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Please review the general requirements for certification and continued certification, as well as the standards for Elder Law.



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 700 hours a year.

Minimum of 400 hours for any one year.

In addition, applicants must demonstrate experience in at least 60 specific Elder Law matters as listed below: (A) health and Personal Care Planning; (B) pre-Mortem Legal Planning; (C) Fiduciary Representation; (D) legal Capacity Counseling; (E) Public Benefits Advice; (F) Special Needs Counseling; (G) advice on Insurance Matters; (H) Resident Rights Advocacy; (I) Housing Counseling; (J) Employment and Retirement Advice; (K) counseling with regard to age and/or disability discrimination in employment and housing; and (L) litigation and Administrative Advocacy in connection with any of the above matters.


During the three years preceding application:

At least 45 hours of CLE in elder law and related fields.

No less than nine (9) credits earned in any of the three calendar years.

Of the 45 CLE credits, at least ten (10) credits must be earned attending elder law–specific CLE programs.

Related fields shall include the following: estate planning and administration, trust law, health and long-term care planning, public benefits, veterans’ benefits, surrogate decision-making, older persons’ legal capacity, social security disability, Medicaid/Medicare claims, special needs planning, and taxation.

No more than twenty (20) credits may be earned in the related fields of estate taxation or estate administration.


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

All references must be licensed and in good standing to practice law and must have significant legal or judicial experience in elder law or a related field.

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.


Exam written and graded by the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF).

Allows NC specialists to obtain "dual" certifications by passing only the NELF exam.

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