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Please review the general requirements for certification and continued certification, as well as the standards for Family 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 600 hours a year.

Minimum of 400 hours for any one year.

Practice equivalents may be accepted for the following:

  • service as a law professor for one year;
  • service as a district court judge for one year.


During the three years preceding application:

At least 45 hours of CLE credits in family law, nine of which may be in related fields.

No less than 9 hours earned in any of the three calendar years.

Related fields shall include taxation, trial advocacy, evidence, negotiation (including training in mediation, arbitration, and collaborative law), juvenile law, real property, estate planning and probate law, business organizations, employee benefits, bankruptcy, elder law, and immigration law.

Only nine hours will be recognized for attendance at an extended negotiation or mediation training course.

Parenting coordinator training will not qualify for family law or related field hours.


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

All references must be licensed and in good standing to practice law.

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.


Four 90-minute sessions (six hours long)

Exam sessions begin around 8:15 am and finish prior to 5 pm.

Includes multiple-choice, short answer, and short essay questions.

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