• B.A., Columbia University, 1978
  • J.D., Harvard Law School
  • New York State
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • First Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Second Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Third Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Joshua L. Dratel


Joshua L. Dratel is the founder and President of Dratel & Lewis

In more than 32 years of practice, Mr. Dratel has proven his ability to stand up for individual rights in complex federal and state cases, including those involving RICO, mail fraud, tax and security issues, national security, terrorism, international law and extradition, cyber and computer crime, political corruption, financial fraud, organized crime, drug charges, money laundering, violent crime charges, civil liberties issues, capital cases, and civil litigation. That vigorous and dedicated representation extends from the initial investigation stages of a case until final disposition. Mr. Dratel has been involved in some of the past three decades’ most complicated and important cases both factually and legally, including extraordinarily document intensive, legally challenging, and politically charged cases. Those cases include the investigations and prosecutions of major construction companies, a telecommunications giant, the 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and representation of political and business leaders. He has appeared for defendants in 13 different federal districts, and has written or argued appeals in the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Ninth Circuits, and appeared as amicus for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in the other circuits and the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Dratel has been named one of New York’s Super Lawyers since 2008 in publications of the same name, which also appear as a supplement to The New York Times Magazine.

Mr. Dratel is a past President of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (2005), as well as former Chair of its Amicus Curiae Committee. He is also a Co-Chair of the Amicus Curiae Committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Chair of its National Security Committee, Co-Chair of its Select Committee on Military Tribunals, its delegate to the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section Council, its former Parliamentarian (2005-06), and a former member of its Board of Directors and Public Affairs Council. He is a member of the Capital Punishment Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, as well as of the Association’s Task Force on National Security and the Rule of Law, and previously served on the Committee on Criminal Law of that organization. He is also a Fellow at Fordham University Law School’s Center on National Security, and a member of its Board of Advisors, and serves on the Advisory Board of The Champion, the magazine of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Mr. Dratel’s honors include the Honorable Robert Louis Cohen Award from the New York Criminal Bar Association in 2011, the Frederick Douglas Human Rights Award from the Southern Center for Human Rights in 2007, the Robert C. Heeney Award from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in 2006, and the Clarence Darrow Award from the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho in 2005.

Mr. Dratel is co-editor of The Torture Papers: The Legal Road to Abu Ghraib (Cambridge University Press: 2005), which won the American Association of Publishers 2005 Award for Excellence in Professional and Scholarly Publishing (Law and Legal Studies), and was named among the 100 Best Books of 2005 by the Toronto Globe and Mail, and The Enemy Combatant Papers: American Justice, the Courts, and the War on Terror (Cambridge University Press: 2008). His essays have appeared in The Torture Debate in America, Edited by Karen J. Greenberg (Cambridge University Press: 2005) (“The Curious Debate,” and “Torture: The Road to Abu Ghraib and Beyond”) and The Guantanamo Lawyers: Inside a Prison, Outside the Law, Edited by Mark Denbeaux and Jonathan Hafetz (New York University Press: 2009) (“No Laughing Matter”). He is co-author of the 2003 Supplement of Practice Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. He was profiled in a chapter of In Defense of Our America: The Fight for Civil Liberties In the Age of Terror, by Anthony D. Romero and Dina Temple-Raston, and in the May 29, 2014, edition of The New York Times (“With Distancing, and a Zeal for Fair Trials, a Lawyer Defends Terrorism Suspects”). He is also featured in the 2015 documentary “Deep Web.”

Mr. Dratel is a frequent writer, lecturer, and speaker on a wide variety of criminal law and national security topics, and his articles have been published in the Cardozo Public Law, Policy and Ethics JournalNew York Law School Law ReviewWayne State Law Review, Toledo Law Review, Seton Hall Law Review, New York City Law Review, The Journal of the National Security Forum at William Mitchell College of Law, The ChampionGuernica Magazine, The Mouthpiece, Tom Dispatch, and Criminal Justice Weekly. He has been a guest legal commentator on MSNBC, ABC World News Tonight, CBS News, NBC Nightly News, CNN, New York 1, FOX New York, Al Jazeera, and National Public Radio.

Mr. Dratel has made CLE presentations for on the subjects of “Federal Grand Jury Practice for Defense Attorneys,” Parts 1 & 2, and “Insight Into Extradition Practices,” both of which are available from

Mr. Dratel is admitted to practice in New York State, the United States Supreme Court, the United States District Courts for the Southern, Eastern, Western, and Northern Districts of New York, in other federal district courts in other states, and in the United States Court of Appeals for the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth and Ninth Circuits. He is AV-rated by Martindale Hubbell.

Mr. Dratel graduated magna cum laude from Columbia College in 1978 and from Harvard Law School in 1981.

Joshua Dratel has earned a national reputation as a trial and appellate lawyer extraordinarily willing and able to represent the interests of individual clients vigorously in all areas of criminal and civil litigation.