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Recognition Event

celebrateIn Marchthe Board of Legal Specialization held a Recognition Event at the State Bar Building in Raleigh to recognize newly certified specialists as well as those who have been certified for 25, 30, or 35 years. Jan Pritchett, chair, and Brian Oten, Specialization Program directorrecognized each specialist for their accomplishment. Another Recognition Event is being planned for late August 2023 and will take place in Salisbury. The board plans to continue hosting these smaller events at locations throughout the state. Invitations will be sent in June. Keep an eye out for your invitation! 

Recertification Begins Soon, and Certification Applications Accepted NOW!

Recertification Fees and Applications

Specialists will have the ability to submit annual fee payments and complete recertification applications (if applicable) through the State Bar Members’ Portal beginning July 1, 2023. An automated message will be sent from our office prior to July 1, 2023. The deadline to submit payment of annual fees and apply for recertification will be September 1, 2023. Please contact Lanice Heidbrink at with any questions.

The 2023 Certification Application Period Has Begun

The board is currently accepting applications through the Members’ Portal for initial board certification. The deadline for submitting certification applications is May 1, 2023.  

If you know a colleague who might be interested in becoming board certified, please encourage them to contact Sheila Saucier with any questions about the application process. 

* The immigration law specialty is offered every other year. The next application period for this specialty is Spring 2024. 

NC LEAF-Your Donations Make a Difference! 

The board often surveys certification applicants about their reasons for pursuing certification. Year after year, the top three reasons selected by applicants for pursuing certification are: 1) certification means a reflection of enhanced professionalism; 2) to take on the personal challenge of certification; and 3) applying for certification forces the applicant to improve his/her understanding in the subject matter. 

The very purpose of the State Bar’s creation of our Legal Specialization Program is to assist the public in identifying lawyers who have demonstrated special knowledge, skill, and proficiency in a particular area of law; and to improve the competency of the bar. There is no greater example of the execution of this lofty purpose than our certified public interest lawyers who come to the program with the assistance of NC LEAF.   

Unfortunately, public interest lawyers are some of the lowest paid in the state, and the application fees for specialization are often difficult to pay. To address this financial hurdle, we created the Jeri Whitfield Scholarship through NCLEAF to pay the application fees for public interest lawyers who pursue certification. Last year, due to generous donations from specialist lawyers, we were able to fund 15 application scholarships for the 2022 cycle. The board’s goal is to match, if not exceed, the number of scholarships awarded in 2022. You can be a part of helping the board reach its goal.  

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Description automatically generatedYour donation will do much more than help a public interest lawyer pursue certification; your donation generates confidence in legal services and thereby the justice system for everyone in our state. Please consider making a donation in any amount. To make a donationplease use the QR code below or visit their website.