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Although the requirements vary from one specialty area to the next, the minimum standards for certification as a board certified specialist include the following:

(1) the applicant must be licensed in a jurisdiction of the United States for at least five years immediately preceding his or her application and must be licensed in North Carolina for at least three years immediately preceding his or her application. The applicant must also be in good standing to practice law in North Carolina and the applicant’s disciplinary record with the courts, the North Carolina State Bar, and any other government licensing agency must support qualification in the specialty;

(2) the applicant must be substantially involved in the practice area, usually for a minimum of five years;

(3) the applicant must take a certain number of continuing legal education credits in the specialty area during the three years prior to application;

(4) the applicant must make a satisfactory showing of qualification in the specialty through peer review;

(5) the applicant must achieve a satisfactory score on a written examination in the practice area.

We have created a summary of certification standards by practice area. Additional provisions may apply, so please review the certification standards set forth in 27 NCAC Subchapter D, Sections .2100 through .3400. Contact Denise Mullen at or 919-828-4620 x 255 if you have questions or need clarification.