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Please review the general requirements for certification and continued certification, as well as the standards for Appellate Practice.

summary of standards


Licensed and in good standing to practice law in North Carolina as of the date of application.


During the five years preceding application:

Average of at least 400 hours a year.

Minimum of 100 hours for any one year.

Substantive legal work includes the following: preparation of a record on appeal or joint appendix for filing in any state or federal appellate court; researching, drafting, or editing of a legal brief, motion, petition, or response for filing in any state or federal appellate court; participation in or preparation for oral argument before any state or federal appellate court; appellate mediation, either as the representative of a party or as a mediator, in any state or federal appellate court; consultation on issues of appellate practice including consultation with trial counsel for the purpose of preserving a record for appeal; service on a committee or commission whose principal focus is the study or revision of the rules of appellate procedure of the North Carolina or federal courts; authoring a treatise, text, law review article, or other scholarly work relating to appellate practice; teaching appellate advocacy at an ABA accredited law school; and coaching in appellate moot court programs.

Practice equivalents may be accepted for the following:

(A) service as a trial judge for any North Carolina General Court of Justice, United States Bankruptcy Court, or United States District Court, including service as a magistrate judge,

(B) service as a full-time, compensated law clerk for any North Carolina or federal appellate court

(C) service as an appellate judge for any North Carolina or federal appellate court

Additional information required regarding: (A) Five (5) oral arguments to any state or federal appellate court; and (B) Principal authorship of ten (10) briefs submitted to any state or federal appellate court.


During the three years preceding application:

At least 36 hours of CLE in appellate practice and related fields.

No less than six credits in any one year.

Of the 36 hours, at least 18 hours in appellate practice.

Balance may be in the following related fields: trial advocacy; civil trial practice and procedure; criminal trial practice and procedure; evidence; legal writing; legal research; and mediation.

Applicant may request recognition of an additional field as related to appellate practice for the purpose of meeting the CLE standard.


Must provide the names of ten lawyers or judges who are familiar with the competence and qualification of the applicant in appellate practice.

All references must be licensed and in good standing to practice law and must have significant legal or judicial experience in appellate practice.

A reference may not be related by blood or marriage to the applicant nor may the reference be a colleague at the applicant’s place of employment at the time of the application.


Two 90-minute modules and a take-home component.

Exam sessions begin around 8:15 am and finish prior to noon.

Includes multiple-choice and short essay questions.

Take home written exam requiring the applicant to edit a brief is due the following week.

Exam administered at the NC State Bar building or through a remote proctoring option.