The ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist Designation

The paradigm is shifting again.

Advancements in science in technology have changed every aspect of our lives.  It wasn’t too long ago that we used to have telephone booths.  Now mobile phones have made them relics of an ancient era. No one had a personal computer. Now, all but few have cell phones that have massive computing power.

Criminal justice has also been affected by changes in science and technology.  DUI and DUI drug cases are particular tied forensic results.  Thus, in order to foster scientific learning in the criminal defense community and to honor those who have made a commitment to learning forensic science, the American Chemical Society-Chemistry and the Law Division (ACS-CHAL) has created a new designation of ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist.

About the Program

With more than 161,000 members, the American Chemical Society (ACS) is the world’s largest scientific society and one of the world’s leading sources of authoritative scientific information. The Chemistry and the Law Division (CHAL) has over 1400 members. A nonprofit organization, chartered by Congress, ACS is at the forefront of the evolving worldwide chemical enterprise and the premier professional home for chemists, chemical engineers and related professions around the globe.

In talking with many, both inside and outside of the ACS, the instructors of these courses wanted to recognize the accomplishment and time commitment of the attorneys who truly learned the science. It had to be something beyond simply an attendance based achievement, but also recognized retention of the highly specialized knowledge.


For an attorney to earn an ACS Forensic Lawyer-Scientist Designation as recognized by the Chemistry and the Law Division of the ACS, the prospect must complete specific coursework and then take and pass a proficiency test based upon what is learned in those courses. Some of the requirements are:

  1. Successful completion of the ACS Forensic Chromatography Course TWO TIMES.
  2. Successful completion of the ACS Solid Drug Dose (Forensic Drug Analysis) Course.
  3. Successful completion of the ACS Forensic DUID (Forensic Principles of DUID) Course.
  4. Must pass a proficiency and knowledge examination based upon the courses.

Golden Column

As of May 21, 2014 when the matter became approved, the following are now ACS Forensic Lawyer-Scientist Designation as recognized by the Chemistry and the Law Division of the ACS, having earned The ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist Designation and are “ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientists.

  1. Justin J. McShane, JD, F-AIC, The McShane Firm, LLC (Harrisburg, PA)
  2. Josh D. Lee, Esquire, Ward & Lee (Vinita, OK)
  3. Katherine E. Kennedy, Esquire, The McShane Firm, LLC (Harrisburg, PA)
  4. Tad Nelson, Esquire, The Law Offices of Tad Nelson and Associates (Houston, TX)
Justin McShane

PA DUI attorney Justin J. McShane is the President/CEO of The McShane Firm, LLC - Pennsylvania's top criminal law and DUI law firm. He is the highest rated DUI attorney in PA as rated by Justin McShane is a double Board certified attorney. He is the first and so far the only Pennsylvania attorney to achieve American Bar Association recognized board certification in DUI defense from the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. He is also a Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Approved Agency.

One response to “The ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist Designation”

  • Thank-you Justin. I find it fascinating as well how the paradigm has shifted not only as much as it did, but by how fast it has happened. Criminal defense has benefited from the changes, but also has had to struggle more to get there.

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