile Special Cases Section at the Defender Association of Philadelphia, which oversees the handling of all juvenile rape and sexual assault cases, and aided in the supervision and training of new attorneys. Houldin also led an initiative to ensure procedural due process at juvenile violation of probation hearings.
Additionally, Houldin worked to develop data collection tools to improve practice and reduce the use of detention and commitment. He was involved in researching and strategizing responses to the Adam Walsh Act, and worked with the ACLU of Pennsylvania to prevent the public registration of an out-of-state individual moving to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to pursue higher education.
In his first year of practice, Houldin initiated an appellate challenge alleging the illegality of long-standing juvenile pre-trial release restrictions in Florida. Garnering local media attention and state-wide legal interest, Houldin shared his legal strategy and briefs with other advocates; resulting challenges proved successful the next year.
Outside of the courtroom, Houldin co-authored comments on proposed Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules of Juvenile Court Procedure. He worked on the authorship and publication of multiple statewide training materials, and co-authored an article published in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review.
Houldin graduated from Temple University Beasley School of Law in 2006. "It is an honor to be joining NLADA, the nation’s oldest organization dedicated to improving indigent legal services. I recognize the significant challenges we currently face as a defender community, and I will continue my unwavering commitment to equal justice. Under the stellar leadership of Jo-Ann Wallace, I hope to continue NLADA’s work to improve indigent defense systems, provide defenders with needed resources, and ensure the promise of equal justice for our clients." said Houldin.
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National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) is America’s oldest and largest nonprofit association devoted to excellence in the delivery of legal services to those who cannot afford counsel. For 100 years, NLADA has pioneered access to justice at the national, state and local level through the creation of our public defender system, development of nationally applicable standards for legal representation, groundbreaking legal legislation and the creation of important institutions such as the Legal Services Corporation. For more information, please visit www.nlada.org.